Taekwondo fighter Kimia Alizadeh is the only Iranian woman to have won an Olympic medal. Now she has left her country – and is settling with the regime in Tehran.
01/13/2020, 2:54 p.m.
The only Iranian Olympic medalist to date has said that she has left her home country. “I am one of millions of oppressed women in Iran who have been played with at will for years,” Taekwondo fighter Kimia Alizadeh wrote on Instagram: “I dressed the way they wanted. I repeated every sentence they ordered. It’s not about me, it’s not about us. We’re just tools. ”
The 21-year-old Alizadeh won the bronze medal in the class up to 57 kg at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2019, the BBC named her one of the 100 most influential women in the world. In her open letter, she wrote that Iranian athletes were “humiliated and exploited”. “I have no other wish but to live with Taekwondo, in safety and health.”
She did not want to take part in hypocrisy, corruption and lies. She accused the officials of exploitation and a misogynistic attitude. “This decision is more difficult than winning Olympic gold,” said Alizadeh. “I will remain a daughter of Iran wherever I am.” How her decision will affect the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the summer is open.
According to the Iranian news agency ISNA, Alizadeh appears to be in the Netherlands. In the only official statement so far, Deputy Minister of Sport Mahin Farhadizadeh did not go into the conditions described by Alizadeh. According to ISNA, she said: “I haven’t read Kimia’s post, but as far as I know, she wanted to continue her physiotherapy treatments.”
Alizadeh is the third high-class sports star who has rebelled against the conditions in Iran in recent months. In December, the Chess Federation announced that Grand Master Alireza Firouzja had decided to stop playing for Iran because of the informal ban on not being allowed to compete against Israelis.
The international judo association had announced three months earlier that judoka Saeid Mollaei had refused to return home. He was concerned about his safety after refusing to refrain from fighting to prevent a final against an athlete from Israel.
The captain of volleyball players also harshly criticized
With a 3-0 win over China in the Asian qualifying tournament, the Iranian volleyball players qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Saeid Marouf, captain of the team and Iranian sports hero, used this success to make a harsh settlement with the leadership of his country. On Instagram, where Marouf followed 1.8 million people, he left an entry after the decisive encounter that is exceptional in its clarity for the Iranian sports world:
“Today, in our grief and despair, there is no room for joy at our success, which we have fought for for years. Our despair does not only concern the suffering and grief of the people in our country. It also relates to a future to which we no longer believe. We wish it was the last act of a production full of lies and deceit, lack of wisdom and inability. His contribution ends with the words: “Take care of yourself, take care of each other. We have nobody but ourselves.”