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Visa sponsors all 10 athletes on Olympic refugee team


In some heartwarming Olympic news this week, the athletes on the inaugural refugee team have all received sponsorship. Visa announced that it will be sponsoring each of the ten athletes that are getting ready to compete this year.

This the the first refugee team that has ever participated at the Games and athletes will march in with the Olympic flag. Making up the team are five athletes from South Sudan, one from Ethiopia, two from Syria and two from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Six are male and four are female. They will be present in competition in swimming, athletics and judo. To be on the team, each of them needed official refugee status.

In reaction to this news, the International Olympic Committee says they are thrilled that the athletes have a sponsor– Visa is the first corporate sponsor.

But not everyone is thrilled about it. As reported by The Globe and Mail, some are saying it’s not clear what kind of role the IOC has between arranging the deals between the credit card company and the athletes. Others are skeptical about the brand’s intentions behind marketing Team Visa.

The opening ceremonies for the Games in Rio are on Aug. 5. The women’s and men’s triathlon takes place on August 18th and 20th respectively.