Zahra Nemati: Iran’s female Olympic flagbearer

On Friday, Iran’s Paralympics Gold Medalist (London Olympics 2012) archer Zahra Nemati, 31, carried country’s flag into the Maracana Stadium for the Rio 2006 Olympics. Wearing a green Hijab, she lead Iranian Olympic team made up overwhelmingly of men.

Zahra Nemati became the third female Olympics flagbearer since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Rifle shooter Lida Fariman, 24, carried Iranian flag at 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Rower Homa Hosseini, 20, carried Iranian flag at 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Nemati will be busy for a couple of months in Rio de Janeiro. She is pulling double duty and will be back next month for the Paralympics, where she’s the defending gold medalist in the individual recurve W1/W2.

Asked her after winning a gold medal at previous Paralympics, is she ready to add an Olympics medal to her collection, Nemati said: The abled archers are stronger than disabled people and to win a gold medal will be difficult. So, I know I can make a huge impact on others as a disabled athlete and this is a great victory for me.

Zahera Nemati, former taekwondo black-belt holder was paralyzed in a car accident when she was 18. She picked up archery a few years later simply because, “I wanted to do some sport.”

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution women have made tremendous progress in politics, education, business, and sports. In education they’ve left men even behind. However, due to ban on Hijab at some international events, Iranian women teams have refused to participate.

One of the most popular sports among young Iranian women is Japanese martial art Ninjitsu for self-defense. However, that sport in Iran was declared a threat to Israel and the so-called ‘civilized world’ by the Washington Post and UK’s Daily Mail in 2012. Watch a training video below.

In other news – Lebanese Olympics team kicked Israeli team off bus to Rio 2016 games on Friday. Brazil government has given millions of dollars to local Jewish community to protect 40,000 Jewish visitors to Rio 2016 from US-Israel created ISIS.


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