Afghan athletes competing for Afghanistan at the Olympics and Paralympics 2012.
It is not the first time Afghan athletes are present during the Olympics. Afghanistan competed in 12 Summer Games. The country made its first appearance at the Berlin games in 1936 and has sent a delegation to most Summer Games since then.
In 1999, Afghanistan was banned from the Olympics due to its discrimination against women under Taliban rule as well as its prohibition of sports of any kind, and thus missed out on the Sydney Olympics of the year 2000. Afghanistan was re-instated in 2002, following the fall of the Taliban, and sent five representatives to the Athens Games in 2004. Among them were two women, Robina Muqim Yaar and Friba Razayee, the first ever women to compete for Afghanistan at the Olympics.
Afghanistan sent a team of four competitors, including three men and one woman, Mehboba Ahdyar, to the Beijing Games of 2008. Rohullah Nikpai won Afghanistanâ€™s first Summer Olympic bronze medal during these games in the menâ€™s Taekwondo 58kg. This year Afghanistan is sending a team of six competitors, five men and one woman.
Afghan athletes train under the most difficult circumstances and do not have access to all the luxuries and comfort the athletes of rich countries have, but they are determined, proud and train very hard.
The 2012 athletes say:
Rohullah Nikpai: "Afghan athletes are facing lots of challenges. We have a lack of good facilities to exercise in, Nesar and myself have been selected for the London 2012 Olympics but we are lacking lots of things. For instance, we don't have good facilities, which there are supposed to be for taekwondo."
Fahim Rahimi: "I want to make my country proud, to bring back a medal, but no money for the bus fare means my students often can't make it here, and I don't even train on a standard bench."
Tahmina Khoistani: "Every day I come to train I'm faced with a battle. A few weeks ago a taxi driver refused to bring me here and left me at the side of the road when he found out what I was doing, and last week someone found my phone number and was threatening kidnap."
The list of names and profiles of the athletes competing in the Olympics 2012 is not on the official site of the Olympics 2012 yet, therefore we can only provide you with the information we found on the Internet so far and will update our information as soon as the profiles of the Afghan athletes are known. In the mean time feel free to contribute and correct any information you have on the Afghan athletes.
The Afghan athletes who qualified for the Olympics and Paralympics 2012 are:
For the men: Boxing, Flyweight, Ajmal Faisal, Judo 66kg, Ajmal Faizzada, Taekwondo 68kg, Rohullah Nikpai, and the second Taekwondo athlete is Nesar Ahmad Bahavee for the 80kg.
For the women: Tahmina Khoistani is to compete in the 100m sprint at the London Olympics. She is Afghanistan's only female Olympian.
Power lifter Fahim Rahimi, is the only Afghan athlete to have qualified for this year's Paralympics in London.