United Kingdom-based weightlifter Cyrille Tchatchet II has been selected as the only weightlifter to be part of the 29-strong Refugee Team at the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Tchatchet II grew up in Cameroon and competed under its flag at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Fearing to return to his home country, he fled the team and lived homeless in England for some time before building a new life. After suffering from mental health issues and coming close to suicide, he successfully applied for asylum and has since trained as a mental health nurse.
Cyrille is a popular lifter at British Weight Lifting competitions and has also competed in the German Bundesleague. He hit his best competition lifts in 2019 – a 161kg snatch and a 200 kg clean and jerk, lifting as an M102. In Tokyo, he will drop to the M96 category, where he will be lifting alongside the likes of Meso Hassona (Qatar), Anton Pleisnoi (Georgia) and Boady Santavy (Canada).
On his instagram, Tchatchet II said:
It’s a pleasure to inform everyone that I have been officially selected to be part of the @refugeeolympicteam @tokyo2020. It will be an honour to represent the 80 million displaced people around the world.