Reza Abedi's Greatest Escape

A local high-school-wrestling coach gave up his Olympic dreams to flee Khomeini's Iran

Abedi is at home in the wrestling room. After lunch one recent day, he changes into workout shorts and wrestling shoes. He smiles when a freshman executes a proper leg shot and laughs a deep laugh when a cocky sophomore tries to challenge one of the star seniors, who has little difficulty making the young guy look foolish.

Reflecting on the past 19 years of his life, Abedi looks out on the chaos, bodies clinging to bodies, sweat pouring, blood occasionally dripping. If he had never left Iran, it's quite likely he would have made the Olympic team. But he doesn't second-guess himself. "I had to give up on one dream," he says, "for another dream."


A gold medal is forever, especially with Abedi's story
Kevin Derek
A gold medal is forever, especially with Abedi's story
Abedi (center, in the blue shirt) demonstrates for his Dana Hills High team
Kevin Derek
Abedi (center, in the blue shirt) demonstrates for his Dana Hills High team

Location Info

Map

Paradise Perks Coffee & Espresso Bar

15474 Jeffrey Road
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Coffee Shops

Region: Irvine

Village Book Exchange

99 Avenida Serra
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Retail

Region: San Clemente

Details

American Wings; Iranian Roots by Kristin Orloff; Direct Author. Available at www.americanwingsiranianroots.com.

Abedi and Orloff will sign copies of the book at Paradise Perks, www.paradiseperks.com. June 26, 5 p.m.
And at Village Book Exchange. July 2, 2 p.m.

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SLIDESHOW: Click here to see more images of Reza Bedi
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This article appeared in print as "His Greatest Escape: High-school wrestling coach Reza Abedi gave up his Olympic dreams to flee Khomeini's Iran."

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