Madiea Ghafoor, a Baloch girl who is representing Netherlands in the Olympics, thanked the Pakistani Diaspora for showering her with so much love and supporting her.
“I am thankful to all the Pakistanis for showing me support,” she said in a video message. She will represent her country in the 4x400m relay.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to represent Pakistan in the Olympics as I was born and raised in the Netherlands.”
Though Madiea cannot speak Urdu but she is fluent in the Balochi language. “I am a Balochi girl,” she said in the video message.
Madiea has her roots in Lyari even though she was born and raised in the Netherlands. Her parents lived in the old Baloch neighbourhood and she is granddaughter of Lal Baksh Rind, a popular political activist in the 70s.
In a show of support the vibrant people of Lyari took up posters and picture of Madiea.
The young sprinter has a bright future ahead. In 2011 she won a bronze medal at the European Athletics Junior Championship held in Estonia, 2011.
The 23-year-old hopes that Pakistani girls will follow her example and take up sports as a profession. “I hope more Pakistani girls take part in sports,” she said in her message.