Nemati to bear Iran's flag at Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony

25 January 2016
Lausanne (SUI)
Defending Paralympic Champion has been named as the flagbearer of the Iranian sports delegation at the forthcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio next August.

The news was revealed on 23 January by the National Paralympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran on their official website.

Zahra Nemati qualified places to both the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the Asian Championships in November.

Nemati was once a black-belt taekwondo athlete before a car accident in 2004 caused the spinal injury that ended that career. Two years later, she took up archery.

Iran's best recurve athlete is now the regining Paralympic and World Archery Para Champion!

She was the first Iranian athlete to win gold at a Games and was appointed a United Nations Ambassador for her contribution to empowering women in sport.

“If I have a purpose about what I do, it’s this: A message to all the disabled people in the world to never give up on what you are doing because of your disability. Everything is possible,“ the 30-year old says.

Nemati will walk in the footsteps of other archers who carried their nation's flag at recent Olympics and Paralympics.

At London 2012 Olympic Games the reigning able-bodied World Champion Denisse Van Lamoen carried the flag for Chile. And two para archers were flagbearers at the London Paralympics, Gizem Girismen for Turkey and Oscar De Pellegrin for Italy.