Kimia Alizadeh

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Kimia Alizadeh
Taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics women Kimia Alizadeh.jpg
Personal information
Native nameکیمیا علیزاده زنوزی
NationalityIranian[1]
Born (1998-07-10) 10 July 1998 (age 21)
Karaj, Iran
ResidenceHamburg, Germany[2]
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight57 kg (137 lb)
Spouse(s)Hamed Madanchi (m. 2018)
WebsiteOfficial website
Sport
CountryIran (until 2020)
SportTaekwondo
Event(s)Featherweight ( –57 kg)
Kimia Alizadeh after defeat by Eva Calvo (2016)
Lap of Honor of Kimia Alizadeh during 2016 Summer Olympics with the Three Color Flag of Iran

Kimia Alizadeh Zonouzi (Persian: کیمیا علیزاده زنوزی‎, born 10 July 1998) is an Iranian Taekwondo athlete. Alizadeh won a bronze medal in the taekwondo 57 kg weight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by defeating Swedish athlete Nikita Glasnović. This made her the first Iranian woman to win a medal at a Summer Olympics.[3] She also won a gold medal in the women's 63-kg class at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.[4][5] She beat London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 gold medallist Jade Jones at the 2015 World Championship to win a bronze medal.[6] She also won a silver medal two years later at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.

In January 2020, Alizadeh announced that she was leaving Iran permanently for Europe.[7] Explaining her defection, she stated, "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years."[8] She does not intend to compete for Iran in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and is considering which country to represent.

Early life[edit]

Kimia was born in Karaj. Her family are Iranian Azerbaijani.[9] Her father is from Zonuz near Tabriz and her mother is from Ardabil.[1] Until after the 2016 Olympics, her last name was incorrectly recorded as Zenoorin.[1]

Taekwondo career[edit]

Alizadeh at 18 years of age won a bronze medal in the taekwondo 57 kg weight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by defeating Swedish athlete Nikita Glasnović.[10] Her victory made her the first Iranian woman to win a medal at a Summer Olympics.[3]

She also won a gold medal in the women's 63-kg class at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.[4][5] She beat London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 gold medallist Jade Jones at the 2015 World Championship to win a bronze medal.[6] She also won a silver medal two years later at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.

She was listed in 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019 by BBC.[11]

Defection[edit]

On 10 January 2020, Alizadeh announced she was defecting and leaving her birth country, with searing criticism of the regime of Iran. She does not intend to compete for Iran in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and is considering to represent Germany.[12][13]

She wrote an Instagram post explaining she was defecting because of constraint of women in Iran, calling herself "one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who [Iran’s rulers] have been playing with for years."[14] "They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me," she wrote, adding that credit always went to those in charge.[15] She wrote further that she "didn’t want to sit at the table of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery" any longer, nor remain complicit with the regime’s "corruption and lies."[14]

Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh, a member of Iran's parliament, accused “incompetent officials” of allowing Iran’s “human capital to flee”.[16]

In the months prior to her defection a number of top Iranian sports figures had decided to stop representing — or to physically leave — Iran.[10] In September 2019, Saeid Mollaei, who practices judo and was world champion, left Iran for Germany after Iranian officials allegedly pressured him to throw a match to avoid competing against Israelis.[10][16] Alireza Firouzja, who was Iran's top-rated chess champion, decided to stop playing for Iran in December 2019 because of Iran's informal ban on competing against Israeli players.[10] Alireza Faghani, an Iranian international soccer referee, left Iran for Australia in 2019.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "شفاف سازی نام و اصالت کیمیا علیزاده از زبان پدرشان". kimiaalizadeh website. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Olympic path uncertain for Iran's Kimia Alizadeh and Saeid Mollaei". Deutsche Welle. 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "روز تاریخی زنان ایران در المپیک؛‌ علیزاده اولین زن مدال‌آور از ایران شد". BBC. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of Iran after Winning Women's 63-kg Taekwondo". olympic.org.
  5. ^ a b "Tasnim News Agency - Kimia Alizadeh to Carry Iran's Flag in Youth Olympics". tasnimnews.com.
  6. ^ a b "Olympic champion Jones suffers world championship agony". gbtaekwondo.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Kimia Alizadeh: Iran's only female Olympic medallist defects". BBC News. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Iran's sole female Olympic medalist says she's defected". Vasco Cotovio. CNN. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  9. ^ "در خندوانه کیمیا علیزاده چه گذشت؟". Varzesh3. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Iranian Olympian Kimia Alizadeh Says She Has Defected". NPR. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  11. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2019: Who is on the list?". 16 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  12. ^ Live (1 January 1970). "Iran's Alizadeh training in Dutch city after defecting: coach". France 24. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Iran Olympian, Defector Would Be 'Happy To Compete For Germany'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 19 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "The elite narrative on Iran brushes aside fury of Iranian people". New York Post. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Iran's sole female Olympic medalist says she's defected"
  16. ^ a b "Kimia Alizadeh defects: Iran’s only Olympic medalist leaves country with scathing criticism". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Additional sources[edit]