A volunteer stepped in to honour the country in ‘solidarity’ as the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Afghanistan.
In one of the most heartbreaking moments seen in recent sports history, the Afghanistan flag was paraded around the Paralympics opening ceremony despite none of their athletes making it to the games.
While there were just two athletes who were set to compete — taekwondo competitor Zakia Khudadadi and discus thrower Hossain Rasouli — neither were able to join their fellow athletes in Tokyo.
Khudadadi, 23, was to be the first woman ever to represent Afghanistan at the Paralympics and said in a video last week that she was “imprisoned inside the house” in the nation’s capital Kabul. Meanwhile, Hossain Rasouli, who lost his left arm in a mine explosion, would have been making his Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
He told the Paralympics website that it was “a dream” to be participating in the Tokyo Games and that he wanted to win a medal for his country.