Refugee Olympic Team: Where are they now?
Updated 6:40 AM ET, Wed August 9, 2017
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(CNN)They came, they saw, their stories inspired the world.
Ten athletes — victims of unimaginable hardship, forced to leave their homes in South Sudan, Congo, Ethiopia and Syria — united under a single flag.
IOC President Thomas Bach called them "a symbol of hope" in a time of crisis. The Human Rights Watch claimed their involvement had "reframed the debate."
A year on from Rio 2016, how have the lives of the members of the Olympic Refugee Team changed?
Yiech Pur Biel: South Sudan, 800m
Yiech Pur Biel only remembers crying twice in his life: when he was separated from his mother as a child during the devastating Sudanese civil war and, many years later, when he found out he'd be running the 800m at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
One year on: He might not have qualified from his heat, finishing in 1:54.67, but Pur Biel's life has changed forever.
Just months before the Games began, the 22-year-old was still training barefoot in the vicinity of the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.
But he has now traveled the world, attended the first UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, and met a number of world leaders, including former American President Barack Obama and Pope Francis.
Yet his most cherished moment has been a telephone call from his mother.
"My family never believed I was alive," Pur Biel tells CNN, explaining that someone from his hometown of Nasir had heard about his Rio exploits and took his mother to an aid agency to make the call.
"I was happy to talk to them; [now] I want to meet my mother face-to-face, as well as my brother and sister.
"I have a big refugee family, but I also have my real family which needs my care."
The runner's mother didn't know what the Olympics were, but understood her son had gone "somewhere far away" and would come back safely.
Pur Biel is now training for Tokyo 2020, alongside studying for a diploma in public relations — something he "never thought possible."
He has also met his idol, double Olympic champion David Rudisha, telling the Kenyan he hopes to break his 800m world record.
Yusra Mardini: Syria, Swimming
The tale of Yusra Mardini, Syria's teenage swimmer who won her Olympic 100m butterfly heat just a year after swimming for her life, captivated the world.
Her house in Aleppo was bombed, the motor on the dinghy transporting her from Turkey to Greece stopped working, but she never lost hope.
Together with her sister, Sarah, Mardini pushed the boat for three hours through the Aegan sea toward Greek shores, potentially saving the lives of the 18 other migrants on board.
She might not have made the semifinals in Rio, but insisted "the only thing I wanted was to compete."
One year on: Mardini is fighting new battles, shedding light on the millions displaced around the world and reclaiming the word 'refugee' as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Named by People magazine as one of '25 women changing the world,' the swimmer is in the process of penning an autobiography, with the story of her life also set to be told in a film by the award-winning director Stephen Daldry.
Mardini competed in the FINA World Aquatic Championships this July, returning to Hungary just two years after sleeping rough in a Budapest train station en route from Syria to Germany.
She is currently living in Berlin, preparing for Tokyo 2020.
Popole Misenga: Democratic Republic of Congo, Judo
Having grown up amid the five-year civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, judoka Popole Misenga sought asylum — without a passport, money or food — in Brazil after the 2013 World Championships in Rio. Three years later, he competed at the Olympics in the same city.
"My fight in the Olympics will be for all refugees, to give them faith in their dreams," Misenga told CNN last year, before going on to reach the last 16 of the men's 90kg division, losing to world No. 1 Gwak Dong-Han of South Korea in the final minute of his bout.
One year on: Misenga has been granted asylum in Brazil, married a local and become a father.
He says Rio is a "magical place" to live and, for the first time since childhood, he has been reunited with many of his relatives, screaming "I'm alive! I'm alive!" into his phone during a call with his brother.
Rose Nathike Lokonyen: South Sudan, 800m
Thirteen years after running from soldiers in Chukudum, South Sudan, Rose Nathike Lokonyen became the Refugee Olympic Team's first flagbearer. She then went on to compete against some of the world's finest middle-distance athletes, finishing seventh out of nine in her 800m heat in 2:16.64.