News and Media


Lifters Mora and Jamali included in the 2024 Olympic Refugee Team

Two lifters – Ramiro Mora and Yekta Jamali – will be part of the Olympic Refugee Team at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, a group that comprises 36 athletes representing 12 sports. The announcement was made today by the IOC President Thomas Bach in Lausanne (SUI): We welcome all of you with open arms. You are an enrichment to our Olympic Community, and to our societies”.

“With your participation in the Olympic Games, you will demonstrate the human potential of resilience and excellence. This will send a message of hope to the more than 100 million displaced people around the world, continued the IOC President.

Ramiro Mora receiving the good news from the IOC

Both lifters now selected for the Games in Paris had the opportunity to compete recently, as part of the IWF Refugee Team, at the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand. 

Mora, originally from Cuba and based in Great Britain, was born on September 29, 1997 and ranked 18th in the men’s 102kg, after lifting 162-197-359. Jamali, living in Germany and of Iranian origin, turned 20 years old on March 31 and placed 19th in Thailand in the women’s 81kg category (100-125-225).

Yekta Jamali

Both athletes were part of a long list of 74 IOC Scholarship holders, with a real possibility to represent the Olympic Refugee Team at the 2024 Olympics. This is the third edition of the Games with a Refugee representation, after successful previous experiences in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020ne. From the creation of the concept in 2015 until now, we unfortunately saw the number of refugees in the world grow from around 60 million to over 110 million. That is why these athletes must be represented and the programme was even reinforced for Paris 2024, explained Mr Bach.

From the athletes’ side, Jamali had spoken in Phuket about her challenging conditions, when arriving in Germany: “I have no family in Germany, and when I got there I could not train for about six months. But I have friends there who have been so kind and helpful. I am in Frankfurt, and I feel happy now. I hope to get a German passport.”

Mora reflects on the importance of this initiative: Being part of the Olympic Refugee Team is not just an opportunity to compete; it’s a platform to inspire and represent hope for refugees all over the world”.

The IWF President Mohammed Jalood also received the IOC news with enormous joy: The IWF is very happy to learn that two lifters – Ramiro Mora and Yekta Jamali – will be part of the IOC Refugee Team competing at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games. After the creation in 2023 of the first-ever IWF Refugee programme, this decision underlines the good work our International Federation is doing in welcoming and including those athletes in our activities. It also showcases the intense work and effort from Ramiro and Yekta – they were both present in our recent IWF World Cup in Phuket (THA) –, who fully deserve their recognition from the IOC”. 

“The Refugee Team project is aimed at giving a second opportunity to athletes overcoming extremely challenging situations and bringing them back to the Sport they love. I wish Ramiro and Yekta the best of luck in Paris and I thank them for representing in such a noble way the sport of weightlifting! concluded Mr Jalood.

At the IWF level, the first Refugee Team was created in 2023 and comprised seven lifters. This year, the group had six athletes, including the two that were finally selected by the IOC. 

IWF Executive Board member Florian Sperl, responsible for the project in our International Federation, was also thrilled with the announcement: Having 12 sports represented in the team, and weightlifting being one of them with two athletes, this shows the value we have in the Olympic movement. As was said by the IOC, their selection was based on two main criteria, the official refugee status (recognised by the UN), and their sports performances. This last point is very important, as it demonstrates the effort these two lifters put into becoming Olympians despite the difficulties. Congratulations to Ramiro and Yekta and all the best for Paris!”

IWF Communications