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Despite war, Syrian athletes ready for Olympics

All athletes struggle and sacrifice to reach the Olympics, but Syrian athletes have faced more than the usual trials.
Syrian swimmer Baean Jouma trains for the 2016 Rio Olympics with posters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad hung in the background, in Damascus, Syria July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki         SEARCH "SYRIANS OLYMPICS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES - RTSKZVR
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Syria’s Olympic athletes have faced incredible challenges preparing for the international competition during wartime, yet the obstacles have had a positive effect on their morale and psychological well-being, at least according to one prominent sports official.

The hardships of the war and the risks the athletes have taken just to access training facilities have increased their determination and commitment to Olympic achievement, according to Muwaffaq Jomaa, the president of the General Sports Federation of Syria (GSFS).

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