CM – First woman on the Paralympic refugee team encourages others to try sports

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Women with disabilities should not stay at home, says Alia Issa, one of two flag-bearers of the six-strong refugee team.

Paralympist Alia Issa seen in this handout photo published by Olympic Information Services (OIS) is, hopes that other women with disabilities will follow suit. (Photo: AFP)

The first female member of the Paralympic refugee team said Monday (23 August) that it was an « honor » to be at the Tokyo Games and urged other women with disabilities to Engage in sport.

Alia Issa will be one of two flag-bearers of the six-person refugee team at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Tuesday, which was postponed for a year by the pandemic.

The 20-year-old who was born in Greece and whose family is from Syria, will compete at the club litter event in Tokyo – and hopes that others will follow their example.

« I would like to tell other disabled women that they will not stay at home, Do sports every day, be out in the world. I hope I am the first example it follows, « she said at a press conference.

 » I never believed that I would be with the once in my life Paralympic Games and that I would be here in Tokyo the would be the first female refugee at the Paralympic Games. It’s a great honor for me. « 

When she was four, Issa contracted smallpox, which damaged her nervous system. She now uses a wheelchair and has some difficulty speaking.

It was three years ago She started parasport years ago and has been training in club throwing for two years.

She will carry the flag for the refugee team on Tuesday together with the swimmer Abbas Karimi, who grew up in Afghanistan.

After Rio in 2016, it will only be that second time a refugee team has participated in the Paralympics.

On Tuesday, the team’s chief-de-mission, Ileana Rodriguez, said the six Paralympians represent « 82 million people displaced around the world » and one Want to send a message of hope.

« We are very grateful to the countries that accept refugees and encourage countries that can help refugees, » said Rodriguez.

« We hope this is a strong message who we auc h can leave behind the people in Japan. « 

Japan, the third largest economy in the world, granted 47 people refugee status in 2020, which is, according to official figures, slightly more than 1 percent of the asylum applications received this year.

Afghans who tried to flee the Taliban overwhelmed the US-led military operation at Kabul airport, resulting in tragic scenes in which at least seven people were killed.

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