Refugee Olympic Team swimmer Rami Anis came with a goal to break his personal best, which he promised with himself. Anis entered the Refugee Olympic team at the Rio 2016, with an aim to swim faster than he has ever done in the category of Men’s 100M freestyle.
Anis was applauded by the spectators who witnessed him fulfill his dream on August 9. In the 100M freestyle heats, Anis finished 56th of 59, completing the event in 54.25 seconds. Anis’ priority was not to win a medal, but for a victim of war, who had left his country (Syria) a year ago, was to beat his personal best.
Anis is now surviving in Belgium, along with brother and father, while there eagerly waiting to reunite with his mother. “To compete in the Olympics, it is wonderful,” said Anis. “It’s a dream come true for me and I don’t want to wake up from this dream,” Rami Anis told olympic.org.
Anis, will now be looking for another personal best in the 100m butterfly on August 11, alongside his hero Michael Phelps. “It’s amazing to be in this team because we are representing people who have lost their homeland, who’ve had their homes burned, who were killed, and now we are representing them in a good way. It’s an amazing feeling,” Anis added.
“My message is no-one has to give up on their dreams because life is about not giving up. I hope that every refugee athlete will get the same support as we have so they can achieve their dreams and achieve what we have achieved. It’s a dream for every athlete to be in the Olympics and if I could go on and get a medal in Tokyo, this would truly be my dream come true,” Anis pointed out.
However, Anis did not participate for his personal best or winning medals, but fly the flag for refugees around the world. “I want to shine the spotlight on the plight of refugees,” he says. “I want to show the best possible image of refugees or Syrian people, or anyone who has suffered injustice in the world, and tell them to not lose hope — never lose hope.”
“I hope at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there will be no refugees and we will be able to go back home. Nothing is nearer and dearer to my heart than my homeland.”