Syrian refugee named torchbearer in Greek leg of Rio relay

AP News
Posted: Apr 22, 2016 11:23 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — 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.