In this episode with our guest Faranak Partoazar, a mountain biker from Iran with several accolades to her name, Dawn and I want to first acknowledge the challenges and obstacles women in Iran continue to face today, which makes Faranak’s journey into mountain biking even more compelling. The safety of our guests, who come from across the region, is of utmost importance to us, and we have avoided sensitive topics in this discussion.
At the age of nine, Faranak had to give up cycling because it was frowned upon for girls to be seen riding in Iran. But it was an obsession that never left her and at 21, she went looking for it again. The rest is history, literally!
Faranak became one of the first professional mountain bikers in Iran, starting her career in 2014 and going on to win national titles and races at home, and also becoming the first woman in Iran to win medals in the Asian Championships.
This, after the several hurdles of being harassed while riding, horrific accidents and difficulties in finding sponsors. She persevered to prove that women can be more successful than men in this sport in Iran.
Our conversation with Faranak goes back to her childhood when she found cycling and then into finding her passion for mountain biking. We talk about the challenges she was met with, her competitions and how her purpose has grown to being the voice of encouragement for young women who want to pursue any sport anywhere in the world.
To follow Nelly, find her on instagram at @faranakpartoazar and www.faranakpartoazar.com
Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences. Visit www.deepdivedubai.com
Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore.