Weightlifters all around the world participated in days of celebrations returning to their home countries after the London 2012 Olympic Games with their Olympic Medals. The story was different for the Iranian weightlifters, who displayed solidarity and fair play to help the victims of twin earthquakes that jolted the country’s northwestern in the East Azerbaijan Province.
On August 11, only three days after the weightlifting competitions ended in London, two strong earthquakes of 6.4 and 6.3 magnitudes rocked the area, killing 306 people and injuring thousands of others.
Right after the tremor, the Iranian Superheavy-weight category’s silver medallist, Sajjad Anoushiravani, went to the quake-stricken area and joined the rescue teams in the region to help with the dispatching of emergency supplies.
Saeed Mohammadpour, who came in fifth in the 94kg category, also accompanied Anoushiravani in a visit to quake-hit villages. They were the first weightlifters to arrive in the area, as they are living in the neighboring province of Ardabil.
Anoushiravani dedicated his Silver Medal to the victims of the earthquake and offered necessary supplies and some amount of money.
London 2012 Olympics’ strongest man was in the capital city of Tehran at the moment, but his heart was apparently beating for his fellow countrymen in East Azerbaijan province. Behdad Salimi went to a blood transfusion center after the health officials asked people to donate blood to help the victims of the earthquakes.
The Gold Medallist in the +105kg bodyweight category gave 4 units of blood. Salimi then went to the quake-hit regions days later to visit the area and brought smiles to the faces of people, who could remember his great performance at Olympics despite their pain.
While visiting the area in Iran’s Red Cross uniform, Salimi told the reporters: “It is my duty to come here and help my people. I only hope can get back to their normal life soon.”
Navab Nasir Shalal, 105kg Silver Medallist, also expressed his condolences to the people in East Azerbaijan, saying he would soon travel to the region to help soothing people’s pain.
Report sent by Sarah Alambeigi