Marjan Kalhor, who never imagined she would one day become the first Iranian woman to take part in the Winter Olympics, insists her moment of history will not fall foul of her country’s conservative rulers.
Kalhor will compete in the Alpine slalom and giant slalom categories at the Vancouver Olympics from Feb. 12 to 28.
“I’m thrilled to make it to the Olympics and even more honored to be the national team’s flag bearer,” she told AFP in an interview at this northern Iranian ski resort where she grew up.
” Skiing is a sport which needs you to be fully clothed. So as far as the uniform for the competition goes, there is no problem — I’ll observe the Islamic dress code “Marjan Kalhor
The 21-year-old is also confident she can keep Iran’s Islamic dress code when she takes part in the Games. In the Olympic village she will sport the traditional headscarf, but in competition she will dress like everyone else.
“Skiing is a sport which needs you to be fully clothed. So as far as the uniform for the competition goes, there is no problem — I’ll observe the Islamic dress code,” she said.
Kalhor, who will head a four-member Iranian team leaving on Monday, the only one from the Middle East, will follow in the footsteps of countrywoman Homa Hosseini, a rower who was Iran’s flag bearer in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The other members of the Islamic republic’s team in Canada are Porya Saveh Shemshaki and Hossein Saveh Shemshaki, competing in the men’s Alpine event, and Seyed Sattar Seyd in the cross-country.