The white tape on Reza-Zadeh's chest
August 26, 2004
When Hossein Reza-Zadeh won yesterday I was ecstatic.
I didn’t think Iran would win any medals and after the embarrassing
behaviour of Arash Miresmaieli, I had written off the Olympics
for Iran completely. One reason of course was that NBC chose to
Chic”, “Starting Over” or re-runs of “Queer
Eye” instead of any of the races that were going on in Athens
live, so they could collect their cool million-dollar-per-second
ads in primetime. The Olympics is only the biggest sporting event
in the world, occurring only every 4 years at a time. We’re
Enter Reza-Zadeh, a silent giant, a golden little nugget,
and Iran’s only secret superman. It was the first time I
had watched him so closely. I had to stay up until the next day
(12.35 am) to watch him, but it was worth it. He is truly an impressive
presence of a man. I didn’t really get the chadoori women
in the “crowds” who were cheering for him, and I wasn’t
too keen on him wearing his religion on his sleeve, but if he thinks
the Koran will help him lift heavier weights and continue to amaze
and please crowds all over the world, then so be it.
One thing I noticed during the games, which struck me as rather
odd, was some white tape that he had stuck to this chest about
a few lifts into the competition. Reza-Zadeh came out initially
with his outfit, which had “Ya Abol Fazl” in Farsi
and “Pishkooh” written in latin in smaller white font
on the top right of his chest.
A few lifts later, and there is
a huge white tape stuck to his shirt, as if trying to cover the
I didn’t know
why this was. I thought maybe this Iranian, who is an advertiser’s
wet dream in Iran, had gotten paid to put some brand name on his
shirt and maybe after the Olympic
judges had noticed the name, had asked him to cover it. Maybe it
was against Olympic rules or something. Too bad they couldn’t
read Farsi. How does "Ya Abol Fazl" fit into the rules?
I asked around and my friends all agreed that they had not seen
any advertising on the shirts of other athletes. Maybe it was banned
at the Olympics. In other sports competitions, you normally see
every inch of the athlete covered with ads. I recalled that some
of the other athletes had “Nike” or a small Addidas
logo on their shirts. Maybe they allowed only sporting good brands,
who produced the gear, to have their name or logo on the competitor’s
shirt. Maybe the size mattered. Or maybe Pishkooh was an industrial
brand that was not considered athletic.
So today, I googled Pishkooh. It turns out they are the Nike
of Iran. They have a nice website -- Pishkooh.com,
and guess who's featured on their front page? - and they make gym
clothes and sporting goods. So the only reason for taping up his
ONE: he was feeling pains in the right upper chest, which I doubt,
as the tape got limper and limper while his popularity and the
weights got bigger and bigger. Or TWO: maybe the size of the name
did not comply with Olympic rules. In either case, I would have
liked to know why he covered the name.
I also would have liked
NBC to televise the Iranian National Anthem. I mean I have only
seen the US flag go up about five thousand times by now. Instead,
they chose to show local reports about Greek food and then, of
course, the local news, my favorite, twenty minutes of exclusive
coverage on which dogs are being trained to “protect” us
during the Republican National convention >>> See photos
For more on Iranian athletes in the Olympics on PersianMirror.com.
Sara Sefeed is
Senior Editor of PersianMirror.com.
... ... ... ... ... Say
goodbye to spam!