Syrian boxer competes 'for all refugees' at Olympics

(SOUNDBITE) (German) SYRIAN BOXER, WESSAM SALAMANA, SAYING:

"Hello, my name is Wessam. I'm from Syria, I'm a refugee and next month I will be in Tokyo. I'm a boxer and so we'll see each other in Tokyo."

Wessam Salamana will be boxing at the Tokyo Olympics

as part of an expanded refugee team of 29 athletes

having fled to Germany six years ago

Location: Voelklingen, Germany

(SOUNDBITE) (German) SYRIAN BOXER, WESSAM SALAMANA, SAYING:

"Up until now I have only boxed for one country, Syria, my home country but now I am boxing for the entire world. There are refugees across the world and that's why I am boxing for all refugees in the entire world. So I am boxing for a lot of countries, not just one."

Salamana's team will compete under the Olympic flag

and includes people from Syria, South Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Iran

(SOUNDBITE) (German) BOXING COACH, HEIKO STAACKE, SAYING:

"In sports it doesn't matter whether you moved here from a different city or in the case of Wessam if you are a refugee. Through sports there is always an opportunity to integrate: there are many different people from different professional backgrounds and you can make a lot of contacts. Sports is always at the forefront when it's about integration."

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