Sixty Olympic and Paralympic athletes form the company’s largest,
most diverse Team Visa
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 20, 2016--
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) announced today the full Team
Visa roster for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With 60 athletes, it is
the most expansive group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes that Visa
has supported to date.
This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:
Visa is thrilled to welcome refugee Olympic athletes to the #TeamVisa community of 60 Olympic athletes. #Rio2016 (Photo: Business Wire)
Visa has grown by 62 percent since the last Olympic Games, with
athletes representing a range of 26 sports, from diving and dressage to
taekwondo and table tennis.
Since the program began in 2000, Team Visa has aimed to provide athletes
with the tools, resources and support they need to reach their highest
potential, regardless of origin or background. Hopefuls representing
Team Visa at Rio 2016 are selected based on their personal journeys to
the Olympic and Paralympic Games, athletic achievements and community
This year’s Team Visa includes the 10 competitors on the International
Olympic Committee’s first-ever team
of Refugee Olympic athletes.
Olympic athletes are inspiring the world with their incredible
stories of perseverance and bravery, overcoming great odds to get to the
top of their respective sports and compete on the world’s stage,” said
Chris Curtin, chief marketing innovation and brand officer, Visa, Inc.
“These athletes, who will march with the Olympic flag at the Opening
Ceremony in Rio, are a powerful addition to the Team Visa family, each
belief in acceptance for everyone, everywhere.”
The following athletes join Team Visa today:
Anjeline Nadai Lohalith (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics):
Lohalith fled her home during war and joined the Tegla Loroupe Peace
Foundation (“TLPF”) last year, where she now trains. She will compete
in the 1500m distance event.
James Nyang Chiengjiek (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics):
Chiengjiek fled to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp in 2002. More than 10
years later he joined TLPF to train, and will compete in the 400-m
Paulo Amontun Lokoro (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics): Lokoro
escaped to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp and now trains at the TLPF in
Nairobi. He will compete in the 1500-m distance event.
Popole Misenga (Refugee Olympic Team, Judo): Misenga discovered
Judo while living at a center for displaced children in Kishasa (DRC).
After the 2013 World Judo Championships, he relocated to Brazil, where
he continues to live and train.
Rami Anis (Refugee Olympic Team, Swimming): Anis and his family
fled to Belgium to escape civil war and to find a safe harbor for his
training. He will compete in the 100-m butterfly.
Rose Nathike Lokonyen (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics): Lokonyen
joined the TLPF and will compete in the 800-m distance event.
Yiech Pur Biehl (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics): Biel arrived
in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp in 2005, and later joined the TLPF. He
will compete in the 800-m distance event.
Yolande Bukasa Mabika (Refugee Olympic Team, Judo): Mabika
began practicing Judo as a child living in a refugee center in
Kinshasa (DRC). After the 2013 World Judo Championships, she relocated
to Brazil where she continues to train and live.
Yonas Kinde (Refugee Olympic Team, Athletics): Kinde is a
professional marathon and cross country runner. He is training in
Luxembourg; he will be running the marathon in Rio.
Earlier in the countdown to Rio, Yusra
Mardini (Refugee Olympic Team, Swimming) and Raheleh
Asemani (Belgium, Taekwondo) were named to Team Visa. Mardini will
compete as a swimmer on the IOC’s team of refugee Olympic athletes after
her courageous journey from Syria to Berlin, where she continues to
train. Asemani will compete in Taekwondo representing Belgium.
In addition, five competitors from European countries were named to Team
Adam Gemili (Great Britain, Athletics): Gemili, the only man of
Middle Eastern descent to run the 100-m in under 10 seconds, will be
representing Great Britain in his second Olympic Games. He will be
competing in the men’s 200-m event.
Adam Peaty (Great Britain, Swimming): Peaty is a 21-year old
swimmer who holds the world record for the 100-m breaststroke.
Claudia Fragapane (Great Britain, Gymnastics): Fragapane, who
is a four-time Commonwealth gold medalist, will be competing for Great
Britain’s Olympic team.
Elinor Barker (Great Britain, Cycling): Barker will be
representing Great Britain, competing in Track Cycling in Rio.
Natalia Partyka (Poland, Tables Tennis – Integrated Event): Partyka,
who was born without a right hand and forearm, will compete in Table
Tennis. Partyka has won gold three times at the Paralympic Games.
Team Visa athletes are at the heart of Visa’s global Olympic Games
sponsorship activation, this year more than ever. Some examples include:
Ibtihaj Muhammad (USA, Fencing), the first Muslim American woman to
compete at the Olympics in a hijab, who unveiled the Visa
payment ring to the world; Terezinha Guilhermina, (Brazil,
Paralympic Athletics), the world’s fastest blind woman, who along with
Mabika and Misenga, was onsite to open the Rio
2016 Copacabana Megastore in Brazil to make the ceremonial first
payment; and Ashton Eaton (USA – Decathlon) and English Gardner (USA –
100m), who participated in Visa’s first Team Visa Facebook
Live Stream last week.
The centerpiece film of Visa’s global Olympic Games ad
campaign also features a diverse roster of more than 20 members of
Team Visa, following them on a fun and light-hearted “Carpool”
to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, leveraging payment innovations like Visa
Checkout, Samsung Pay and chip cards along the way.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that
connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments
in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable
electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced
processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than
65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for
consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does
not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers.
Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers
to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time
with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information,
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160720005369/en/
Source: Visa Inc.
Visa, Inc. Media Contacts
Andy Gerlt, 415-805-5153