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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

Oh, Shut Up

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

August 04, 1996|Associated Press

Iran's president, speaking from Tehran, praised an Iranian wrestler who won a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, saying Rasul Khadem had rubbed "the nose of America in the dirt" and hoisted his country's flag in "the house of Satan."

Khadem won the Olympic gold medal Friday in the 198-pound class of freestyle wrestling.

"The flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran was raised in the house of Satan through the resolve of a pious youth, Rasul Khadem, despite all the mischief by the Americans to prevent this historic event in Atlanta," President Hashemi Rafsanjani said.

Rafsanjani did not specify how the United States had tried to block Iranian victory, which he described as "a divine will."

Rafsanjani said, "I congratulate your excellence and our nation for rubbing the nose of America in the dirt and for beating the nine-medaled Russian champion."

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