Ace Taekwondo athlete and the only woman from Iran to win an Olympic medal, Kimia Alizadeh on Sunday announced that she has permanently defected to Europe from Iran.
The 21-year-old athlete who had won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics cited the country's exploitive regime as a reason behind her defection and said "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years," in an Instagram post on Sunday.
Alizadeh penned down a note on Instagram on Sunday to announce her defection to Europe permanently. In her note, Alizadeh said, "Hello the oppressed people of Iran, goodbye the honourable people of Iran and condolences to the always sad people. They say Kimia won't be anything after this, I go beyond this and said I have never been anything before."
Furthermore, she added, "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years. They gave me a game. They took it whenever they wanted. I'm wearing whatever they said. I repeat every sentence they ordered. Whenever they saw good, they took me." Also known as 'The Tsunami' in Iran, Alizadeh strongly criticised the regime and stated, "I wasn't important to them. None of us mattered to them, we were tools."
Earlier, reports of Alizadeh's defection had surfaced in Iranian media suggesting that she had left for the Netherlands which were quashed by the head of Iran's Taekwondo Federation, Seyed Mohammad Pouladgar. Pouladgar had then claimed that Alizadeh had assured her father and her coach that she was just travelling as part of her vacation. He also dismissed the reports of Alizadeh's defection as politically motivated rumours.