Marjan Kalhor is First Iranian Woman Olympian

Skier Marjan Kalhor, 21, is the first woman to represent Iran in the Winter Olympics. She was Iran’s flag bearer at the opening ceremonies in Vancouver last week. There are three other athletes in the Iranian delegation.

Kalhor is competing in the giant slalom and Alpine slalom events. She told Ennahar Online that “skiing is a sport where you have to be fully dressed. So there is no problem with clothes: I shall observe the Islamic dress code.” She will wear a headscarf under her helmet during her events.

Aside from her skiing pursuits, Kalhor is training to become a physical education teacher. She told Reuters, “the number of women who are interested in ski[ing] is increasing quickly…This generation and the next one are thinking about competing, not just having fun, and…I am so happy about being here to be a role model for all of them.”

Daniel Tsadik, assistant professor of Sephardic and Iranian Studies at New York’s Yeshiva University, said to CNN that the Iranian government is trying to “exemplify to the people of Iran the fact that Iran is not as isolated as foreign and internal enemies would have one believe…to get across the message that their leadership therefore should be trusted and followed.”


CNN 2/10/2010, Reuters UK 2/17/2010; Ennahar Online 2/7/10

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