Although Alizadeh has not commented on Iran’s geopolitical issues, she did address the oppression of its people, particularly its restrictive policies on the appearance and public conduct of women.
She pointed out that while the regime — headed by Hassan Rouhani — celebrated her accomplishments, it also criticized the sport she loves, as they believe that “the virtue of a woman is not to stretch her legs.”
“My troubled spirit does not fit into your dirty economic channels and tight political lobbies. I have no other wish except for taekwondo, security, and a happy and healthy life,” she added, according to The New York Times.
Alizadeh reportedly assured her father and her coach that she was traveling as part of a vacation allegedly sponsored by the Iranian government.
It’s unclear whether she had chosen to seek asylum in the Netherlands, but a recent photo shows her with her fiancé, Hamed Madanchi, at a memorial service for the Tehran plane crash in the Dutch city of Eindhoven.