— Published 24 August 2021

The Afghan flag to be displayed at the opening


Andrew Parsons, the IPC President, announced during a press conference on Monday, August 23rd, that Afghanistan would be represented at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Tuesday, August 24th. However, because of the absence of athletes, its presence will be reduced to a flag. The IPC and the organising committee have agreed that the Afghan flag will be displayed at the opening ceremony as a “sign of solidarity”. This is a way for the Paralympic movement to send a “message of peace” to the world, as explained by Andrew Parsons. The flag will be carried by a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Two Afghan athletes, Zakia Khudadadi in taekwondo and Hossain Rasouli in athletics, were due to take part in the Paralympics. Zakia Khudadadi was even to become Afghanistan’s first female Paralympian. But they were unable to reach Tokyo because of the cancellation of commercial flights since the Taliban took power on August 15th.