Iran beefs up its Olympic squad… with women

Iran may be an international pariah, but the country is nonetheless eagerly suiting up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this year’s biggest international event. In the Athens Games of 2004, the Islamic Republic allowed just one woman to compete and won only six medals. This year, nationalistic Iran is investing greater resources in its team ...

597013_iranian_karate_05.jpg
597013_iranian_karate_05.jpg

Iran may be an international pariah, but the country is nonetheless eagerly suiting up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this year's biggest international event. In the Athens Games of 2004, the Islamic Republic allowed just one woman to compete and won only six medals. This year, nationalistic Iran is investing greater resources in its team and hoping for a stronger performance.

An unlikely boost for Iran's "Go for the Gold in '08" strategy has come from the conservative religious establishment: a "special religious dispensation" that allows more women to compete, as long as they wear the proper attire. Check out Haaretz's translation of an al-Jazeera report here:

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