17-year-old Sadaf and 18-year-old Shabnam Rahimi are just like many other teenage girls that play sports. They're passionate, driven, and they dream of one day going to the Olympics. The difference is that this year, one of these inspiring Afghani sisters has made that dream come true.
Despite having limited training equipment to practice their sport, boxing, the sisters train for hours three days a week. Female boxers in Afghanistan do not have access to a real boxing ring, so the Rahimis rely on mats, punching bags, and sparring with their trainers and teammates. Their training takes place in a makeshift gym in Kabul, the Afghan capital, at a sports stadium where the old regime used to stage public executions. This location inspires the Rahimis to want to help create a better image for their country, as well as become the new faces of Afghan women. Sadaf will be proudly representing her country at the 2012 Olympics this summer in London. According to CBS News, she hopes to gain "honor and dignity for herself and other [Afghani] women."
The Taliban banned women from participating in sporting events during the 1990s, and as a result the country was forbidden from playing in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Since the toppling of the Taliban regime in 2001, women have been allowed to participate in sports again, and were sent to the Olympics for the first time in 2004.