Iran Defector To Take On Iran’s Regime In Olympics

( Taekwondo competitor Kimia Alizadeh made history at the age of 18 when, during the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won the bronze medal making her Iran’s first-ever female medalist.

At the age of 21, Alizadeh defected from Iran. In a January 2020 Instagram post, Alizadeh announced that she left Iran because she didn’t want to be part of the “hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery.” Describing herself as one of the millions of oppressed women of Iran, Alizadeh did not say where she was. Though Iran’s state-run news claimed that she had “emigrated” to the Netherlands.

In reality, Alizadeh was eventually granted refugee status in Germany where she now lives with her husband.

At the time of her defection, Alizadeh hoped she would still be able to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but not under the Iranian flag.

And though the 2020 Olympics were delayed due to COVID, this year, Alizadeh got what she hoped for. The Iranian defector was able to compete as part of the Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo.

In a qualifying round on Sunday, in what was a rather symbolic match, the Iranian defector faced off against Iran’s Nahid Kiyani Chandah.

And she won.

Then, in a shocking upset, Alizadeh went on to defeat the number one ranked fighter Jade Jones of the UK, thus putting Kimia on track for her second bronze medal.

She defeated China’s Lijun Zhour in the quarterfinals but failed to win over Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilhun in the bronze medal match.

Had Alizadeh prevailed, it would have been the first medal for the Refugee Olympic Team which was created back in 2015 as part of the Olympic Committee’s pledge to aid elite athletes affected by the worldwide refugee crisis.

Alizadeh was Germany’s third refugee athlete to compete in the Olympics.

When she defected in 2020, Kimia Alizadeh said that she had no other request from the world except “Taekwondo, security and a happy and healthy life.” Though she may have lost out on the bronze medal this time around, Kimia certainly got her wish.