Paris 2024: the Olympic dream of Marzieh Hamidi, exiled from Afghanistan

The Afghan delegation parades at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Illustration).


Text by: RFI Follow

3 mins

Afghan taekwondo champion Marzieh Hamidi had to flee her country last August, which fell under the yoke of the Taliban, for exile in France, where she dreams of participating in the Paris Olympics in two years.


Read more

Born in exile in Iran 20 years ago, Marzieh Hamid is once again uprooted, far from her family and friends, this time in Vincennes, east of the French capital.

She tells AFP that the return to power of the Taliban forced her to leave her country and no longer allowed her to represent her country on the international sports scene.

 When I was in Afghanistan, I played sports to make my people proud, for the women and for myself.

But that was no longer possible and I became a refugee again, because I was born in exile 

,” explains Marzieh Hamidi.


I always train for the same goal.

Above all, after the arrival of the Taliban, I decided to work harder than before and to go to the Olympic Games to be proud of my country

 ", underlines the one who has won several gold medals in regional competitions and national.

“My success is my fight”

But the ultra-repressive treatment of women reinstated by the Taliban regime and symbolized by the exclusion of all secondary education, forced her to flee to preserve her freedom.


My fight started when I was playing sports as a girl in a traditional society in Afghanistan 

,” she recalls.

As a girl from Afghanistan, I don't accept this ridiculous Burqa.

All governments must accept women who do not like the hijab.

We do not accept the obligatory hijab!

— marzieh hamidi (@MarziehHamidi) May 8, 2022


And now I take this fight more seriously, because my sport is my fight, my success is my fight against terrorists who are against women



Through this sport, I fight for the women of Afghanistan and try to be their voice, especially the sportswomen who are stuck in Afghanistan and nobody hears 

," she says.

I am in contact with all the taekwondo girls who are stuck in Afghanistan.

Nobody helped them.

They are frustrated every day, they cannot play sports, they cannot study 

,” she laments.

Do not fight under the Taliban flag

 Regarding his hopes of participating in the 2024 Olympics, the path promises to be difficult, and not only from a sporting point of view.


I am in a dilemma whether or not I am allowed to wear the colors of the old Afghan flag, but there is a possibility for me to join the refugee team

 ” set up by the International Olympic Committee since the Rio 2016 Olympics, explains Marzieh Hamidi, who sweeps away any idea of ​​representing on the international scene what Afghanistan has become.

How could my conscience accept that I fight under the colors of their flag (Taliban, editor's note) when they have been killing women in the name of jihad for twenty years, because they say that if you receive an education, are you a bad woman?

 “, she is indignant.


Marzieh came back after a long break, with everything that happened to her, without practicing.

So physically, we will have to do some work to get her back in shape and regain her ideal weight as well as her physique to the maximum 

, ”said her trainer Jesse Van Thuyne.


On the other hand, she has very good techniques, (...) we will do everything to support her on her project to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics

 ", he adds.

Imagine he is a Talib and he is beaten by me😂😆

— marzieh hamidi (@MarziehHamidi) May 15, 2022

(With AFP)


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Sports

  • Afghanistan

  • taekwondo

  • Womens rights

  • Olympic Games 2024