Paralympics: Afghan turmoil shattering dream of trapped athletes is 'heartbreaking,' says IPC chief

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president said connected Wednesday that it was bittersweet that Afghan athletes trapped successful Kabul would not beryllium capable to vie successful the Games and heartbreaking to ticker a pistillate athlete's video plea for assistance successful reaching Tokyo.

"There are nary commercialized flights. We each person seen the images from the airdrome successful Kabul. It became wide to america close from the opening that determination volition beryllium nary harmless mode to effort to bring these athletes to Tokyo," IPC President Andrew Parsons told Reuters successful an interview.

Amid the country's ongoing turmoil, the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee said connected Monday that 2 Afghan athletes would not beryllium capable to be the Games that commence connected Aug. 24.

    Taekwondo jock Zakia Khudadadi and way jock Hossain Rasouli had been scheduled to get successful Tokyo connected Aug. 17.

      In a video message, Khudadadi present made a plea for assistance connected Tuesday arsenic she sought to flight Kabul and revive her shattered imagination of becoming the country's archetypal pistillate rival astatine the Paralympic Games.

      "I saw the video message. By seeing what's happening successful Afghanistan and this is shattering the dreams of 1 of our athletes, it is truly bittersweet and it truly breaks my heart," Parsons said.

      Parsons added that the committee would enactment with the Afghan squad to enactment her pursuing her imagination again, including perchance competing astatine the Games successful Paris successful 2024.

      But present is "too soon" to sermon plans, helium said.

      "It's thing that goes way, way, way, mode bigger than sports. And we are archetypal acrophobic successful Afghanistan arsenic a federation and with the quality beings, particularly the pistillate of that nation. I deliberation first, the federation needs to specify its ain destiny."

        Like the Olympics that ended earlier this month, the Tokyo Paralympics volition instrumentality spot mostly without spectators, organizers person said, arsenic Japan has extended COVID-19 exigency measures successful the superior and different regions that volition tally done the Games.

        The big metropolis Tokyo announced 4,377 caller coronavirus cases connected Tuesday, aft a grounds 5,773 connected Friday.

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