Iraqi Olympians Eager to Let Games Begin As Iraq fields its first Olympic team since the ouster of Saddam Hussein, its athletes are excited about taking part. But the team is small, and its participation is likely to be more symbolic than athletically significant. NPR's Howard Berkes reports.
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Iraqi Olympians Eager to Let Games Begin

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Iraqi Olympians Eager to Let Games Begin

Iraqi Olympians Eager to Let Games Begin

Iraqi Olympians Eager to Let Games Begin

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/3841771/3841772" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Iraqi Olympic team posted banners on a table during a news conference Monday. Howard Berkes, NPR hide caption

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Howard Berkes, NPR

Tiras Odisho Anwaya, the director general of the National Olympic committee of Iraq. Reuters hide caption

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Reuters

Iraq is fielding its first Olympic team since the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi athletes spoke in Athens of their excitement about competing in the Summer Games. Their 29 athletes include a soccer unit, a swimmer and two runners, among others.

But the Iraqi team is small, and its participation is expected to have more symbolic than athletic significance. NPR's Howard Berkes reports.