At the glittering Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, did you see the flag-bearer of the Afghanistan team, the only female member of their contingent, 20-year-old Kimia Yousufi?

Yousufi, who will be competing in the track-and-field events, fled her home country Afghanistan and went to Iran when she was very young. But life in her adopted country was not easy. Yousufi did not get the chance to compete against other Iranian athletes because of restrictions on Afghan refugees.

However, when she was 17, she was discovered by the Afghan government in a competition to unearth female athletes. After training for three years, she represented Afghanistan at the 2016 South Asian Games, impressing many. The Afghan Olympic Committee did not just decide to send Yousufi to the Olympics – they also decided to make her the flag-bearer for Afghanistan at the opening ceremony.

Of course, a medal may seem unlikely. But this young athlete has a different goal. “Though my country still has many issues, I will prove to the world that we are striving,” said Yousofi. –(Scroll.in)