CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY (May 28) – United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic announced Monday the addition of Farnaz Panahizadeh to the international wrestling federation’s Women and Sport Commission.
Ms. Panahizadeh, who runs the international department for the Iranian Wrestling Federation in Tehran, becomes the first Iranian woman to serve on a United World Wrestling commission.
“We are pleased to have Ms. Panahizadeh join our wrestling family,” said Lalovic. “We fully expect her expertise and passion for the sport to influence the participation of women athletes around the world. Wrestling will be well served to have her voice.”
The Women and Sport Commission is responsible for overseeing the development of women’s wrestling around the world, including countries like Iran where women’s belt wrestling was recently sanctioned.
"Wrestling is the national sport of Iran, “ said Ms. Panahizadeh. “During our history, Iranian women and men have loved wrestling and wrestling’s heroes are part of their heritage.”
The appointment of Ms. Panahizadeh occurred as a direct result of United World Wrestling’s recent Super 8 campaign, which highlighted the role of women in wrestling. The campaign brought together leading voices within sport and helped improved the representation of female athletes around the world, including developing countries like Iran who sent Ms. Panahizadeh to the Super 8 announcement in January.
“Today women are provided a chance to take part in wrestling in accordance to our religious and cultural values,” said of Ms. Panahizadeh. “I am sure that with cooperation of other members of the commission we can help bring even more women to the sport of wrestling.”