Aug 16, 2021 - World

Afghanistan Paralympic team cancels plans to compete in Tokyo

The Afghanistan delegation parades during the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony.
The Afghanistan delegation parades during the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Afghanistan's Paralympic team won't compete in the Tokyo Paralympics following the country's fall to the Taliban and the closure of all commercial flights at the Kabul airport, NPR reports.

Why it matters: Zakia Khudadadi would have been the first woman to represent Afghanistan at a Paralympic Games, which begin Aug. 24, per Reuters.

  • Afghanistan was banned at the 2000 Paralympic games due to the Taliban's treatment of women.

The big picture: At least seven people were killed Monday during chaotic scenes at Kabul's airport and on roads, as thousands of Afghans attempted to flee.

  • "Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo," the International Paralympic Committee's press office told NPR. "We hope the team and officials remain safe and well during this difficult time."

Go deeper: Axios' full Afghanistan coverage

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