Getty Images / Clive Rose

A Brief History Of Independent Olympic Teams

The first-ever refugee team in Rio will be just one of many teams in Olympic history to compete under the five-ring flag.

By Christian Bryant | July 21, 2016

Which athletes fly the five-ring flag at the Olympics?

"Swimmer Yusra Mardini is hoping to compete in this summer's Rio Olympics," a 5 News reporter said

The 2016 team of independent Olympians consists of 10 athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

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This year's team is called the Refugee Olympic Athletes, and they are one of many teams to compete under the Olympic flag. 

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Previous teams have gone by different names, and they've all been created under different circumstances: political transitions, international sanctions ...

"The International Olympic Committee has suspended the Indian Olympic Association," a NewsX anchor said.  

... not having a National Olympic Committee or cheating scandals. 

"The Russian government is accused of helping its Russian track and field athletes cheat," CBS anchor Scott Pelley said.  

SEE MORE: The Olympics Are Forcing Rio's Poorest Citizens From Their Homes

In fact, one of the only things that's been consistent with teams of independent athletes is performance. They usually don't do well; although, their chances of medaling are slimmer since the teams have been pretty small. 

So far, the '92 team in Barcelona is the only team of independent athletes to medal. They were also the largest team — by 54 people. 

But for this year's athletes, it's not just about the hardware.

"I will be very proud, because I will compete with world champions," Refugee Olympic Athletes member Rami Anis said

"I want to represent all of the refugees of the world," Popole Misenga said

"I want to show everyone that after the pain and after the storm comes calm days," Madini said

This video includes clips from 5 NewsCCTVUnited Nations High Commissioner On RefugeesBBC and NewsX

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