(Persia Digest) – A bust sculpture of Gholamreza Takhti (1930-1968), the highest ranked freestyle wrestling champion of Iran, has been unveiled at the United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA).
It is a sculpture by Dr Alireza Khaghani who is an Iranian artist living in Tehran, and presented to the Museum by the North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS). It shows the legendary Jahan Pahlevan Takhti [world champion and hero] giving a friendly wave and greeting.
The bronze bust weighs nearly 50kgs and is nearly one meter in height. It is said that the artist is depicting the legendary Takhti with only one arm to show his chivalry towards Aleksandr Medved, Soviet freestyle wrestler, in the US 1962 World Wrestling Championships, when Takhti realized that Medved was injured in his right knee and tried to wrestle so as not to touch his right leg and prevent further injury to him. They tied in that game, but Medved was announced as the winner due to his lighter weight. Yet, to him and Takhti’s fans, he remained a chivalrous hero forever.
Takhti won a gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games for the first time in the history of Iranian sports.
He bagged one gold and two silver medals at the Olympic Games, one gold at the Asian Games, and two gold and two silver at the World Wrestling Championships to be named as "one of the greatest wrestlers in history" by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA).