Iran's Only Female Olympic Medalist Reveals Why She's Fleeing the Country

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 6:25 AM

Iran's only female Olympic medalist, 21-year-old Kimia Alizadeh, will be moving to Germany in a few weeks. She's tired of Iran using her as a propaganda tool, the Daily Mail reported. 

"I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years. I wore whatever they told me and repeated whatever they ordered," she wrote in an Instagram post. "Every sentence they ordered I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me. None of us mattered to them, we are tools."

During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Alizadeh became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal. She secured the bronze in the 57kg category of Taekwondo. Although Iran's leaders were quick to tout her accomplishments, and even take credit for them, Alizadeh says they took issue with her sport of choice.

"The virtue of a woman is not to stretch her legs!" she recounted. 

The young female athlete plans to continue her training in Eindhoven, a city in the Netherlands, where she has been the last few weeks. On Friday the head of Iran's Taekwondo Federation, Seyed Mohammad Pouladgar, attempted to change the story, saying the athlete was traveling to Europe as part of a vacation. Pouladgar dismissed reports that Alizadeh left Iran over political differences. He claimed the reports were "politically motivated rumors amplified by the foreign media," CNN reported.

On Saturday, however, Alizadeh confirmed her move, saying she "didn't want to sit at the table of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery" and wanted no part in the regime's "corruption and lies."

"My troubled spirit does not fit with your dirty economic ties and tight political lobbies. I wish for nothing else than for Taekwondo, safety and for a happy and healthy life," she explained.