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Farzad Mansouri selected for the Refugee Team at the Paris Olympic Games

Yesterday GB Taekwondo athlete Farzad Mansouri was selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete for the Refugee Olympic team in the Paris Olympic Games. The refugee team includes 36 athletes who will compete across 12 sports with 5 of those athletes competing in Taekwondo (Refugee Team | Olympic Refuge Foundation (olympics.com).

The IOC first included a Refugee Olympic Team in the Games in 2016 in recognition of the global refugee crisis. Rather than competing under a national flag, Farzad will compete under the flag of the Refugee Olympic Team, representing more than 100 million people across the world who have been forcibly displaced. After competing as flagbearer for Afghanistan in Tokyo, Farzad returned to his homeland to find the nation under Taliban rule, initially fleeing Kabul for the UEA, before being offered a place to train alongside the GB Team with the support of an IOC scholarship. 

On getting the news Farzad explained his commitment to make the most of the opportunity “I’m really excited that I’m going to the Olympic Games for a second time, I will train harder with a good focus and aim to win the Olympic gold medal, inshallah.” 

All of us at GB Taekwondo are thrilled that Farzad has been selected for the team. When we began supporting Farzad our mission was to give him a fighting chance of getting to Paris and performing in the Games. With the financial support of the IOC and World Taekwondo and the expertise of Laura Devine Immigration, the first part of that mission has been achieved, and we sharpen the focus on helping Farzad maximise his performance on the Olympic stage. 

For GB Taekwondo it is an honour to play a part in Farzad’s journey and to contribute to the powerful commitment sport has made to helping refugees realise their sporting ambitions and Olympic dreams, despite the unimaginable challenges they face in their lives. 

Farzad will compete in the European Championships which begin next week in Belgrade, Serbia, and will continue to prepare for the Games at the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester with the guidance and support of the GB Taekwondo team, including coach Stephen Jennings.


Farzad Mansouri arrived in the UK on 1 May 2022. His training and competition programme is led by GB Taekwondo and funded through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Taekwondo’s Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation.

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