Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Popole Misenga

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Country  Refugee Olympic Team
Weight  90 kg
Height  1.8 m

Born  25 February 1992 (age 25) (1992-02-25)
Similar  Yolande Bukasa Mabika, Rami Anis, Yusra Mardini

Refugee judoka popole misenga prepares to compete in rio olympics

Popole Misenga (born 25 February 1992) is a judoka originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who has been selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Popole Misenga UNHCR TeamRefugees Popole Misenga

Refugee olympic team popole misenga yolande mabike

Personal life

Popole Misenga Refugee Popole Misenga breaks down in tears ahead of the Rio 2016

Misenga was born on 25 February 1992. He is from the Bukavu area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an area severely affected by the Second Congo War. After his mother was murdered when he was six years old, he fled to a nearby rainforest and wandered for a week, before being rescued and taken to a home in Kinshasa.

Popole Misenga The Refugee Olympic Team Rio Olympics 2016

He sought political asylum in Brazil after travelling there to compete in the 2013 World Judo Championships along with fellow judoka Yolande Mabika. The pair claimed that their coaches confined them in their hotel room while leaving with their money, passports and meal tickets. After two days barely eating, Mabika escaped, and Misenga waited more days only for the staff to arrive on the day of the competition, smelling of alcohol. The following day, Mabika returned to the hotel and convinced Misenga to desert, and both were taken by an Angolan to the African immigrant-heavy neighborhood of Brás de Pina. They also stated that back in Africa, their judo coaches deprived them of food and locked them in cages when they did not perform well. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officially granted him refugee status in September 2014.

He is now married to a Brazilian woman and has a son born in the country.


Popole Misenga Popole Misenga Landed in Rio But Not How Most Olympians Got There

Misenga first took up judo at a centre for displaced children in Kinshasa. In 2010 he won a bronze medal at the African under-20 Judo Championships.

Popole Misenga No Flag to March Behindquot The Amazing Story of Rio39s AllRefugee

At the 2013 World Judo Championships held in Brazil he was eliminated in the first round of his competition aftre losing to Islam Bozbayev of Kazakhstan. Following this tournament he sought asylum in Brazil and remained in the country. In Brazil he started training at the Instituto Reação, a judo school founded by Olympic bronze medallist Flávio Canto, and now trains under coach Geraldo Bernardes in Rio de Janeiro. Before being taken by Reação, Misenga had odd jobs at truck crews. He received support and funding from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity programme.

Popole Misenga Democratic Republic of the Congo refugee duo Popole Misenga and

On 3 June 2016 the IOC announced that Misenga would be part of a team of ten athletes selected to compete as part of a Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the men's 90 kg event, Misenga won his first bout against Avtar Singh of India, but lost against South Korea's Gwak Dong-han.


Popole Misenga Wikipedia