Team Refugee cyclist Ahmad Badreddin Wais said all the hard work on his "long journey" to Tokyo had paid off after he realised a lifetime dream of competing in the Olympic Games.
The Syrian was the slowest of the 38 finishers in the men's time trial but his result could not wipe the smile off his face.
"It was a long way to reach my dream, a difficult way but they say if you dream it and you work for it finally you get it and that's why I'm here," Badreddin Wais told Eurosport after the time trial.
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"It's hard of course, the temperature was very warm to be honest but it was challenging to reach my dream and for sure I'm proud to be here."
The cyclist represented Syria in the Road World Championships for Juniors but was forced to leave the country in 2013 as the civil war worsened.
He and his family were able to settle in Lausanne, Switzerland, the picturesque mountains providing the perfect environment for him to hone his cycling skills.
But the trauma of the war that was still engulfing his country took an emotional toll and he took a three-year hiatus from competing.
He made his comeback in 2017 at the UCI World Championships in Norway and has continued to compete in the event each year.
He was given a Refugee Athlete Scholarship by the International Olympic Committee, allowing him to participate in the sport's top event.
"It's only the best teams in the world so it's something special to be proud of in my life. I'm really happy to be here especially with the refugee team so I represent 84 million people around the world, it makes me very happy," he said, adding that his family were watching, some from home and others from abroad.
"Most of them are in Aleppo and Turkey, they are watching and I'm sure they are happy to see me in an Olympics so it's a dream to come from this country and be in an Olympics, especially in a time trial."
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