Hooman Tavakolian has been nominated for the 2017 ‘Diplomatic Action of the Year’ award for his efforts to bring together the peoples of Iran and the United States through wrestling, according to the ‘World Peace and Sport’ Federation.
Tavakolian, a former Iranian-American wrestler, has been active for years to create effective bonds between the wrestling federations of the two countries. His efforts were crucial to ensuring that the 2017 Freestyle World Cup in Iran would include the US team, United World Wrestling website reported.
Iran and the US do not have diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Tavakolian interceded on behalf of the sport and was as an intermediary between the two federations, ensuring that all necessary visas were acquired and that the US would also enjoy meaningful cultural interaction while competing in Iran.
“I’m very humbled to be nominated and think that the recognition shows that through sports -especially wrestling – people are connected in a way that supersedes geopolitical issues,” said Tavakolian. “I also have to thank the Iranian Wrestling Federation for their support and cooperation, as well as the US Wrestling who appointed me team leader for that very important World Cup event.”
Established in 2008, the annual ‘Peace and Sport Awards’ rewards organizations and individuals that have made outstanding contribution to peace, dialogue and social stability in the world through sport.
Winners have led projects that are symbolic of sport’s capacity to reconcile divided or opposed communities. They are an inspiration to other stakeholders for what sport can achieve on the global stage.
The ‘Peace and Sport Awards’ will be held December 7 in Monaco as part of the Peace and Sport International Forum Gala.