Iran’s only woman to win an Olympic medal flees country to escape oppression

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Dubai

Recalling one instance, Kimia Alizadeh said an official told her, ‘It’s not virtuous for a woman to stretch her legs.’
Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, Kimia Alizadeh, has defected from the Islamic Republic in a scathing online letter that accused the government of ‘hypocrisy,’ ‘injustice’ and oppressing women like her while using them as political tools.
Kimia Alizadeh, who won a bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, shared the news on her Instagram account this past weekend.
Kimia Alizadeh of Iran celebrates after winning a bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
‘I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran with whom they have been playing for years,’ the 21-year-old athlete wrote in Persian, accompanied by a black-and-white image of her from the 2016 medal ceremony in which she is draped in the Iranian flag and holding her face in her hands.
‘Should I start with hello, goodbye or condolences?’ Alizadeh wrote in an emotional post that addressed her love of her homeland but anger with its regime.
She said the government took credit for her athletic achievement while humiliating her for her efforts, recalling one instance in which an official told her, ‘It’s not virtuous for a woman to stretch her legs.’—Agencies