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Gholam-Reza Takhti: Another genuine wrestling technique, another international achievement

Since its 1948 Olympic debut, wrestling has by far been Iran’s leading medallist in Olympic Games

Wrestling has deep roots in Iran’s 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 world’s 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 world’s 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 Olympics.