The Paralympic Games in Tokyo were inaugurated and in the parade of the participating countries the flag of Afghanistan was observed, in tribute to the absence of the two parathletes who could not fly to Japan
The flag of Afghanistan walked solo at the opening ceremony of the JTokyo Paralympic Games in tribute to the absence of the two parathletes who were unable to fly to Japan as a result of the Taliban seizure of power.
The flag of the Middle Eastern country came out shortly after the start of the parade of 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 Afghan flag was carried by a volunteer in a gesture of solidarity with the situation in the country, 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 fundamentalist group after 20 years of war.
It was initially planned that it would be 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 make it a more neutral act, the communications director explained today. of the International Paralympic Committee (ICC), Craig Spence.
The turbulent political situation in the country has impacted their participation in the Paralympic Games, in which Afghanistan was to have two representatives, the taekwondo player Zakia Khudadadi and the athlete Hossain Rasouli, who were unable to travel to the country.
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 the swimmer Abbas Karimi, born in Afghanistan but who will be part of the refugee team because he left his country at the age of 16, and who paraded with the rest of his team in the first place of the act .
The parathletes paraded inside the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, converted into an airport and before the reception of dozens of flight attendants dressed in devices similar to the “hatcopter” popularized in the animation series Doraemon, where their protagonists use them to fly.