Speaking to a number of Iranian sportsmen who have won international medals, the Supreme Leader said "Sportsmen are like a mountain top, they pave the way for the common movement of the people, especially the young, towards the peak.”
He pointed to the fact that gaining high positions in sports is impossible without hard work, determination, and intelligence and added that champions are symbols of a nation’s capabilities, therefore boosting a people’s national confidence.
"All must appreciate by heart those women who appear in international competitions with hijab, grace, and self-possession,” asserted Ayatollah Khamenei, addressing sportswomen as important to the country.
The Supreme Leader also appreciated the Iranian sportsmen’s regard for religious teachings in their sports events and said "I sincerely appreciate all the sportsmen who say the name of the Imams in their sports events or prostrate or raise their hands and pray or say the Azan when they have won; and also all the sportswomen who observe religious chastity.”
He related his thanks to the increasing presence of spirituality in a world where the young are lead to sacrilege and said "Because of this, sportsmen should know their value and try to preserve in themselves heroic and sportsmanlike traits and a spiritual morale.”