Wrestling Diplomacy, Maybe!
By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD
The head of US wrestling federation, Rich Bender, invited the Iranian Wrestling Federation to come to NYC on May 16th for an "international wrestling day of solidarity", and Mohammad Aliabadi of the Iranian Wrestling Federation eagerly accepted (video above).
In contrast to the all smiles and gestures of solidarity on display in the Press TV clip, the Iranian Federation website strikes a different tone.
The headlines in Persian are "Motaki [ex-foreign minister] tells Iranian wrestlers, just like in other areanas, you have defeated the Americans", and "Iran reaches the finals after defeating the US".
For the wrestling enthusiasts, Iran reached the finals after defeating the USA, Bulgaria, Japan, and Georgia (according to mat), and went on to win the world championship for the second year running after defeating Russia 6 to 1.
PS. Wrestling still has a chance to be reinstated in September of this year as the IOC decides what sport to add to replace wrestling.