Wrestling has deep
roots in Irans history and culture. In ancient times, wrestling was a tradition in
weddings, celebrations and national ceremonies. However, due to internal and external
wars, documents and books related to history of wrestling have been destroyed, while many
of such documents are now kept in various countries. Many of the worlds people
recognize Iran as the cradle of wrestling.
Wrestling was considered as the most important sport, and a symbol of sportsmanship and
bravery in this country. Veteran wrestlers of Iran used to practice wrestling in outdoor
or indoor gyms called zoorkhaneh. During the rule of Ghajar dynasty, wrestling
competitions were staged in an old square in central Tehran named Ark and winners received
gold coins from the royal family.
Today, wrestling is practiced in all parts of Iran, whilst in some provinces like
Mazandaran, Khorassan, Tehran, Khuzestan and Lorestan it is the prevalent sport where many
professional wrestlers are trained.
Before 1947, wrestling activities in Iran were under the supervision of the Physical
Education Organization, but in the same year, an independent organization was set up for
that purpose which was a member of the International Wrestling Federation. In 1948, Iran
participated in London Olympic Games as its first participation in Olympics. Since then,
the country has officially taken part in international games. Then in 1952 in its second
participation in Olympic Games in Helsinki, Iran was able to win five medals in wrestling.
Wrestling is constantly considered as a symbol of sportsmanship and
bravery in Iran
Since 1948, Iran has participated in all
Olympic Games except for Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984, the achievement of which has
been a total of four gold medals by Gholam-Reza Takhti, Imam-Ali Habibi, Abdollah Movahed
and Rasoul Khadem. So far, Iran has won 23 silver and bronze medals in Olympic Games.
The Iranian wrestling team has been the worlds champion in 1961 in Yokohama, 1965 in
Manchester and 1998 in Tehran. Iranian freestyle wrestling team has a quota of eight
weight groups and the Greco-Roman team has a quota of three weight groups for Sydney 2000