News / Middle East

    US, Iran Go to the Mat for Olympic Wrestling

    US, Iran Go to the Mat Together for Olympic Wrestlingi
    X
    February 22, 2013 3:37 PM
    The United States and Iran rarely agree on much. But now sports officials in both countries are going to the mat together to try to save wrestling as an Olympic sport. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
    The United States and Iran rarely agree on much.  But now sports officials in both countries are going to the mat to try to save wrestling as an Olympic sport. 

    World Championship wrestling in Tehran pits the United States against Iran. But the match is about more than victory for one side or the other.  For the wrestlers and their coaches, it is the start of a shared struggle.

    "I would like to invite you to New York city on May 16," said Rich Bender of USA Wrestling.  To which Mohammad Aliabadi of the Iranian National Olympic Committee answered, "I would like to visit New York City."

    The reason for the U.S. invitation for a show of solidarity with Iran?  The International Olympic Committee's announcement this month that it plans to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Summer Games.

    It's a decision that was greeted with dismay in wrestling-crazy Iran and by fans and officials in the U.S. 

    So when the U.S. team arrived in Tehran this week for the World Championships, Mitch Hull with the U.S. national wrestling team, says the solution seemed simple - work together.

    "Politically, we're not always on the same page with Iran, or politically with Russia, but in wrestling there's no doubt that we are all together in this effort, and we consider Iran one of our strongest allies in the sport of wrestling," he said.

    For now, officials and wrestlers from both countries are optimistic this partnership can save wrestling's place in the Olympic Games.  Wrestling will vie with seven other sports to try to gain entry in the 2020 Olympics.

    "We have great confidence that we can work with the Iranian wrestling federation, the Iranian wrestlers and, really, the Iranian people to show the world that, no matter what's happening politically, we have the same goal and the same belief and passion about the sport of wrestling," said Hull.

    The U.S. and Iran appear to be grappling together to save the sport they love.

    Jeff Seldin

    Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: naib from: algerie
    February 26, 2013 8:39 AM
    thank you for more articles

    by: Lanny Newton
    February 23, 2013 1:41 PM
    Another example of sports uniting people rather than dividing.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora