Atefeh Ahmadi was one of Iran’s best
Atefeh Ahmadi, a member of Iran’s national ski team, has defected and sought asylum in Germany.
Atefeh Ahmadi, the flag bearer of the Iranian national ski team in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Iran’s top skier, has applied for asylum in Germany.
Some sources say this 22-year-old Iranian national skier traveled to Germany a few days ago to prepare for participation in the world championships in France. She later said that she did not intend to participate in those competitions with other Iranian national ski team members and had applied for asylum in Germany.
Atefeh Ahmadi was born in 2000 in Ab-Ali, east of Tehran. She won the gold medal in the international Alpine skiing competition in Turkey in 2017.
Atefeh Ahmadi, the second top female skier in Iran, qualified for the 2021 Beijing Winter Olympics and was the only representative of Iran’s female skiing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. She reached the second stage of the Alpine skiing competition.
Atefeh Ahmadi is the winner of 5 Asian medals and several gold medals.
Atefeh Ahmadi started skiing when she was three years old, and at the age 10, she traveled to Kazakhstan for the first time for competitions abroad. She joined the Iranian national skiing team at the age of 16. She was a sports science student at Al-Zahra University in Tehran.
In an interview, Atefeh Ahmadi said, “It is very difficult to be away from my family, but I promise to achieve the goal for which I came out of Iran.”
In response to Atefeh Ahmadi’s asylum, Abbas Nazarian, head of the Ski Federation, said: “We are shocked at the moment. We hope this news is not true. She was one of Iran’s best.”
Several Iranian female athletes and national team members have defected and sought refuge in other countries because of Iran’s misogynistic and repressive laws.
Female athletes in Iran face many obstacles and challenges. They must obtain permission from (corrupt) officials of the clerical government to participate in the international arena and pursue their favorite sports.
The regime has banned women from participating in international competitions in some fields, such as swimming. The women can participate in other areas, such as competitions held outside Iran, if they travel with a hijab approved by the Iranian regime and with the approval of their husbands or fathers.
These are among the official restrictions and institutionalized laws of the clerical regime. Due to these limitations, several female sports champions have been banned from participating in important competitions.
In March 2021, Samira Zargari, the head coach of the Alpine skiing team, was banned from leaving the country due to her husband’s protests. She was, therefore, unable to travel to Italy with her team. Samira is not the first Iranian female athlete whose husband banned her from leaving the country to participate in world competitions. Before her, Niloufar Ardalan, captain of the women’s national futsal team, and Zahra Nemati, a three-time Paralympic Champion in archery, were also banned from leaving the country by their husbands (Deutsche Welle – February 17, 2021).
Even mountain climbing and hiking are restricted for both married and single women. The Khorasan Razavi Mountaineering Board announced this directive to the provinces’ clubs in November 2018.
In addition, broadcasting any women’s sports competition in Iranian media is prohibited. Thus, female sports teams do not receive sponsorships since women’s matches are not broadcast on state television.
Only loose-fitting clothing is allowed, even though it can slow athletic movement and prevents Iranian female athletes from competing at their best level.