Review: Iran vs. USA Wrestling Match in New York City


Match 1: Rahimi vs. Blanc
Photo Credit: Sherry Hakimi

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the scene in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall felt different. Between the beautiful marble walls, temporary bleachers and a wrestling ring were set up. The high crystal chandeliers glowed over American, Iranian, and Russian wrestlers doing their warm-ups. Fans marched in and eagerly awaited the exhibition of a sport held near and dear to their hearts.

Recently, the International Olympic Committee recommended that wrestling be dropped from the Olympic Games, starting in 2020. Enter a group of wrestling leaders and enthusiasts, who are raising awareness of the sport’s cultural and historical significance through a series of initiatives. This event, dubbed “The Rumble on the Rails,” marked the fourth straight year that a New York City landmark was transformed into a wrestling arena to raise money for charity.

Fans were treated to a show of skill and strength throughout the seven one-on-one matches. Iran won the series, taking home six of the seven wins. Though the series win was certainly a plus for the Iranian American fans, it ultimately wasn’t what the day was about. The symbolism behind the event was not lost on the audience, who watched the easy rapport of the athletes as they engaged in friendly competition. Hopefully the rest of the world, and in particular the International Olympic Committee, will take notice as well.

PAAIA would like to thank the New York chapter leaders and members, who helped fans attend the event and also set up a viewing event for those who were unable to get tickets.


To view the event on YouTube, please visit:



To view photos of the event, please visit:



For additional coverage of the US-Iran wrestling match, please see:








You are donating to : PAAIA, Inc.

How much would you like to donate?
$15 $25 $50
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note