Afghanistan at the Olympics
Afghanistan first showed up in 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. They were 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.
- The Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 led to the 1980 Moscow Games boycott by the USA and another 64 countries.
- Afghanistan sent only two representatives to the Atlanta Games in 1996. One of these, a boxer, arrived late for his weigh-in and was not able to compete. The other, a marathon runner, injured himself before the event, but entered anyway and finished in last place.
- Afghanistan was banned from the Olympics in 1999, and therefore missing the 2000 Sydney Games, due to its discrimination against women under Taliban rule as well as its prohibition of sports of any kind. The country was re-instated in 2002 following the fall of the Taliban.
- Two out of Afghanistan's five representatives at the 2004 Olympics were women - the first from Afghanistan to represent their county at the Olympics.
- Afghanistan's first Olympic medal was a bronze to Rohullah Nikpai in the men's Taekwondo 58 kg at the 2008 Beijing games.
- Afghanistan at the Paralympics
- List of all countries that have participated at the Olympic Games.
- About sport in Afghanistan