Iran

The Rock Climber

A self-taught climber paves the way for women’s athletics in Iran

Writer

Marjan Golpira

Photographer

Hanif Shoaei

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At Shahid Shiroudi Stadium, a sporting complex in Tehran, Elnaz Rekabi performs her daily routine: a combination of cardio and strength training, before she tackles the climb wall. With both arms firmly holding on to the ledge just above her head, Rekabi lifts one leg off the ground and canons upward. It’s a steep climb but she reaches the top in the blink of an eye. Her students applaud her from below.

At only 26 years old, Rekabi has won a staggering 77 rock climbing awards at national level, as well as gold, silver and bronze medals at various international competitions.

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A self-taught climber paves the way for women’s athletics in Iran
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