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Rio Olympics: Zahra Nemati becomes Iran’s first woman flag bearer

Media and Recreation Team Iran Olympics opening

Disclaimer: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Iran had one of the best moments at the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics when archer Zahra Nemati, a former Paralympics athlete who has been confined to a wheelchair, proudly represented the Islamic republic.

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During the parade of nations, wearing a green hijab, 31-year-old Zahra gracefully lead her country’s contingent of 63 athletes into the Maracana Stadium and became the first Iranian female flag bearer at an Olympics opening ceremony.

Team Iran

According to Associated Press (AP), Zahra took up archery after a car accident in her teens left her paralyzed. Prior to her injuries, she used to compete in taekwondo.

“I want to reach my goal and get the best result—to make my family and the people around me happy and let them know I’m okay and strong,” the AP quoted her as saying.

Zahra Nemati

Zahra won the gold in archery at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and will also participate in the 2016 Summer Paralympics starting on 7 September in Rio.

Zahra Nemati

She has been named a United Nations ambassador for her role in empowering women through sport, and she hopes that others who are in a similar situation will follow her example.

“For me, it means a lot to make people who have big problems in their lives happy,” Zahra said.


Olympics 2016
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Seban Scaria