judo silver medalist from mongolia, mr. saeid mollaei, had a long strange trip to the winner’s podium.
mr. saeid molleaei’s journey began when ” left his native iran, revealing that his national team coaches had ordered him to lose in the semifinals of the 2019 world championships in tokyo to avoid facing israel’s sagi muki in the final. mollaei subsequently moved to germany and then acquired mongolian citizenship.” his bravery was reciprocated by the state of israel who have become his supporters. he thanked them and dedicated the medal to israel. thetimesofisrael.com
israel and iran have perhaps one of the most unusual relationships of any two countries. iran onced housed one of the largest thriving jewish communities in the world. further, the world jewish community is forever indebted to iran’s cyrus the great. cyrus the great’s role in helping jewish people is documented in the bible. the edict of cyrus allowed jews to return from babylonian captivity to return to israel and re-build the first temple that had previously been destroyed.
the iranian revolution in 1979, turned the two countries into adversaries. essentially, a cold war-like state currently currently exists between the countries.
mr. molleaei’s story is of an individual who showed the courage and integrity to walk away from the problematic situation. mr. molleai’s decision was rewarded with the international community supporting him. he was able to represent an adopted country, mongolia, he was able to have newfound friends and fans support him on his olympic journey, and he was able to compete and be a winner. his story offers hope that individuals and countries cooperate for the common good.
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