Yiech Pur Biel has been elected as the first refugee member in the International Olympic Committee. He will serve on the board for an eight year term. The historic moment is a sign of hope and inspiration for many refugees and displaced people across the globe.
The field track South Sudanese athlete and UNHCR Goodwill ambassador took to Twitter to announce the good news.
“Greatly honored to be elected as the first member of the International Olympic Committee. I dedicate myself in all circumstances to promote the interests of the International Olympic Committee and Olympic movement”
Biel made his debut as an Olympian at the 2016 Summer Rio Olympics as part of the inaugural Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) and ran in the 800 meters event.
Riech’s story started way back In 2005 where he fled from his home town of Nasir in Sudan to escape a civil war. Since starting as a runner to save his own life he has never stopped running now running to fly high the flag of his origin and defy odds.
He developed a talent for football, overcoming the challenges of training in the sweltering heat with no facilities at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, and was recognized for having athletic ability during trials to identify refugee athletes by the UNHCR Agency.
Biel is currently studying at a college in the United States but intends to continue running and advocate for millions of refugees worldwide displaced by the crisis of war, violence and political strife.
Written By: McCreadie Andias