Settling ‘political’ scores with national heroes

By Ali Amiri
Staff writer
Iranian freestyle wrestler Hassan Yazdani, one of the most popular athletes of the country, is the latest non-political figure to fall victim to a malicious divide that is robbing Iran of its national heroes.
With Olympic and World Championship gold medals under his belt, certainly losing the Sunday night final to David Taylor, the American wrestler, is not the end of the world for Yazdani. He is still young and can achieve much more. However, just like the case of the Iranian national soccer team, the Iranian government’s opposition and political opportunists tried to exploit yet another international stage in order to diminish the pride the nation takes in its athletes, thus robbing it of a much needed sense of solidarity.
Before and after the final, Yazdani was the target of so much hate speech and malicious content on social media, mostly from opposition figures living abroad. These figures have shown that they will stop at nothing to belittle Iran at every turn, often disguising their intent as being opposed to the policies of the established government. Yet, the majority of Iranians stand firm behind their beloved athletes and national heroes, supporting them all the way, taking pride in their victories and achievements, consoling them in case of defeat. For they all know that Iran will prevail, and each and every citizen of this country is part of its greatness.


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