The ongoing unrest in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country have left a pair of Paralympians trapped in the capital city of Kabul and unable to compete in the Summer Games.
Two athletes from Afghanistan were scheduled to compete … Taekwondo player Zakia Khudadadi andtrack athlete Hossain Rasouli.
it would’ve been historic as 23-year-old Khudadadi would’ve been the first female representing the country in the Paralympics.
“I just want to be there with the other athletes from the world and give my best. It is an opportunity to show my ability and I will be so proud to stand with all of those athletes,” Khudadadi said last week before the Taliban takeover.
Rasouli and Khudadadi were supposed to arrive in Tokyo on Tuesday with the games scheduled to start on August 24.
“Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo,” a spokesperson for the International Paralympic Committee said. “We hope the team and officials remain safe and well during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, Zakia Khudadadi has pleaded for help in a video message from Kabul to keep her dream of competing at the Games alive.
The collapse of the Afghan government came after the U.S. continued its withdrawal of forces from the country and after two decades American efforts to reshape the region as part of its “war on terror.”