The Refugee Paralympic Team competes under the Olympic Flag. Alia Issa, a refugee from Syria will be the flag bearer alongside Abbas Karimi.
#RefugeeParalympicTeam Press conference!
The Flag bearers of the Refugee Paralympic Team have been chosen.
Club thrower Alia Issa, Syrian refugee living in Athens, was announced as flag bearer alongside swimmer Abbas Karimi at the #OpeningCeremony.
“Women with disabilities: don’t stay at home, do sports. I am an example of that. I want to be an example for all the refugees to follow their dreams.”
Discus thrower Shahrad Nasajpour, refugee from Iran, also attended the conference. “It’s my second time on the refugee team, many things changed and have been done. I am glad to be in this competition again”, he said.
Both athletes compete on 27 August! Shahrad also comes back to the National Stadium on 3 September. Stay tuned! Good luck, Alia and Shahrad! It’s great to have you here ❤️
Joining her is swimmer Karimi, who is to compete in the men’s 50-metre butterfly S5.
He was the first refugee athlete to win a medal at the World Para Swimming Championships, claiming silver in 2017 in his favoured event. Karimi is to be the only Afghan athlete at the Games, after the Afghanistan Paralympic team was forced to withdraw due to flights being cancelled in Kabul in the wake of the power shift to the Taliban.
The Refugee Paralympic Team was unveiled in June and also features taekwondo athlete Parfait Hakizimana and canoeist Anas Al Khalifa. Al Hussein and Nasajpour are to compete at their second Games, as they were part of the Individual Paralympic Athletes team at Rio 2016.
The Refugee Paralympic Team is set to be the first team out at the Parade of Nations at tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony.