Meet Nadia Nadim: The Professional Footballer & Student Surgeon Who Fled Afghanistan At 11 After Her Father Was Killed By Taliban
Nadia Nadim’s story is extraordinary! The 33-year-old is not only a professional footballer, she’s also training to be a surgeon.
Born in the city of Herat in Afghanistan, her father – an Afghan National Army (ANA) general, was killed by Talibans when she was 11-years-old. She, along with her mother and sisters then fled the country and arrived in Italy through Pakistan. They then went in a lorry with the intention of travelling to London, however when they got off the transport they were told that they had been dropped in Denmark – a country in Northern Europe.
Nadia stated on her website: “After a few days, we all turfed off the truck, expecting to see Big Ben. We did not. All we saw was trees. We asked a passer-by and found out that the bus had dropped us in Denmark.”
Her football career was then birthed when she noticed girls playing at a football club near her refugee camp.
Having played for teams such as Sky Blue FC, Portland Thorns FC, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, Nadia is now playing for Racing Louisville FC. She’s also represented the Danish national team since 2009.
In 2018, Nadia was named the twentieth most powerful woman in international sports by Forbes. A true inspiration indeed, she also speaks 11 languages.
You can watch Nadia’s 2018 Ted Talk below!