Iran’s Only Female Olympian Defects, Calls Out Government “Hypocrisy”


Kimia Alizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympian
who won a bronze medal in Taekwondo in 2016, has announced she is defecting from the Country. Her announcement comes a day after Iran admitted
shooting down a Ukranian plane that had 176 civilians on it. U.S. State Department official Morgan Ortagus
reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: #KimiaAlizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic
medalist, has rejected the regime’s oppression of women. She has defected for a life of security, happiness,
and freedom. #Iran will continue to lose more strong women
unless it learns to empower and support them. — Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) January
12, 2020 FoxNews reports Iran’s only female Olympic
medalist has reportedly defected, posting a goodbye letter to Iran on Saturday, calling
out the government’s “hypocrisy” as she announced she had permanently left the
country. “Should I start with hello, goodbye, or
condolences?” Taekwondo athlete, Kimia Alizadeh, 21, posted
on her Instagram in Farsi, Agence France-Presse reported. Alizadeh did not disclose where she was going,
but Iran’s ISNA news agency reported she had gone to the Netherlands, according to
AFP. The Iranian report quoted Alizadeh’s coach
as saying the athlete was injured and did not show up for trials ahead of the 2020 Summer
Olympics in Tokyo. The Olympian’s announcement came just a
day after Iranian officials admitted to downing a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing 176 people
minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport early Wednesday due to “human error,”
thinking it was a military aircraft. She accused the Iranian government of “lying”
and “injustice” toward Iranian athletes, adding all she wants is “Taekwondo, security
and a happy and healthy life,” according to AFP. Alizadeh won a bronze medal in Taekwondo at
the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She said she wore everything the government
asked her to wear, referring to the head covering all Iranian female athletes must wear, and
wrote she “repeated everything they told me to say…None of us matter to them.”