Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies writes emotional letter to Refugee Paralympic Team

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Alphonso Davies had a powerful message for a group of athletes. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Alphonso Davies had a powerful message for a group of athletes. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Canadian soccer player Alphonso Davies is showing his support for the Refugee Paralympic Team, saying that the group is, “the most courageous sports team in the world right now.”

The Refugee Paralympic Team is the first of its kind in the Games and is made up of six athletes from Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, and Iran. The group was formed by the International Paralympic Committee to represent the over 82 million people in the world who have had to flee their country and the 12 million of those who live with a disability.

The athletes will be competing in para athletics, swimming, canoeing, and taekwondo in this year’s Games.

In an open letter released Monday, Davies tells the athletes that they are not alone on this journey and that the world will be supporting them.

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“… as you dive into the water, as you prepare to throw, as you step into the arena, know that you are not alone. The world is behind you,” said Davies in the letter.

The 20-year-old soccer player, who is also the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Goodwill Ambassador, shared how he can relate to the athletes as someone who was born in a refugee camp and whose family had to flee war.

“Many don’t understand how tough it is being a refugee, having been forced to flee for your safety," Davies wrote. "How tough it is being displaced in the middle of a pandemic. Tough being all alone thousands of miles from your families when you need them most. Tougher still when you have a disability. But although your path has been hard you’ve never given up.

“You are the most courageous sports team in the world right now.”

The 2020 Paralympic Games begin Tuesday and athletes Alia Issa and Abbas Karimi will lead the team in the opening ceremony as the flag bearers of the first Refugee Paralympic Team.

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