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Sports Has Power to Bring Change: Abhinav Bindra on Helping Refugees

File photo of Abhinav Bindra. (Photo Credit: @Athlete365)

File photo of Abhinav Bindra. (Photo Credit: @Athlete365)

Abhinav Bindra was included in a new five-episode Olympic Channel original series.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: June 15, 2020, 8:26 PM IST
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Inspired to make the world a better place through sport, Olympic champion Niccolo Campriani leads three refugees on a brave journey to qualify for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo in his own event, 10 metre air rifle shooting, documented in the new series 'Taking Refuge', a statement said on Monday.

Abhinav Bindra has been included in the new Olympic Channel original series where the Beijing 2008 shooting gold medallist welcomes three refugees Mahdi, Khaoula and Luna who are coached and mentored by Campriani.

The five-episode Olympic Channel original series premieres on Monday on the IOC's global media platform which is available subscription-free at olympicchannel.com and its apps for mobile, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and the Roku platform.

In Rio 2016, the Olympic Games welcomed its first refugee team, a collection of athletes displaced and seeking sanctuary due to matters beyond sport who could be defined by their actions on the playing field. This small refugee team inspired three-time Olympic gold medallist Campriani to take the torch and lead the next generation of refugee athletes. Taking Refuge follows Niccolo and his team of athletes as they set out to achieve their Olympic dream, the statement says.

"Sport is made of stories, not medals. Some of them are legendary, some are drama, and some others don't have the happy ending that one would expect," said Campriani.

"Taking Refuge is a story of hope, a story that combines the sport challenge of qualifying for the Olympic Games in less than 1,000 days with the inspirational determination of a group of refugees."

Together with his former rival and five-time Olympian Bindra, the two athletes have been inspired to create the 'Make A Mark' project out of the overwhelming positive response to the initial project documented in Taking Refuge.

"The story of Mahdi, Khaoula and Luna is a resounding proclamation to the world that sport has the power to bring about change," said Bindra.

"As their documentary Taking Refuge launches, Nicco and I are already thinking ahead with the launch of the project 'Make A Mark' as an extension of the work we have put in. We aim to see more Olympic champions get involved and future mentors to take this legacy forward!"

In addition to support from within the shooting community, Campriani's team has trained at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland and travelled to Northern Italy, Doha in Qatar and Bangalore on their journey to qualify.

Produced exclusively for the Olympic Channel by Vice Media, 'Taking Refuge' is currently on hiatus until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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