First of all, our sincere congratulations on being awarded the title The World Games Athlete of the Year. What does this title mean to you?
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: Thank you for your congratulations, and of course thanks to all my fans who voted for me. I am very grateful for the support.
You gained more than 90,000 votes. How come that you were able to encourage your fans to support you?
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: As far as know I received most votes from Iran. That did not come as a surprise. I am from Iran and the people in my country love a champion. I do admit that I checked the results day by day, and it turned out that there was a chance for me to win the award. So I asked my friends to support me. Which they did!
Please share with us your experiences in Wroclaw.
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: I had a great time there. The World Games were a wonderful experience. It’s different to the World Championships or other competitions in my sport. It’s a multi-sport event and you represent your country. Winning the Gold Medal made a dream come true. Becoming The World Games Champion was one of my set goals. I could not partake in the previous edition in Cali. And it’s not certain that I will make it to the Games in Birmingham in 2021. So I went to Wroclaw and couldn’t think of anything else except winning the Gold Medal. I felt my body was ready to achieve the first gold medal ever for Iran at The World Games. And so I did. Yes, I had a really great time in Wroclaw.
How can you focus on climbing up a wall with a height of 15 metres in less than seven seconds?
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: There’s no doubt that it’s to do with strength and technique. During a competition it’s also a matter of concentration. While I am climbing I try to finish the task with all my ability. I don’t think about the past and I don’t think about the future. I just think of what is important right now. Since I was a child I have strived to become a champion whenever I compete. But I would like to add to this: I prefer to be a powerful loser than a weak winner. It’s about giving your best every time.
What do you do when you are not practicing or competing? Do you have any hobbies?
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: Yes, I have one: it’s climbing! I love to do rock climbing with my friend in the mountains of Iran.
What’s next? Are there any goals left?
Reza Alipourshenazandifar: There are always goals left and titles to be won. I will compete in this year IFSC World Tour and of course I want to defend my title as the World Champion. I want to set a new world record. And you never know, maybe I will be able to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. Finally with a little luck I will be able to defend my The World Games title in Birmingham. There are still a lot of summits to be reached.