Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Ice Lady Abdollahkhani optimistic on winter sports

February 16, 2022 - 19:33

TEHRAN - Zohreh Abdollahkhani, known as the Iranian Ice Lady, is optimistic about ice climbing and winter sports in Iran.

Abdollahkhani won the ice climbing bronze medal at the Asian Championship in 2014 in Cheongsong, South Korea. She became the first Iranian woman to win a medal in the Sport at an international competition.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, Abdollahkhani explained how she asses the condition of winter sports in Iran.

“I found it super interesting that there are some sports that we already have the facilities of them in Iran such as ice hockey. We also can attend or practice in the winter sports that we have never been active in before.

“When I took up ice climbing as a serious pursuit, facilities were sparse in Iran. And the good thing about it is that since there are winter games like Olympics, we could have some chances for getting the quota in some sports like curling,” she said.

“I'm living in Norway at the moment due to part of my Ph.D. project. Ice climbing is on the list for the Olympic Games. So, there are chances that we would have it as an official sport in Olympics in the coming years. I don't know when exactly will happen, but we have some signs of it from the previous youth winter games, so there are hopes for Ice climbing to be part of the official Olympic Games in the future.

“Our ice climbers have been fantastic in international competitions. Being on the top podium of 2012 and now in 2022, we have Iranian players grabbing gold medals 10 years later, which is awesome. But it is super disappointing that the federation didn't send the female athletes to the competition. Hence, it is so sad considering the fact that the world championship will also serve as world rankings.

“Two years ago, Iranian national team, both male and female teams, got the silver medal at the world championship and then we lost our position just because the federation didn't send female players. That was so devastating. They trained so hard, and then they lost their opportunity to compete in that event. I hope better days are ahead of the winter games for Iran's Sport,” she concluded.

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