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Are Afghanistan athletes competing in the Paris Olympics?

Are Afghanistan athletes competing in the Paris Olympics?

The Taliban took control of the country in August 2021, and access to sports and facilities has been restricted ever since. However, athletes defy the odds and make it to the Paris Olympics.

The return of Taliban rule in Afghanistan has ruined the sports scene. Particularly in the Taliban rule, women face a complete ban on access to sports facilities and participation. 

This follows a hope of progress this year with the announcement of an Olympic squad from both genders. 

The gender-balanced team at the Olympics

Despite the challenges, Afghanistan is set to field a six-athlete team at the Paris Olympics. Three female athletes will compete in athletics and cycling, while the three male contingent will participate in athletics, swimming, and judo.

Athletes will not participate under the Taliban flag

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has drawn a clear line on Afghan participation in the Paris Olympics. Taliban officials will be barred from attending, while the IOC solely recognises the Afghan National Olympic Committee (NOC) for representing Afghan athletes.

More on Olympics

Afghan-origin athletes compete as refugees

The Paris Olympics will also see five athletes of Afghan origin competing under the Refugee Olympic Team banner. These athletes, forced to flee due to the political situation in the country, will find solace and a platform to excel in sports like breaking, cycling, judo, and taekwondo. Notably, experienced Olympians Nigara Shaheen (judo) and Farzad Mansouri (taekwondo) will be participating for the second time. 

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