Afghan Paralympians Among Athletes Able to Flee Kabul amid Taliban Takeover

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2021

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 20: Tugboats move a Paralympic Symbol installed for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Odaiba Marine Park on August 20, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo Paralympics are due to get underway on August 24th and will run through until September 5th with many of the same coronavirus measures as the Olympic Games. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)
Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Two Afghan Paralympians were reportedly among those who fled Kabul following the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan.

Yan Zhuang of the New York Times reported a group of Australian athletes helped them leave the country.

Nikki Dryden, who is a human rights lawyer and former Canadian Olympian, said more than 50 athletes found protection in Australia. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the athletes and their families were granted humanitarian visas.

While Dryden did not identify the Paralympians, she said they were "safely out of Afghanistan."

The Tokyo Paralympics started Tuesday and are scheduled to run through Sept. 5. Zhuang noted the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee said its athletes will not compete.

CNN reported President Joe Biden said his goal is to finish airlifting people out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31. He views the end of the month as a deadline to remove American troops.

CNN also reported that 70,000 people have been evacuated in the last 10 days with the American military taking control of part of the airport in Kabul to facilitate evacuations by the United States and other countries.