Khosravi Vafa: We work together to promote Paralympic sports

February 8, 2021 - 14:41

TEHRAN – President of Iran’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC) Mahmoud Khosravi Vafa says that the Paralympics sports have been promoted in Iran in the last two decades.

In a press conference held at the National Olympic and Paralympic Academy in Tehran on Monday, Khosravi Vafa talked about several issues with the media representatives.

“Iran’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC) was established in 1980 and eight years later we participated at the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul in four sports events. Since then, the Iranian Para athletes have shone in sitting volleyball, athletics, powerlifting, shooting, archery, table tennis, goalball, and Alpine ski. The Para athletes have gained the trust of our society with their eye-catching performance in the international events,” Khosravi Vafa said.

“The Iranian Para athletes have won 957 gold, 832 silver and 655 bronze medals in all international events including Paralympic Games, Asian Para Games, world championships, FESPIC Games, and IWAS over the past years. All of us must work together to promote the Paralympic sports because they belong to all people,” he added.

“Iranian women have also proved that how strong they are. Zahra Nemati has won two gold medals in Para archery at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games and has also represented Iran in the 2016 Olympic Games. Sareh Javanmardi has also claimed two gold medals in shooting in Rio. Also, our three Para athletes have passed away over the past years and we are also mourning loss of them. Siamand Rahman was not just a powerlifter who broke the world and Paralympics records, he is remembered because of his chivalrous behavior and sportsmanship. Para archer Razieh Shirmohammadi and Para cyclist Bahman Golbarnejhad have also died.

Iran’s National Paralympic Committee (NPC) had already announced that it would not send the football 5-a-side to the Paralympics, however the committee later changed its decision but IBSA said the deadline has expired. Iran football 5-a-side won a silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Khosravi Vafa said the Iran’s NPC could make a better decision but it was a rushed decision.

Iran will partake in nine sports at the upcoming Games which have been rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Iran sent a record 110 athletes to Rio 2016, returning eight golds, nine silvers and seven bronzes to finish 15th in the medals table.

“It’s too soon to make a prediction about the performance of our delegation but we are optimistic about our Para athletes,” Khosravi Vafa stated.

Due to the U.S. sanctions, Iran failed to import some Paralympic sports’ equipment but the NPC President says that they have almost solved the problem.

“We have reached self-sufficiency in manufacturing some equipment. We have made boccia ramps and balls and powerlifting equipment,” Khosravi Vafa concluded.

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