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Afghanistan’s Olympic flag bearer makes Australia his home

#Afghanistans #Olympic #flag #bearer #Australia #home

Afghanistan Olympic flag-bearer Kimia Yousofi has relocated to Australia after fleeing Taliban pursuit, match officials in Sydney said on Wednesday, and the sprinter already has Paris 2024 in her sights.

The Australian Olympic Committee said the move by Yousofi and dozens of others was the culmination of a year’s work trying to help Afghans with ties to the Olympic movement.

Asian Games taekwondo medalist Ahmad Abasy was also among 31 people from five families who arrived in Australia from early June, with the most recent arrivals landing last week.

Olympic Games officials said they would have faced significant risks had they stayed in Afghanistan because of their support for women in sports and education.

“For the families affected, the stress and uncertainty of this time has been tremendous,” said Matt Carroll, executive director of the Australian Olympic Committee, in a statement.

“These courageous people have endured significant hardships and we are very pleased that our efforts have been successful. Many have spent time in places outside of Afghanistan and it is wonderful to have them on Australian soil now.”

Yousofi, who competed in the women’s 100m at Tokyo 2020, said she still intends to compete in the next Olympics.

“It’s been a journey for me, but I’m very happy to be here. I’m essentially starting a new life here. I’m going to train very hard and it would be exciting to go to Paris – I’ll definitely be competing,” she said.

Many family members traveled to Australia separately, having first secured safe passage to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.

Olympic Games officials said they would organize employment and education opportunities for the families, with sponsors providing shopping vouchers, clothing and other assistance.

Earlier this year, the Afghan women’s soccer team played their first game since fleeing to Australia.

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#Afghanistans #Olympic #flag #bearer #Australia #home

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