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Iran’s sole female Olympic medalist has defected from her country and reportedly fled to the Netherlands, according to a post on her Instagram account Saturday.

Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh stated that her decision was difficult but something she had to do, according to the AP.

Alizadeh also said Iranian officials forced her to wear the hijab headscarf and accused them of sexism and mistreatment.

She continued:

I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who have been playing with me for years. They took me wherever they wanted. Whatever they said I wore. Every sentence they ordered I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me. They put my medals on the obligatory veil and attributed it to their management and tact.

I wasn’t important to them. None of us mattered to them, we were tools. The virtue of a woman is not to stretch her legs!

My troubled spirit does not fit into your dirty economic channels and tight political lobbies. I have no other wish except for Taekwondo, security and a happy and healthy life.

She concluded by stating that she would “remain a daughter of Iran wherever I am.”

Initially, news outlets reported that Alizadeh was missing, which caused Iranian politician Abdolkarim Hosseinzadeh to blame “incompetent officials” for allowing the Islamic Republic’s “human capital to flee,” according to the BBC.

In a statement, U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus praised Alizadeh’s decision and said it showed she had “rejected the regime’s oppression of women.”

“Iran will continue to lose more strong women unless it learns to empower and support them,” Ortagus commented.

In recent years, several Iranian athletes also left the country because they felt pressured by the government, according to the AP.

“In September, Saeed Mollaei, an Iranian judoka, left the country for Germany. He said Iranian officials had forced him to not compete with Israeli judoka,” the report said.

Alizadeh won a bronze medal during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and is reportedly training to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan.

However, she will not do so under the Iranian flag.

Her defection came just one day after the Iranian government admitted responsibility for shooting down Ukrainian International Flight PS752, killing all 176 people on board, including a large contingency of Iranians and Canadians.

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7 Comments
  • Art LaPella says:

    OK, you don’t need a hijab here, but don’t be too much like us. A lot of Western children grow up fatherless.

  • Matt says:

    The Revolutionary Guard will target her. May God preserve her.

  • Donald Visconti says:

    I never can understand how modern day feminists support Islam. That religion denies women their rights and freedoms! Kimia should celebrate her newfound freedom by going out with her head uncovered, in Holland. Maybe she already does!

  • Doris Hickey says:

    Where is our liberal press to back this young woman and so many others in Iran who want to be free and many can come here to work per a super educated people who are controlled like puppets like our liberal press wants us to be for the SWAMP in our Congress. We are fighting and no matter what is said about Pres Trump is fighting for us the people not for groups who want control as they have had the top 1% see three super rich running for the Democrats. WHY? Not to help us the workers who lost jobs for years. So IRAN people keep up the fight wish we could give you the way to stop your barbarian military. May take lives .

  • Evangeline says:

    Her eyes don’t look right. And why is she eating her medal? lol

  • Momma Bear says:

    Good for her!

  • CF
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