An Iranian female archer set for Olympic fame lost her left eye after being shot by Iran’s security police during an anti-hijab protest.
Top athlete Kausar Khoshnoudi Kia – member of Iran’s national archery team – was reportedly shot during demos held in Kermanshah on 9th December.
Despite two operations, surgeons were unable to save her left eye, states local media.
Grim photographs taken at the time show her swollen and bruised face with blood crusted around her empty eye socket.
Ironically, she was one of the lucky ones, as many other protestors reportedly died when Iranian Special Forces tried to suppress the uprising with gunfire.
Kausar is likely to have to give up her dream of becoming a medalist during next year’s Olympics.
Speaking to local media, Kausar recounted: “We were shot by the special forces and my father and I were wounded.
“Two shots hit my father’s left hand, three shots hit my right hand and one shot hit my left eye.”
She added: “I am never sad about what happened.
“I lost some things, but I gained a lot.”
Kausar emphasised that she “never felt regret for being there [at the protest] on that day, at that time.”
She said: “Maybe if this had happened to me as a result of a normal accident, I would have never returned to life.
“I would not go back, but now that I have lost the sight of one eye for a purpose, I have never felt sad for myself and for what happened.”
Kausar said: “In all the competitions I participated in, in those moments when I was very anxious and felt that I might not be able to do something, I had one sentence that I always repeated to myself: Let the heart that is afraid die.”
After participating in the women’s compound championship of Iran, Kausar entered the national archery team.
She also won the silver medal and became the runner-up in the Asian Archery Championship held in Bangladesh in 2021.
Kausar is sadly among many other victims of Iranian police shootings during the nationwide protests.
In addition to the death of at least 525 protesters, including 71 children, hundreds were also severely injured in the face and got blinded by being shot in either one or both eyes, local media reported.