Refugee Paralympic Team will include first ever woman (100 days, 100 ways)

Alia Issa will be the first woman on the Refugee Paralympic Team
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As part of the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, On Her Turf is compiling a list of 100 ways women can make history at this summer’s Games. This is the ninth post in the series. If you missed the first eight, you can find them here:

No. 21-30 | No. 31-40 | No. 41-50 | No. 51-60 | No. 61-70 No. 71-80 | No. 81-90 | No. 91-100 


20. At the Tokyo Paralympics, Alia Issa will become the first woman to ever compete as a member of the Refugee Paralympic Team. Issa, a Syrian refugee who lives in Greece, competes in the club throw.

19. At age 12, skateboarder Hiraki Kokona is set to become Japan’s youngest ever Olympian. Several other young skateboarders – including 13-year-old Sky Brown (Great Britain) and 13-year-old Rayessa Leal (Brazil) – will also achieve this feat for their respective countries.

18. Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig is set to become the first triathlete to compete at five Olympic Games. In Tokyo, the mother-of-three could also become the first triathlete to win three career Olympic medals.

17. Beiwen Zhang is an outside contender to win the United States’ first ever Olympic medal in badminton. Badminton is one of just five Olympic sports in which the U.S. has never won a medal.

16. At age 17, Coco Gauff is set to become the youngest Olympic tennis player since 2000, and the second-youngest U.S. Olympic tennis player.

15. After qualifying for one of the toughest swimming doubles in history, Katie Ledecky could become the first athlete to win gold in both the 200m and 1500m at the same Olympics.

14. In 2016, Rwanda’s women’s sitting volleyball team became the first women’s team from Sub-Saharan Africa to compete at the Paralympic Games in any sport. Led by captain Liliane Mukobwankawe, Rwanda will make a second Paralympic appearance in Tokyo.

13. American Brittney Reese could become just the second woman to win multiple Olympic gold medals in long jump. Reese previously won gold in 2012 and silver in 2016.

12. World champion Kate Courtney could become the first American to win Olympic gold (or silver) in mountain biking, an event that has been contested at every Olympics since 1996.

11. Russia’s Svetlana Romashina will enter Tokyo tied for most Olympic medals in artistic swimming (5) and most gold medals (also 5). Romanashina, who is expected to compete in both the duet and team events in Tokyo, could leave the Olympics as the sole owner of both records.

The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this story. 

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC