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Afghanistan’s flag paraded at the Paralympic Games, although its athletes were unable to travel

Afghanistan’s flag paraded at the Paralympic Games, although its athletes were unable to travel

The flag of Afghanistan paraded from the hands of a volunteer this Tuesday during the inauguration ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, in homage to the absence of the two parathletes who could not fly to Japan following the Taliban seizure of power in your country.

The badge of the Asian country came out shortly after the start of the parade of the parathletes, which was opened by the Refugee team and the Icelandic team, following the order, as it already happened in the parade of the Olympic Games, based on the Japanese alphabet. The Argentine delegation did not take long to appear, commanded by Rosario sprinter Yanina Martínez and Santa Fe judoka Fabián Ramírez.

The Afghan flag was carried by a volunteer in a gesture of solidarity with the country’s situation, where commercial flights have been suspended and work continues to evacuate people who have been involved in the chaos unleashed by the return to power of the Taliban after 20 years of war.

It was initially planned that it was a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who carried the Afghan flag at the ceremony, but the organizers finally ruled it out to be a more “neutral” act, as explained by the communications director of the International Paralympic Committee (ICC), Craig Spence.

Afghanistan was to have two representatives in Tokyo, taekwondo Zakia Khudadadi and athlete Hossain Rasouli, who were unable to travel to Tokyo. In any case, Khudadadi and Rasouli managed to leave Afghanistan in the last hours and reached Australia within a retinue of almost 50 local and family athletes, thanks to the management of former athletes from around the world and the oceanic government.

Khudadadi, who was to become the first woman to represent the Middle Eastern country in Paralympics, posted a video on social media last week asking for help to participate in the Tokyo Games.

Who will compete in the Japanese capital is swimmer Abbas Karimi, born in Afghanistan but will be part of the Refugee team Due to the fact that he left his country at the age of 16, and that he paraded with the rest of his team in the first place of the act.

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