Zahra Nemati is arguably Iran’s most popular female athlete. While she grew up competing in taekwondo, after a car accident left her legs paralyzed, she decided to pick up a bow and arrow at the age of 21. Zahra’s physical disability allows her to qualify for the Paralympics, but she also was also the first to beat out many able-bodied athletes to additionally qualify for the Iranian Olympic team.
In this episode, Zahra shares what it’s like to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics, and discusses what gives her hope.
Experts interviewed include Mr. Behzad Pakzad, Zahra’s coach, Ms. Maryam Shokouhil, Director International Affairs, Iranian Paralympic Committee, Nahid Siamdoust, Assistant Professor in Women’s studies and Anthropology of Religion at the Harvard Divinity School, and Mark Gearan, Director, Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.