Stay Gold, Iran

As much as I don’t like nationalisms (except for ones brutally denied!), open displays of nationalism, flags and false borders, I nevertheless find great joy in Iran’s success in the Olympics thus far. I am an Iranian, an American, and a world citizen and not in that order. Yet, my academic interest, passion, and PhD dissertation is on Iran, the people, and their struggles (I’m keeping its description vague here on purpose), so I know what they’ve been through, or at least I know as much as you can through books, interviews, trips, family, and the news. Thus, I know that regardless of how Iranians feel about politics, they are all happy that those representing them at the Olympics have succeeded in such a fashion. They fight for us, whether inside Iran or out, and after all the sanctions, the Iran-Iraq War and its lingering effects, the dire economic situation, constantly being threatened with invasion or military strikes, the total hardship of which is intensified by successive governments that rule instead of govern, the people deserve these rare and transient moments of ecstasy, and I am happy they are happy.

Plus, it’s always nice to hear about Iran and Iranians in a positive light and beyond politics, which, because mainstream media takes its cue from the US foreign policy establishment when it comes to Iran, is almost always intertwined with demonizations of the country.

As of this point, Iran is ranked 18th in terms of Olympic medal wins, which is the most successful Olympic run out of all the Muslim and Middle Eastern countries. Kazakhstan is in a close second. Iran has a total of 10 medals (4 of which are gold), so the header above is dated but still amazing.

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