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Afghanistan at the Olympics

Afghanistan first appeared at the Olympics in 1936. In the 1936 Summer Olympics which was held in Berlin, Germany, Afghanistan sent a delegation of 19 athletes. Since then, they have participated in most Summer Olympics with a few exceptions (1952, 1976, 1984, 1992 and 2000).

Afghanistan is one of those countries that do not have a lot of resources channeled towards improving their international sporting prowess due mainly to the fact that they have been experiencing internal and external armed conflicts intermittently.

The country was also banned from the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney, Australia mainly due to the Taliban’s discrimination towards women joining any kind of sporting event. In 2004, however, they sent a delegation of five athletes that included the first-ever women athletes sent by Afghanistan. Robina Muqim Yaar (Robina Muqimyar) represented Afghanistan in Athletics (100m sprint) and Fariba Rezayee in Judo (middleweight class, 70 kgs). Robina Muqimyar also attracted international notoriety by running with a hijab. Neither woman won a medal though.

However, this does not mean that they have never won an Olympic medal. In 2008, Afghanistan won their first Olympic medal when Rohullah Nikpai took the bronze in Taekwondo (58 kgs.). In 2012, Nikpai again won the bronze for the same sport, this time in the 68 kgs. division.

Cricket is the country's national sport, unfortunately, it is not currently an Olympic event.


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