Rukhsar Habibzai: Chasing a dream as an Afghani Refugee

Credit: Katherine Taylor
Savanna Collins
Jun 30, 2022

Rukhsar Habibzai is an Afghani refugee training for the Olympics with Twenty24, a women’s pro cycling team.

She was forced to leave her country as part of the mass evacuation of vulnerable citizens who faced targeted gender violence by the Taliban. Currently, she rides for Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24, a national cycling team preparing for the Paris Olympics 2024.

Habibzai was the captain of her nation’s first women’s cycling team, a group of ground-breaking women cyclists who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for their bravery and example for the rest of the world’s women to fight against gender-targeted violence and oppression.

She is a champion of the women’s right-to-ride revolution and has inspired many girls to take a stand. Besides being a sportswoman, she was in the dentistry program at Cheragh Medical University.

Habibzai’s talk tells her journey of setting her dreams to be a world champion cyclist, the backlash she experienced because of her dream, and how she plans to achieve it despite harrowing challenges.

You can watch Habibzai’s full TEDxBoston talk below:

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