Sebastian Coe, a founder member of the Laureus Academy and the leader of the London Games Organising Committee, said at the time: “If you look at the values of the Olympic Movement - courage, respect, determination, inspiration, excellence – you clearly have not only values that are a metaphor for life, but the values that were the driving force for a small group of us over ten years ago who formed the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Ten athletes made history in Rio. With no national flags or national anthems, they were enthusiastically welcomed under the banner of the Olympic flag and marched to the accompaniment of the Olympic anthem. They won the respect and admiration of the world – and six months later were presented with the Laureus Sport for Good Award for Sporting Inspiration.
For one of the refugees competing, South Sudan’s 800 metres runner Yiech Pur Biel, it was a little more personal. He said of Tegla: “She is our mother, not only our leader. Madam Tegla gives us a chance for other people to know the history of our lives. And we can forget what happened before. We can celebrate. We can have hope, like everyone else.”