Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi is currently a trending topic after defying all odds and deciding to compete at the Asian Rock Climbing Championships in South Korea’s capital, Seoul without a hijab.
The decision by Rekabi, a multiple medalists in competitions, to forgo the hijab, came as protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered the fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing.
Rekabi was forced to apologize later on following her bold movie that turned her into a hero back home.
On Instagram, Rekabi said in a statement that her head covering “inadvertently faced a problem” after she was unexpectedly called to compete ahead of schedule in the finals.
Since then, there have been scares that she has been arrested by the Islamic republic because she hasn’t been seen in public.
The Islamic state, however, in a statement on Twitter, denied that she has been arrested calling it propaganda.
The 33-year-old finished fourth, but clips of her scaling a wall during the competition without a head covering – but dressed in the Iranian team’s attire that fully covered her body, and also sporting a black headband – were shared on social media thousands of times.
Here are photos of the athlete: