Rohullah Nikpai won Afghanistan’s first-ever medal on this day in Olympic history in 2008


Aug. 20, 2008

Rohullah Nikpai’s victory over Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain in the men’s under 58-kilogram taekwondo competition gave his home country of Afghanistan reason to celebrate.

He not only defeated the defending world champion en route to a bronze medal, but the 21-year-old also earned Afghanistan its first-ever Olympic medal.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called to congratulate Nikpai after the win and also awarded him a house at the government’s expense, the president’s spokesman Humayun Hamidzada told the Associated Press.

Nikpai followed up his performance in Beijing with another bronze-medal showing at the 2012 Games in London.