By: Mir M.Hosseini
A shiny Gold medal in 55kg for Hamid Sourian on Aug, 5, was a signal that London 2012 would be the most successful Olympic Games ever for Iranian athletes especially in Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling. Omid Norouzi won the second gold medal in 60kg on Aug, 6, and Ghasem Rezaei earned the third gold medal on Aug, 7, 2012 on the same day that the Iranian weightlifter Behdad Salimi was awarded the prestigious title "World's Strongest Man" by breaking the world record with a 208 kg snatch, a 247 kg clean and jerk for a total of 455 kg in super heavyweights class.
On Aug, 6 Navab Nassirshalal won a silver medal in Men's 105 kg weightlifting. This success was followed by Sajjad Anoushiravani in Men's +105 kg weightlifting, thus the Iranians captured both the gold and silver medals in the London 2012 event. Then came another silver for Ehsan Haddadi in Men's discus throw on Aug, 7. Mohammad Bagheri Motamed won another silver medal in Men's 68 kg Taekwondo on Aug, 10.
Kianoush Rostami won a bronze medal in Men's 85 kg Weightlifting on Aug, 3. On Aug, 11 Ehsan Lashgari and Komeil Ghasemi won bronze medals at Men's Freestyle wrestling in 84kg and 120kg respectively.
Somehow, the most spectacular event was the match between American Wrestler Jordan Burroughs, and his Iranian competition Sadegh Goudarzi. Games between the two nations have always drawn extra attention because of the political dimension of decades of animosity. The American wrestler Jordan Burroughs defeated Iran's Sadegh Goudarzi in freestyle wrestling to win gold. But the scenes that followed; the two athletes hugging each other were the outstanding images to encompass the spirit of the Olympics; virtue and excellence.
For the 45 men and eight women of the Iranian team, London is a city that evokes nostalgia and brings good luck. In 1948, when London hosted the summer Games, Iranian athletes participated at the Olympics for the first time, returning home with the country's first medal thanks to the weightlifter Jafar Salmasi winning a bronze in the featherweight division.
However, everyone was not happy with Iran's success. Those behind systematic anti-Iranian propaganda on the western media pushed their agenda to the extent that on February 12, 2013, International Olympic Committee leaders voted to drop wrestling from the Olympic program, a surprise decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports from the 2020 Games. Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, and even further to the Ancient Olympics. The decision by the IOC to drop wrestling has united many countries and their NOCs in the world in opposition, including the United States, Russia, Iran, Bulgaria, Central Asian nations, and Japan. Wrestling will now join seven other sports applying for inclusion in the 2020 Games!