A young fencer from Iran pursues his Olympic dreams in Turkey
A 14-year-old fencer from Iran, Taranom Mohseni Tavakoli, decided to stay in Turkey to pursue her dream of competing in the Olympics because it was difficult for her to pursue a career in the sport back home.
She eventually had to quit fencing in Iran, but an opportunity presented itself for Taranom to fulfill her ambitions when the Tavakoli family traveled to Turkey.
She and her family came to Turkey to see her grandfather, who has lived for eight years in the western Turkish province of Manisa. And this visit apparently marked a turning point in his life.
Once in Turkey, Taranom began to learn about the practice of fencing in the country.
After getting in touch and talking with a local trainer, she and her parents decided to stay in Turkey to help Taranom pursue her dreams.
Her parents are now seeking Turkish citizenship.
Hamed Mohseni Tavakoli, his 43-year-old father and owner of a chocolate factory in Iran, and Mahsa Tavakoli, his 35-year-old mother, said Taranom started fencing at a very young age, inspired by Zorro films.
New episode in the life of Taranom
She was already a successful athlete in Iran, where she won medals, but Taranom saw no future as a fencer there, and eventually she quit fencing.
Things, however, began to change after the family arrived in Turkey.
Once in Manisa, Taranom contacted İpek İrem Ülkü, a fencing coach, on social media and soon after started training sessions with her.
Tavakoli says she wants to represent Turkey in the Olympics as a Turkish citizen.
“I aim high; I want to be number one in fencing. From now on, I want to compete for Turkey, which I love so much.
Taranom and her family contacted her a few weeks ago, Ülkü said.
“Taranom told me that she had won medals in Iran and that she wanted to continue practicing this sport. Later, her grandfather organized a meeting and I met her in person,” recalls Ülkü , noting that she adapted quickly and made friends with other female fencers, “We are a family and Taranom has become one of us.”
“The Turkish Fencing Federation will organize a competition in May. If she gets permission, Taranom will participate in this tournament as part of the Manisa women’s team,” Ülkü said.