humbling to be able to be one of the few people t

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Sajedeh Norouzi jumped to her feet, both arms reached high into the air, beaming as she waved a small Iranian flag from side to side. Again and again.She waved at every chance. She waved for every woman back home who couldnt be there alongside her at Maracanazinho arena cheering for the mens volleyball team in its Olympic debut -- her first time in a sports stadium because in Iran women arent allowed to attend all-male sports events.The 27-year-old Norouzi, wearing a beautiful navy blue headscarf decorated with flowers of pink, yellow, orange and turquoise, insists she represented all of the other Iranian women Sunday night who are fighting to one day cheer their teams from the stands and not the TV. She had a purpose, and a passion, that she could release at long last sitting beside men who have been able to attend the games all along.We want to go to the stadium because the government doesnt allow us to. I want to cheer my team! Norouzi said, sitting alongside husband Saeed Javdaniyan in a lower section of seats across the court from the team benches of Iran and Argentina.She was overwhelmed by the special moment, one she couldnt have envisioned even a year ago. Even if Iran lost in straight sets.Very, very much, Norouzi said. Ive never been in the stadium.She and her husband have been in Brazil for four months to study, living in Copacabana. Norouzi called the moment for her really, really big and an important one to show support from afar for those Iranian women who wanted nothing more than to attend the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.I think so, she said, every woman wants to see the games.One of those female sports fans? A 32-year-old Iranian woman working with a group called Open Stadiums to push for access. The groups Twitter handle has become an underground voice of advocacy for women pushing to end discrimination.I really wish I could watch it in stadium. Its been very long time that I couldnt watch their matches live, she wrote to The Associated Press on Sunday, declining to be identified publicly out of concern for retaliation.From a world away, she planned to watch the match over a very early breakfast with her mother and two sisters. They were having tea and eating cheese with bread, butter and jam.The match Sunday in Rio had a scheduled start time of about 6 a.m. in Tehran, thus the early start to the day. The trip also is a challenging one for many Iranians: a 23-hour flight costing approximately $2,500.In 2012, the longtime ban on women from soccer matches in Iran was extended to volleyball. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last year called the ban ridiculous and said that nations that are part of international bodies should respect womens rights.Women have been fighting for months and years to change a long-standing tradition of women being barred from attending male-only sporting events in Iran -- efforts by authorities to enforce strict interpretations of Islamic norms.Its an issue that came up yet again as the 10th-ranked Iranians prepared for their first appearance in volleyball at an Olympics.For last months World League tournament at the Azadi Sport Complex in Tehran, some Iranian women unsuccessfully attempted to purchase tickets. A group trying make events more open said the tickets werent available despite multiple efforts to buy them online. From the moment tickets became available, the website for sales said the female allotment had been filled, according to several women who say they tried to purchase tickets.The International Federation of Volleyball, Switzerland-based FIVB, made a statement at the time that the Iranian federation said the first-day matches sold out within five minutes, and that 466 of the 5,000 tickets were allotted for a section set aside for women. Women were shown in the stands via livestream, but the section appeared smaller than 466 and it was unclear if the women were members of the general public or invited guests and VIPs. A female announcer handled substitutions during Irans match.Human Rights Watch and other organizations have closely tracked the situation, and the chairwoman of USA Volleyball has even been outspoken in support of the women. USA Volleyball chair Lori Okimura even brought her Let Iranian Women Enter Their Stadiums T-shirt along to Brazil.The women in Iran stay hopeful. They remain spirited about their sports teams.And, for now, those who cant actually be in Brazil are here in spirit. We say in Persian, `my soul fly for that photo of stadium! the woman behind Open Stadiums wrote. Authentic Jaguars Jerseys . Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) on the indoor hard-court at Belgrade Arena. The victory improved the Czech pairs impressive cup doubles record to 14-1. Taven Bryan Jersey . The Nashville Predators were glad their captain was still on their side. Weber had a goal and two assists, and Roman Josi scored the shootout winner to lift the Predators to a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday night. http://www.cheapjacksonvillejaguarsjerseys.com/ . No. 13-seeded John Isner and No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber were among six players who dropped out of the tournament on Tuesday, joining No. 12 seed Tommy Haas and two other players who withdrew on Monday. Tanner Lee Jersey .com) - Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were easy first-round winners Tuesday at the Australian Open. Jaguars Jerseys Online . Robredo, ranked No. 16, bounced back from an upset loss to Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the Royal Guard Open in Chile last week to down Carreno Busta in 1 hour, 25 minutes. On a day filled mostly with qualifying matches, fifth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain also entered the second with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, while Guido Pella of Argentina defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-4 to advance. RIO DE JANEIRO -- For 16 years, through Olympics in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio, African-Americans swam under a microscope for their country.Questions about oddity and identity weighed them down as they tried to outrace history and the competition. Finally, on Thursday night, Simone Manuels gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle turned a liberating page for black swimmers.Trailing by an ominous half-second at the turn, Manuel used a furious closing charge to finish tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada in an Olympic and American record of 52.70. Manuel is the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming medal at any Olympic Games.After shedding tears on the medal stand while the national anthem played, Manuel thanked black predecessors like Cullen Jones and Maritza Correia in acknowledging the historic nature of her victory.The gold medal wasnt just for me, it was for people who came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport, said the 20-year-old Stanford University student from the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, Texas. And for people who believe that they cant do it. I hope that Im an inspiration to others to get out there and try swimming.Decades after the end of Jim Crow laws that kept blacks out of white pools, African-Americans still have a complicated relationship with swimming.If a parent cant swim, theres only a 13 percent chance their child will learn, according to a 2010 report commissioned by USA Swimming. The report found that 69 percent of black children and 58 percent of Latino children cannot swim, compared with 42 percent of white children. Black children drown at a rate almost three times higher than white children.Rio is the first Olympics where the U.S. swim team has two black women -- Manuel and her close friend Lia Neal, who won a silver medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay. Manuel and Neal fielded so many black swimmer questions leading up to their races, it threatened to slow them down in the pool.Thats something I definitely struggled with a lot, Manuel said. Just coming into this race tonight, I kind of tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something I carry with me.Im super glad with the fact I can be an inspiration to others and hopefully diversify the sport. But at the same time, I would like there to be a day where there are more of us, and its not Simone the black swimmer. The title black swimmer makes it seem like Im not supposed to be able to win a gold medal, or Im not supposed to be able to break records. And thats not true.Manuels father, Mark Manuel, played basketball at the historically black Xavier University in New Orleans, and works in information technology. Her mother, Sharron, is a pharmacist. Simone started swimming at age 4 because her parents wanted her to be safe in the water. She almost chose to pursue ballet before choosing swimming.In Rio, coiled in her stance to begin the final, Manuel seemed to flinch just before the gun and did not get a great start. At the turn, she trailed by .47 of a second -- the basketball equivalent of a 15-point halftime deficit. But Manuel started to close over the last 25 meters, and with 15 to go, she put her head down and gutted out gold.After the race she immediately hugged Neal, who also attends Stanford. They appear often together on Manuels Instagram feed -- in the weight room, poolside in sunglasses, flaunting bikinis and ripped abs, and in a series of Fleek Films videos featuring two lit gurls on the road to Rio.Lia and I have this very special relationship, Manuel said. I wouldnt be where I am right now without her.Neal, 21, whose father is black and mother is Chinese-American, was born and raised in Brooklyn, Neww York, and speaks Mandarin.dddddddddddd She said the constant questions about being a black swimmer can be difficult, but I think thats just what comes with the territory of making history. Youre going to be faced with the question a lot, because its so new, she said before Manuels gold-medal race.Even though I get the question a lot and Im getting tired of it, other people who havent gotten the chance to speak to Simone or me, theyre all the more excited, so its fine.Tallying up the previous black U.S. Olympic swimmers is interesting.The lineage begins in 2000, with Anthony Ervin, whose father is black and Native American and mother is Jewish. Ervin won silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay in 2000 and tied for gold in the 50 freestyle. After a long hiatus, Ervin returned to the 2012 Olympics in London and is now in Rio at age 35.Ervin is fair-skinned with straight hair. In 2000, he was barraged with questions about being the first black Olympic swimmer, but I didnt know a thing about what it was like to be part of the black experience, Ervin told Rolling Stone in 2012. But now I do. Its like winning gold and having a bunch of old, white people ask you what its like to be black. That is my black experience.In 2004, Correia, also known by her married surname of McClendon, became the first woman of African descent to swim for the U.S. Olympic team. She was born in Puerto Rico to parents who emigrated from Guyana.In 2008, Jones won gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay, setting a world record of 3:08.24 on a team that included Michael Phelps. In 2012, Jones won silver in the 50 freestyle, silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay and gold in the 4x100 medley relay.Neal picked up the baton in 2012, when she made the Olympic team at age 17 and won bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay. She finished fourth at this years U.S. trials to qualify for the relay team in Rio.Neal swam her Rio relay leg in 53.63, just .10 of a second faster than her time in the 2012 Olympics and significantly slower than she had been swimming this year. She did not participate in the final as the 4x100 team won silver, and that was devastating, she said.I was really upset after my race, just with myself. I was just like, why? I put so much more into these Games than I did in 2012. Why didnt it show? Neal said.She was in a funk until two days later, when the swimmers in the preliminary round received their medals during an impromptu ceremony with the womens team.Just seeing it in my hand, I think thats when all my negative thoughts and emotions just kind of went away, she said. My time may not have shown it, but I put in all the effort, and I did everything that I could have, so Im very happy with where I am, getting a silver medal. One step up from my bronze in 2012.What will she tell her grandchildren about being an Olympian? It was the experience of a lifetime, she said. Ive grown to understand that 99 percent of the rest of the world will never have that opportunity. It was an honor and a blessing, and just very humbling to be able to be one of the few people to represent an entire country, and to also have your entire country supporting you.Not to mention the black community, which made Simone Manuel a top trending topic on Twitter after her victory.It means a lot, especially with whats going on in the world today, some of the issues with police brutality, Manuel said. I think this [gold medal] will kind of help bring hope and change to some of the issues going on in the world.I mean, I went out there and swam as fast as I could. My color just comes with the territory. China NFL Jerseys Stitched Jerseys Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys China Jerseys NFL China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic ' ' '

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