Syrian refugee named torchbearer in Greek leg of Rio relay

AP , Friday 22 Apr 2016
Ibrahim al-Hussein
Ibrahim al-Hussein, 27, during a swimming training session in Athens. (The official website of the UN Refugee Agency "UNHCR")

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A Syrian refugee who had part of a leg amputated after a bombing will be one of the torchbearers for the Greek leg of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic flame relay.

The Greek Olympic committee said Friday that 27-year-old Ibrahim Al-Hussein will carry the torch at an Athens refugee camp hosting 1,500 people next Tuesday - the next-to-last day of the relay in Greece.

Al-Hussein reached Greece on a rubber dinghy in 2014, and has been granted asylum in the country. He is a former competitive swimmer and judo athlete.

Despite having part of his leg amputated, he trains regularly in swimming pools and plays basketball, in a wheelchair, with an Athens club.

The flame, which was lit Thursday at a ceremony in Ancient Olympia, will be handed to Brazilian officials next Wednesday.

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