Most elite athletes dream of competing at the Olympics in hopes of wining big; however, Popole Misenga and Yolande Mabika are hoping this dream will bring an end to their life-long nightmare.
The African refugees left their homes in the Dominican Republic of Congo a little over two years ago to escape the ongoing war.
Now, the two have been training daily while seeking safety in Brazil in order to compete in the Judo category in this year’s games-an opportunity recently extended to refugee athletes.
If chosen, the two would be the first to compete in the new category under the banner of the International Olympic Committee at the 2016 Olympics.
However, their main goal is to inspire refugees everywhere to continue to fight and keep the faith.
“I represent everyone,” Misenga says. “I’ll get a medal for all refugees.”
Watch their journey to competing in the Olympics below.
(imagery and video courtesy of The Guardian)