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Rio Olympics: When A Refugee Wins Gold, Which Anthem Is Played At Their Medal Ceremony?

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The first refugee team to ever compete in the Olympic Games has been embraced in Rio de Janiero, despite having no shared home or flag. But the lack of an anthem has raised questions about Olympic protocol.

At medal ceremonies, the national anthem of the gold medallist plays as his or her flag is raised. But for refugees without a nation to represent, what is played if they reach the podium?

Several songs associated with the Rio Olympics have cropped up this year, including Katy Perry's Olympics-inspired "Rise."

But a representative from the International Olympics Committee told The Huffington Post Canada on Wednesday that if refugees win gold, they will be honoured on the podium with a rendition of the "Olympic Hymn."

Known informally as the Olympic anthem, a variation of the song plays during opening and closing ceremonies. At this year's opening in Rio, a children's choir sang it in Portuguese and English.

Since national anthems played during the medal ceremonies can only be 80 seconds long, a shortened version of the "Olympic Hymn" will be used if a refugee athlete wins gold.

This falls in tradition with other athletes who have competed under the Olympic flag.

Independent athletes, who for various reasons can not represent their home country, are usually included with the "independent nation" team during ceremonies.

fehaid aldeehani
Gold medalist Fehaid Aldeehani poses on the podium following his win at the Olympic Shooting Centre on Aug. 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, marksman Fehaid Al-Deehani became the first independent athlete in history to win a gold medal. The "Olympic Hymn" played during his medal ceremony in men's double trap.

Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" has been previously used in ceremonies when athletes from West and East Germany placed as gold medallists between 1956 to 1964.

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