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