Aug 28, 2021 - Sports

Afghan athletes arrive in Tokyo to compete in Paralympics

The flag of Afghanistan is presented by volunteers at the Paralympics.

The flag of Afghanistan is presented by volunteers at the Paralympics. Photo: Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Two Afghan athletes arrived in Tokyo on Saturday to compete in the Paralympics, after initially canceling plans to compete following Afghanistan's fall to the Taliban, per a statement from the International Paralympic Committee.

Driving the news: Zakia Khudadadi, a Taekwondo athlete, and track athlete Hossain Rasouli were evacuated from Kabul a week ago and landed in Tokyo on a flight from Paris on Saturday, per the IPC.

  • Khudadadi made a video appeal for assistance to leave Kabul to compete in the Games, per Reuters.
  • "I request from you all, that I am an Afghan woman and as a representative of Afghan women ask for you to help me," Khudadadi said in her video appeal, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "Twelve days ago we were informed that the Afghan Paralympic Team could not travel to Tokyo, a move that broke the hearts of all involved in the Paralympic Movement and left both athletes devastated," IPC President Andrew Parsons said in a statement.

  • "That announcement kickstarted a major global operation that led to their safe evacuation from Afghanistan, their recuperation by France, and now their safe arrival in Tokyo."

Go deeper: Afghanistan flag displayed at Paralympics as "sign of solidarity"

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