On Thursday, June 22, the Embassy of Afghanistan participated in the launch event in Washington, DC to kick-start the Afghanistan Olympic Stadium and training village project. The project is an initiative of the Afghanistan Victory Sports Foundation, which has teamed up with the Afghan MMA Champion Wali Hotak and former World Heavy Weight Champion “Real Deal” Evander Holyfield.
Diplomats Abdullah Khodadad and Sayed Jahid Shah Banoori attended the launch event and met with Evander Holyfield, Wali Hotak, and Chairman of the Afghanistan Victory Sports Foundation Amin Atta following the event.
Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib was unable to attend the event, but spoke with Mr. Holyfield by telephone. He expressed his thanks to Mr. Holyfield for his support of sports initiatives in Afghanistan, and discussed Mr. Holyfield’s interest in visiting Afghanistan to further sports initiatives, especially for youths, in Afghanistan.
As part of the new Peace Through Sports initiative, the Afghanistan Victory Sports Foundation is planning to build the first multi-use Olympic stadium
and training village in Afghanistan. The first leg of the fund-raising campaign was launched here in Washington and included a public sparring session with Afghanistan MMA champion Wali Hotak, which was also attended by World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield, members of the diplomatic community and government officials.
The popularity of martial arts, boxing, and body-building, especially among young men, has sky-rocketed during the past 17 years, reflected in the multiple gyms and fitness facilities that have been established across in Afghanistan the country. American body-building and boxing icons, such as Evander Holyfield, Arnold Schwarzenegger and
Muhammad Ali, are known throughout the country. In 2002, Muhammad Ali visited Afghanistan in his capacity as a UN Messenger for Peace.