The advert showcases the national unity the Olympic Games hopes to inspire. That’s proved challenging for South Sudan, where more than 2.2 million have been displaced internally or are seeking refuge in neighboring states as a result of violence between rival ethnic factions loyal to president Salva Kiir, and former vice president Riek Machar.

Despite the current conflict, “when it comes to the sports, we see ourselves as one family,” Tong tells Quartz. “We are happy to go as South Sudanese, all our tribes, all our ethnic groups.”

The team represents an important symbol of unity to a young generation who have been been affected by the nation’s problems, says Gabriel Eljack, a freelance journalist based in Juba. “Their participation in the Olympic Games means that South Sudan can make it despite the enormous challenges. They have the support of everybody.”

Five South Sudanese refugees living in Kenya will also compete in Rio as part of the first ever Refugee Olympic team.

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