Portugal supports two refugees hoping for Olympic glory

Two athletes training for the 50-strong Olympic team of refugees are realising their dreams thanks to the Portuguese programme “Viver o desporto, abraçar o futuro”. Dorian Keletela and Farid Walizadeh both requested asylum in Portugal after deeply traumatic beginnings in their home countries (the Congo and Afghanistan). Both now hope to compete in Tokyo 2020: Keletela as a runner, Walizadeh as a boxer. The “Viver o desporto, abraçar o futuro” programme is specifically designed for refugees taken in by Portugal. Says project coordinator Maria Machado new arrivals are presented with a “welcome rucksack” containing sports equipment. She explains: “This is the first message of inclusion: they receive something made for them, so that they feel part of the place in which they live”.