By Sowjanya Shankar

So, it seems that all prayers seeking for Andyar’s safety has been heard. She is found safe. Mehbooba Andyar, who was the only Afghan female scheduled to be competing in the Beijing Olympic Games next month, has resurfaced after going missing in Italy last week and is en route to Norway, where she will be seeking asylum.

When Andyar could not be found at her training camp in Formia, there were fears that her disappearance may have been linked to a series of death threats that she had received at home from Muslim extremists, who are opposed to the concept of a woman running in the Olympics.

However, concerns for her family’s safety are not over because, since Ahadgar’s mysterious disappearance, her parents have been under so much pressure from the Afghan Olympic Committee in Kabul to get their daughter back into her spikes that they have been threatened with imprisonment. Her parents, though, were also in the dark as to her whereabouts until she phoned them.

While her safety is a relief within Olympic circles, her decision to go into hiding a month before the Games is a galling blow because, as an Afghan woman who is proud of her athleticism and her Muslim religion, she became a poster girl for the Games. Ahadgar had been on a scholarship from the Olympic Solidarity program, which financed training camps in Kuala Lumpur and Italy, even though her running times in her event, the 1,500 metres, meant that she would struggle to finish within a minute of the winners.

And now that she is back in the track, I wish that she taste the fruit of success after undergoing the unseen hardships. Way to go Andyar. We are with you.

Reference: Times.com
Image Source: Thepoormouth.blogspot.com

Advertisements