The 2016 Rio Olympics, set to begin on Aug. 5, has been beset with problems ranging from the Zika virus outbreak to pollution, leading to reports of athletes backing out from the competition.
The silver lining of this year's Olympics, however, is the historic debut of a team comprised of refugees, which has been named the "Symbol of Hope" by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
"Ten refugee athletes will act as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide and bring global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis when they take part in the Olympic Games," the IOC has said in a statement.
"We are very inspired by the refugee Olympic athletes team â€” having had their sporting careers interrupted, these high-level refugee athletes will finally have the chance to pursue their dreams," UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi was quoted saying to Al Jazeera.
The team will march in the Opening Ceremony as the delegation behind the Olympic Flag, just before host nation Brazil, at the Maracana.
"Their participation in the Olympics is a tribute to the courage and perseverance of all refugees in overcoming adversity and building a better future for themselves and their families. The UNHCR stands with them and with all refugees." Grandi told Al Jazeera.
The athletes, narrowed down from a list of 43 possible candidates, include and six runners from Ethiopia and South Sudan, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and two swimmers from Syria. According to IOC, the six men and four women were selected according to their personal circumstances, UN-verified refugee status and sporting ability.
"These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem," IOC president Thomas Bach said in its statement. The IOC is paying for all of the athletes' expenses.
Although the announcement about their participation was made earlier this year, the UNHCR recently released videos of the athletes in their training.
Meet Yolande Bukasa Mabika, who was orphaned due to war. She fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and is set to participate in the 70kg category in Judo.
Then there is Yusra Mardini, who was a competitive swimmer in Syria prior to the war.
Click here to watch more Olympic refugee team profiles.
Click here to read more about the refugee athletes through the officially released biographies.
Although they aren't considered to be medal contenders, their display of grit and courage is expected to inspire millions and spread awareness about the political crises gripping their native countries.