Nawal El Moutawakel, a Laureus Academy Member and the chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Rio 2016 Olympics, announced the Refugee Olympic Team as the winners at a press conference, which took place ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards.
"The Refugee Olympic Team was one of the sporting stories of 2016," she said.
"We talk about resilience and determination as being key attributes of successful athletes, this team has it in droves. They embody Nelson Mandela’s message that sport can instill hope where once there was only despair."
The 10-strong team that competed at Rio 2016 was led by Kenya’s former marathon world record holder Tegla Loroupe, who acted as their Chef de Mission for the Games.
Consisting of five South Sudanese, two Syrians, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo and one Ethiopian, the team were designed to act as "a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide", according to the IOC.
The Sudanese athletes were spotted during trials held by the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation in the Kakuma refugee camp in north-west Kenya.