Mehrzad: We should be the heroes of our lives

Morteza Mehrzadselakjani serves at the gold medal match of Sarajevo 2022

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 11 November 2022 – Being the second tallest man in the world, everyone’s attention pans to Iran’s Morteza Mehrzadselakjani everywhere he goes, but the 35-year-old sitting volleyball athlete remains shy and humble.

“I am not sure if my specific participation in the game could necessarily inspire other sitting volleyball athletes, but what I see is that this sport is dedicated to people with disabilities. And what it does is draw them out of isolation in society and prove that they could be active in sports,” Mehrzad said.

“I am not that significant of a person to send a message to anyone, but the only thing I could say is that we should all be heroes of our lives or world champions of our lives. And if we want change, we should start from within.”

Mehrzad has won two straight gold medals at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and first won the world title at Arnhem 2018. At the 2022 World ParaVolley Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Sarajevo, Mehrzad and his teammates clinched another title.

“It has been my second time in the World Championships and thank God we have won it again,” he said.

“Iranian men’s sitting volleyball has always been a powerful team. What we are looking for amongst all the achievements that we have is to sustain those achievements by winning more world titles and Paralympic medals. We want to continue our streak of victories.”