43 sportsmen and women have been identified to potentially form part of a team refugee athletes at Rio this summer.

The president of the international olympic committee, Thomas Bach has called it a ‘message of hope’ for refugees across the world. Their names have not been released but the opportunity to compete under the Olympic flag must be a dream come true for the selected.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach speaks during the Closing Press Conference of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in February 2016 © Getty

African refugees who have become top sportsmen and women include South Sudanese long-distance athlete Lopez Lomong (United States) and Miami Heat’s Luol Deng (Great Britain), Eritrean middle-distance runner Meraf Bahta (Sweden), Liberian refugee and ex-Arsenal midfielder, Fabrice Muamba and long-distance runner Eritrean Mebrahtom Keflezighi (United States). In 2012 South Sudanese Guor Marial ran under the Olympic flag as an independent athlete but this is the first time a team will be created.

Guor Marial of Independent Olympic Athletes and Martin Dent of Australia backdropped by the Queen Victoria Memorial compete in the Men's Marathon of the London 2012 Olympic Games © Getty

The members of the team will be announced in June. It’s a wonderful example of sports bringing people together. And it could lead to some amazing sporting performances.