Elnaz Rekabi Biography
Elnaz Rekabi (born in 1989 in Zanjan) is a rock-climbing athlete from Iran. In 2022, BBC announced her as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring and influential women.
- Name: Elnaz Rokabi
- Born: July 29, 1989
- Birthplace: Zanjan, Iran
- Position: rock climbing athlete
- Nationality: Iranian
- Years of activity: from 2001 until now
Biography of Elnaz Rekabi, rock climbing champion
Elnaz Rokabi is an Iranian stone roller born on July 29, 1968, in Zanjan. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology, a master’s degree in physical education with a concentration in nutrition, and a certificate in experimental psychology. Elnaz Rekabi took third place and a bronze medal in the tournament in August 2021.
Years of activity
Rekabi is an Iranian woman who has been competing in rock climbing since 2001. Since then, she has won a lot of medals.
Honors and medals
- National champion from 2002 to 2019
- Gold medal winner of the Asian Bouldering Cup in 2017
- Bronze medal in Asian Lead Cup 2017
- 2016 Adidas Rockstar Germany Goretex Cup champion
- Multiple team speed, lead, overall, and bouldering medals, as well as a bronze medal from the Asian championships
- Her rock climbing expertise places her 19th in the world in the lead discipline, while she is ranked 9th in the World Cup Bouldering competitions.
From first place to the national team
After just one year of training in this field, she earned second place at the national level in 2002 and has continued to dominate at the national level ever since. As a 14-year-old, she joined the national team the next year after the success of the first-place squad.
Starting at the age of 12
“I first became interested in this area in 2001, at the age of 12, while I was seeing my brother practice, and surprisingly, my parents did not try to dissuade me.”
From tightrope to parkour
Early in her career, she excelled in high ropes and speed, and once bouldering became popular, she continued to pursue athletic endeavors in this arena as well.
She says: “I have started doing parkour sports since 2015; it has been proven to me that parkour helps the progress of climbing.”
No coach in Asia
“Since I live in Iran, where professional climbing instructors are few, I had to teach myself the ropes by seeing how guys trained. This includes two bronze and one single medal from Asian tournaments and two first-place finishes in Master Cup events.”
From geology to physiology
“While competing as an athlete, I decided to further my education by earning a master’s degree in nutrition physiology. I attended Zanjam University, where I majored in geology.”
Elnaz Rekabi and Coaching
“In addition to training, I work as a coach with talented students in both Zanjan and Tehran. One of them even earned a bronze medal in the Asian Championships held in Zanjan.”
2021 World Championship Combine Tournament
Elnaz Rekabi scored 42 points in the World Championships in September 2021, good enough for third place in the combo competition (which included speed climbing, top rope climbing, and bouldering). Her bronze medal is Iran’s first ever in a global mountaineering competition.
“Yes, my brother and I were very naughty as kids, and our favorite mischief was to scale the outside walls of our home. When I think back, I realize that we created ladders in the wall so we could more easily go to the roof. But, of course, we hung out on the rooftop the whole time.”
Elnaz Rekabi with No hijab in Asian competitions
It was around the time of Mehsa Amini’s death in October 2022 that Elnaz Rekabi, without a hijab, competed in the Asian Rock Climbing Championship in South Korea. Even though she placed fourth and didn’t take home any hardware, her participation in the tournament without a hijab made international headlines.
Explanations and public reception
She wrote on Instagram about why she wasn’t wearing clothes: “Due to bad timing and an unexpected request to ascend, I dropped my veil.” When she arrived back in Iran at 3 a.m. on October 27, 2022, she was greeted by a jubilant mob at Imam Khomeini Airport.
Controversial photo with the sports minister
When Mrs. Rekabi returned from the tournament, they brought her to see Hamid Sajjadi, the Minister of Youth Sports, and took a group photo. The Friday imam of Mashhad, Ahmad Alam Al-Hadi, attacked the minister because she attended the conference without a cloak or scarf, covering just her hair with a hat.
Establishing a Rock Climbing Club
According to Elnaz Rekabi, interested in starting a rock climbing club in Tehran: “The money from instructing was minimal in Zanjan, and I want to build a rock climbing club by visiting there.” So, when I arrived in Tehran, I got in touch with the sponsors, who helped cover some of the costs associated with sending me to the tournaments.”
I was my own coach
As the greatest female “rolling stone” in my group, I was called upon to fill the role of coach when no other qualified women were available in Zanjan. I’ve learned a lot via trial and error over the last two decades, and after spending two months training with an Austrian coach on my most recent trip there, I’ve concluded that I can be my greatest instructor.
“Spidergirl” nickname for Elnaz Rekabi
“Spider-Girl” is a cool and clever title. It’s fascinating to me that people have started calling me “Spider-Girl,” after the popular and appealing superhero Spider-Man.”
Accompanying the 1401 Uprising of the Iranian People
Elnaz Rekabi did not cover her head when she went to the 2022 Olympics in South Korea. Photos of her rivals in the contest went viral online and sought to gain the hearts and minds of the Iranian public. In an earlier interview with Euronews in France, she acknowledged that the hijab might add physical difficulties while doing strenuous activities like climbing.
Daud Rekabi, the rock climber’s brother, and his sister were reportedly arrested by the IRGC, as was reported by certain media outlets.
He was reportedly detained by IRGC intelligence on October 25, 2022, at the behest of Mahmoud Khosravifa, chairman of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, to force his sister into returning to Iran.
International media worrying about Elnaz
After the athlete returned to Iran, several foreign media outlets voiced worry about her health. However, the International Mountaineering Federation has made it known that they are in touch with this athlete and the Iranian Mountaineering Federation and are behind her.
This was confirmed in a statement published on Tuesday, October 18. According to the statement, the federation “completely supports the rights of athletes, their choices, and the right to freedom of speech” and is keeping a close eye on the situation in Iran to ensure Elnaz Rekabi’s safety.
A warm greeting at the airport
While many were concerned that Elnaz might be arrested upon entering Iran, she was greeted by a big crowd at Imam Khomeini Airport at approximately 3:00 a.m. on the 27th of March. The greeters applauded their bravery, and several referred to her as a hero for what she had done.
Sports Minister’s meeting with Elnaz Rekabi
The Iranian Minister of Sports and Youth, Seyed Hamid Sajjadi, visited with Rekabi after the tournament and snapped a selfie with her in his office.
Being on the list of 100 influential women
The BBC ranked Elnaz Rekabi as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2022. According to this media outlet, Elnaz Rekabi had to make a “forced confession” upon her return to Tehran, claiming that her headscarf had fallen “accidentally,” even though she had competed in the international tournament when demonstrations against the hijab were taking place.
Demolition of Rakabi family’s garden house
Daoud Rekabi, Elnaz’s brother, has also shared that their family’s garden home was destroyed. With this image in mind, he penned the caption: “Where is justice, where is justice?” According to a video posted on “Iranwire” about the incident, the attackers sprayed pepper spray at Daoud Rekabi and damaged his 30-meter garden home.
The videomaker stated: “It’s the price you pay for living in this country. The country’s gold medalist was hit in the face with pepper spray. Next, they tore down a 30-meter garden shed and then went.
One of Iran’s greatest athletes, Daoud Rekabi is a rock climbing legend in his own right, having won scores of medals at the Olympic, world championship, and continental levels. But, as “Iranwire” notes, Islamic Republic government forces (including police and agricultural jihad) have demolished this house.
The “Tasnim” security news agency later confirmed the demolition of the Elnaz Rekabi family’s property in a report, saying that the home was situated in the hamlet of “Kushkan” close to the city of Zanjan and was demolished owing to “illegal construction and lack of license.”