15 November 2010

Israel beats Iran

At the World Masters Weightlifting Championship in Poland, Israeli competitor, Sergio Britva, took first place in his class. Britva lifted an astonishing 300kg of weight, beating the second-placed competitor, the Iranian Hossein Khodadadi, by 4 kilos.

Israel's Sergio Britva

The two athletes mounted the podium to receive their medals, together with the third-placed competitor from Germany. Britva and the German shook hands. But when Britva offered his to Khodadadi, the Iranian refused it.

Khodadadi was rebuked by the Iranian authorities just for standing alongside an Israeli. According to Radio Zamaneh, “the Head of Iran’s National Athletic Organization had earlier written a letter to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to receive instructions on how to handle situations where Iranian athletes have to confront Israeli athletes.”

This is the first time since the 1979 Revolution in Iran that an Iranian athlete has appeared beside an Israeli athlete in an official championship.

Head of Iran's weightlifting committee at the Masters Weightlifting Championships, MirRasouli Raisi, said that everything had been done in coordination with the Iranian embassy in Poland.

Khodadadi claimed that they were not able to remove their flag from the hall and all he could do was to appear in unofficial attire so that their presence would not be deemed official.

He added that if they had not attended the ceremony, they would have had to return all the medals they had received on the previous days and disqualified Iran from participating in further competitions.

At 1′26″ in the video above, you can see Britva mount the podium draped in an Israeli flag. He shakes hands with the German to his left. He turns to his right, but the Iranian declines. That doesn’t seem to bother Britva, who is deservedly delighted with his victory. Then, at 2′30″, with Khodadadi and Britva still together on the podium, a stirring rendition of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, strikes up. Britva stands erect and solemn, choking back tears of pride and joy. His image then dissolves into another of the Israeli flag atop the Iranian and the German.

It was both symbolic and ironic to see Israels' flag flying higher than the flags of both Germany and Iran in Ciechanow, Poland. Germany, who in the Holocaust sought to eliminate the Jews off the face of the earth and managed to destroy the Jewish Community of Ciechanow, Poland, and Iran who today is working toward wiping Israel off the map.

Here is the BBC coverage in Persian
just in case Ahmadinejad is reading here

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

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Anonymous said...

I cried. I´m a jew from buenos aires, and this made me cry.


Anonymous said...

It’s moving because as Jews a part of us realizes that we stand--and in his case he stands victorious--despite almost every generation having had other beings seeking our annihilation.


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