@RefugeeGuy11 will do anything for his favorite ten athletes, including making terrible memes, cringe-worthy t-shirts, and appointing himself the “11th member of Team Refugee.”
Catastrophilia aside, the most fascinating part of the Rio Olympics is without a doubt the Refugee Olympic Team. Coming from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the athletes competing under the Olympic flag were brought together by the International Olympic Committee to raise awareness about the global refugee crises but to also act as heroes of hope and determination amidst unfathomable circumstances. As they share incredible stories of willpower and survival, the ten outstanding men and women have garnered much attention in the press, but when it comes to full-fledged support, one particular fan sticks out:
Meet @RefugeeGuy11, an unflappable Instagram and Twitter user who’s made it his personal mission to spread the gospel of his favorite olympians. The self-proclaimed “11th member of Team Refugee” has made handmade shirts, created a hand signal for fans of the team, designed a slew of misguided memes, and run his own swimming practice. His tweets and graphics are cringe-worthy—like when he tweeted repeatedly about being “totally confused about it being winter in Rio” and complained that he couldn’t sleep because he was worried no one would see his shirt designs—but when it comes to pluck, few fans compare.
But even though his Twitter, created a little less than a month ago, has only five followers (including us), and his social media skills leave quite a bit to be desired, @RefugeeGuy11, like his Olympics heroes, isn’t giving up. Posting new memes alongside videos of himself every few hour on Instagram, his commitment to the team is charming, if a little weird, and never less than inspiring. Apparently after trying to arrange corporate sponsorships for the team, the superfan traveled to Rio to get the message out about “Team Little R.”