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CHRIS FOSTER : The Point Must Be Made, and She Will Wrestle It to the Ground

November 01, 1994|CHRIS FOSTER

There are a couple things we take for granted in this wacky, male-dominated world.

1. Men are physically superior.

2. When rule No. 1 doesn't apply, find an excuse and fast.

So meet Goldie Yavari, Los Alamitos senior and female wrestler.

Goldie wasn't trying to make a point beyond her match scores. Nope, she just wanted to wrestle. Trouble was, there aren't any female wrestling teams out there, not in high school. So Goldie joined the boys' junior varsity team last year.

Her first match was a first-rate male ego-bruiser. No, she didn't win, but she came close. She lost by one but gave up two points because of mistakes. She hadn't completely learned the rules.

When it was over, her opponent had experienced quite enough gender equity.

Teammates were congratulating Yavari on her performance. Her opponent, meanwhile, began complaining about this ankle injury, which had obviously affected his performance.

Ah, good ol' rule No. 2.

Now in this wacky, male-dominated world, we seem to pick and chose just what sports women are capable of playing. For their own good, mind you.

Tennis. Fine.

Softball. OK.

Volleyball. Sure.

Heck, we guys were magnanimous enough to toss in basketball.

But when it came to the he-man stuff, well, that's where gender equity stopped being equal.

So, guess you can pardon one poor sap for being embarrassed about getting tied in knots by a girl . He just couldn't deal with it.

He and other folks in Orange County wrestling circles had better learn. There's a good chance that Yavari will be the 103-pound wrestler on the varsity this season. So, guys, have your alibis handy.

Yavari doesn't spout off about gender equity. She's just Exhibit A in the case to support it. She's proving that women can pick and choose their own sports.

She picked wrestling.

Yavari had been active as a kid in soccer, swimming, volleyball, basketball--your basic youth-sports tour of duty. But she never played sports at Connelly, an all-girls high school.

You have to understand, Connelly just isn't the center of the athletic solar system. It's more like Pluto. But Los Alamitos, now, that was a different story.

Yavari wasn't looking to push out the envelope in this wacky, male-dominated world when she transferred to Los Alamitos before her junior year. But she was flabbergasted by what the school had to offer.

Athletics. Lots of them. That old competitive fire burned. She had to play, but which sport?

Wrestling was revered in her family. Her father, Parvic, had competed as a young man in Iran. He waxes nostalgic about it, and his only child gobbled it up.

Of course, she still had a thing or two to learn about the sport. Top of the list being it was a men's club. That soon changed, at least at Los Alamitos.

Her parents weren't exactly thrilled at first. But once they saw their daughter compete, the Yavaris were sold. Besides, her mother, Lila, had been the only female student in her engineering class. So she knew what a woman could achieve, given the chance.

Goldie, it turned out, was a natural. She had never wrestled before, but more than held her own against her teammates. She participated in two junior varsity matches, losing both.

Not satisfied, Yavari set out to improve. She was not going to be a novelty. She attended a wrestling camp and made a pest of herself at open gyms. It paid off.

Yavari competed in the women's nationals in Las Vegas last spring. She heard about the competition a week before the event and just showed up. She finished fourth out of 16 wrestlers in her weight class.

Not bad. But there is still some unfinished business. Yavari is ready for this season and, in her mind, capability is all that matters.

Maybe that's the only rule to live by in this wacky, male-dominated world.

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