Athletics, Olympics 2024: Kimia Yousofi representing the dreams of Afghan women in Paris

Kimia Yousofi says she will be representing “the stolen dreams and aspirations” of all Afghan women after being unveiled on Tuesday as one of the nation’s six-person team for the Paris Olympics.

The 100m sprinter was Afghanistan’s flag-bearer at the Tokyo Games three years ago, but fled her home country to neighbouring Iran to escape persecution when the Taliban returned to power in August 2021.

She was one of five athletes and administrators, plus families, with ties to the Olympic movement who received safe passage into Australia a year later.

“It’s an honour to represent the girls of my homeland once again. Girls and women who have been deprived of basic rights, including education, which is the most important one,” the 28-year-old said via the Australian Olympic Committee.

“I represent the stolen dreams and aspirations of these women. Those who don’t have the authority to make decisions as free human beings.

“They don’t even have the permission to enter a park.

“I’m deeply grateful to all those who have stood by me on this journey and made this possible,” she added.

A gender-balanced team of three men and three women will represent Afghanistan in Paris later this month in a symbolic move for the first summer Olympics since the Taliban took over in…

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