You can bet that there wasn't a soul in Afghanistan who thought their Olympians had even a chance for a medal. They had no training facilities, no professional coaches, no funding…in short, no hope.
In July, the only female on the Afghan team disappeared from a training facility in Italy, amid fears she had been kidnapped. Nineteen-year old Mehboba Ahdyar surfaced a week later in a phone call to her parents. She was abandoning her dream of running the 800 and 1500 metre races in the Olympics, she said, and she was going to seek asylum in Norway. The fear of being murderd by Muslim fanatics when she returned home had grown too great.
But the team perservered, and when they get home, they'll have with them Afghanistan's first ever Olympic medal.
On Wednesday, 21-year-old Rohullah Nikpai captured the bronze medal in the 58-kg Taekwondo competition by defeating his …