As his plane glided toward Tokyo, Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, heard the bad news: Two athletes from Afghanistan would not be able to fly safely from Kabul to Japan to compete in the Games.

Afghanistan, and in particular the airport in the capital, Kabul, had dissolved into chaos after the Taliban takeover two weeks ago, with thousands of desperate Afghans trying to evacuate. At a news conference shortly after Parsons landed in Tokyo, organizers announced that the two athletes — Zakia Khudadadi, 22, who had qualified in taekwondo, a sport making its Paralympics debut, and Hossain Rasouli, 26, a sprinter — would not attend.

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