“Sports are like medicine. They empower the individual, and as a result, they empower society. There are some societies that have more access to sports and some that have less — be it cultural, be it facilities, or be it way of life. It’s my absolute dream that everyone should have equal access to sports, should they desire to access it.” – Shirin Gerami.
Shirin Gerami first made headlines in 2016 when she was the first female triathlete to represent Iran at the IRONMAN(R) World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. After struggling to find apparel that would fit her needs, it enforced her perspective that there are barriers that make sports inaccessible to groups of people. Since successfully completing that race in 13 hours and 11 minutes, Shirin has continued to push herself in triathlons and be a trailblazer of breaking through barriers for athletes of all backgrounds.
We sat down with Shirin to learn more about her journey as a triathlete who is not afraid to push the limits of the sport.
HOKA: What do you love about triathlons?
Shirin: What I love about triathlons is that it’s so interconnected with nature. We swim in open waters. We cycle in the open roads. We run in beautiful surroundings. Your limits keep changing and your abilities keep improving. You continue going and eventually you progress.
HOKA: If you could tell the world to reimagine one thing, what would that be?
Shirin: One thing I think about is that life is always a paradox. There is a right and a wrong in everything. No two people can have the same point of view because they all come from different backgrounds and experiences. But, from each of our perspectives, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all looked at the positive? If we all looked at the good in things and sought the connecting love in everything?
If you take away religion or country or gender, all we are is human beings with dreams, challenging our bodies and its limitation. A human, same as everyone else.
Learn about Shirin’s journey as a triathlete in HOKA ONE ONE: Time to Break Barriers