How billionaire Sylvan Adams helped rescue Afghanistan’s women cyclists

Refugees from the Afghan women's national cycling team. (Screenshot courtesy of a video from the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress)

It sounds like it could be a movie—and maybe, one day, it could become one.

In late August, just before the United States pulled out of Afghanistan, an effort began to save some of the athletes on the Afghan women’s national cycling team from the impending Taliban takeover.

This mission was partly spearheaded by Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli billionaire with a passion for cycling. After moving to Israel in 2015, Adams helped found the country’s first professional cycling team, called “Israel Start-Up Nation”, which has competed globally. Adams personally paid for the rescue of the Afghan cyclists, who will make their way to Canada as refugees.

Adams joins to share the details and origins of this nerve-wracking rescue.

What we talked about:

  • Read “The secret rescue of the Afghanistan women’s cycling team: helped by Canada’s Jewish community” at
  • Learn about Israel Start-Up Nation at


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