I love Iranian people: Jordan Burroughs

February 4, 2017 - 14:30

Jordan Burroughs says that the Iranian people are huge fans of him and he is disappointed that he cannot travel to Iran to compete at the Freestyle World Cup.

The prestigious event has been scheduled to take place in Kermanshah, Iran, from Feb. 16-17 but U.S. wrestlers have been banned from participating in the competition in the western city of Kermanshah in response to President Trump’s executive order forbidding visas for Iranian nationals.

Iran’s announcement came in response to President Donald Trump‘s executive order forbidding visas for Iranians.

“These decisions, these executive decisions, are always so far beyond your reach,” Burroughs told the Associated Press. “You always feel like, `Well, the presidency or these strict laws or these Muslim bans or whatever you like to call them, they’ll never affect me.’ This is one of the few times where something so personal has occurred. Almost like it (was) handed down from the president to us. It’s a bummer.”

Burroughs hasn’t wrestled competitively since August, when the defending gold medalist and top-ranked wrestler in his class lost consecutive matches and failed to reach the podium.

Burroughs looked forward to competing in Iran, where wrestling is a national sport. Iran earned a combined 11 wrestling medals at the last two Olympics, its most of any sport, despite entering zero women’s wrestlers.

“There is such a common respect for wrestlers in Iran,” Burroughs said. “They love wrestling. They’re huge fans of mine. I’m bummed about that. I really wanted to be part of something great in what I consider a great country. Obviously, my views and our country’s views are different.”

“I love Iran. I love their people, and I don’t get into politics,” Burroughs added. “I wasn’t going to make a political stance. I was going to compete.”

The U.S. has sent wrestlers to meets in Iran a total of 15 times since 1998, with Burroughs part of the contingent at the 2013 Freestyle World Cup in Tehran.

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