Iranian Athlete Struggles to Become a Champion Once Again

Sara Abdolmaleki

Sara Abdolmaleki, a former champion in women’s rugby, was seriously injured in a car crash in early 2016, but she wants to rejoin professional sports in the near future.

Formerly a champion in women’s rugby, Sara Abdolmaleki recently took the tests of Iran’s Sports Federation for the Disabled to restart her activities as a professional athlete.

Here is IFP’s translation of her interview with Arya News Agency:

We saw a cheerful, dynamic and hopeful girl in Sara Abdolmaleki. She talked about her desires, cheering up her parents, her trust in God, and her efforts to stand up, struggle and have a life again.


I adored dangerous sports

“I was a martial artist before attending sports school. I even didn’t consider ball games as sporting activities. But when I entered Physical Education school and knew ball games better, my talent was identified for handball. Then I found that this type of sports isn’t safe too! In my second year in high school, Mrs. Nouri [Zahra Nouri, the head coach of women’s national rugby team] introduced this field [rugby] to us. […] That year I was selected for Tehran Suburbs’ team. I did track and field before and had achieved some national and provincial titles. I was very faster than others. I learned not to look, to just run after receiving the ball. Next year I decided to join Tehran’s main team; I was invited to national team in the same year,” Sara said.

Sara AbdolmalekiI know that nothing is impossible

On January 19, 2016, Sara was seriously injured in a car accident when she was coming from Kermanshah [in Western Iran] to Tehran. In this accident, her hands, skull, and spinal cord were injured.

“When I visited my doctor for the first time, he said I will be on wheelchairs forever and there is no room to improve. Next time he said that at the best case scenario, I could walk using a cane or walker. Last time he told me that you will be recovered in less than two years. You hear a lot of words. I ignored much of them, I heard and forgot.”

“It was very hard at the beginning. I exactly couldn’t understand what happened to me for four or five months. I didn’t know it is so serious that the recovery would take a lot of time. I imagined it was like sport injuries that recover in one or two months. (She laughs) Of course I still say that I will recover in one or two months! Nothing is impossible … I can’t imagine myself on wheelchairs for the rest of my life.”


I’m resolved to struggle again to be a champion

“When the spinal cord is in shock, you can’t walk for about six months. Then you can’t expect a damaged spinal cord to recover in one or two years. It requires several years to improve and I strive for it. I am 22 now, I will be 27 after my recovery, and maybe it is too late to start again. So I decided to start my exercises now, and I will participate in higher ranks if my condition improves. After the tests of Sports Federation for the Disabled, I wanted to do boating; however, I finally chose javelin throw because of some problems.”


I love to compete!

“I’m decided to struggle to be a champion in javelin throw. I try to get prepared for Asian Para Games. Maybe I have less than a year, but I do my best.”

“God created the man who can reach any goal by making efforts. Surely, a wish without a goal is merely a dream. Your wish should be purposeful,” she noted.

The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.


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