London 2012
Paralympic Games
29 August - 9 September

15: Iranian archer wins London gold

Archery’s Zahra Nemati aimed high at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, becoming the first ever Iranian woman to win Olympic or Paralympic gold. 09 Sep 2014
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Zahra Nemati

Iranian archer Zahra Nemati celebrates winning gold at London 2012

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By IPC

“We have come to make a bridge between what exists and what should be,” Nemati said. “Come together; build a world without any barriers. A world full of mutual respect, peace and safety to all people with disabilities.”

Nemati picked up the title in the individual recurve W1/W2 with a Paralympic record, and with it inspired an entire generation of not only Muslim women but people with impairments in her home country.

Just two years after a car accident in 2004 left her with spinal cord injuries, Nemati took up the sport that would lead her to become a national treasure.

Within six months she was beating able-bodied athletes at a national level and in 2010 broke her first world record.

Then in London with a score of 613, 26 points clear of Italy’s Elisabetta Mijno, Nemati secured her place in history.

The victory received extensive media coverage, ensuring the memories of her win would live on in the minds of Iranians for generations to come.

When she arrived back in Kerman city, people turned out onto the streets to celebrate her homecoming.

In 2013, Nemati held her form to claim her first individual world title as well as receiving the Sport Accord Spirit of Sport Award in the individual category, which recognises the commitment and humanitarian spirit of athletes who have made an exceptional and lasting contribution to using sport as a tool for positive social change.

The accolades did not stop there. In 2014, Nemati travelled to New York, USA, to address a United Nations conference, speaking about her journey and gaining equality for people with impairments through sport.

The 28-year-old has become an ambassador for para-sport and agent for social change.

Like many para-athletes Nemati does much more than train and compete, instead choosing to use her sporting abilities and public profile to raise awareness of social equality not just in Iran but around the world.

“We have come to make a bridge between what exists and what should be,” Nemati said. “Come together; build a world without any barriers. A world full of mutual respect, peace and safety to all people with disabilities.”

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