Thursday, 20 Jun 2024

Tales of Determination: Dorsa Yavarivafa’s Inspiring Journey

In the world of sports, stories of unwavering determination and indomitable spirit never fail to captivate us. Dorsa Yavarivafa’s incredible journey from her birthplace in Iran to her dream of becoming a badminton champion is no exception. Let’s delve into the inspiring tale of a young woman who turned her passion into a guiding light during the darkest of times.

A Love for Badminton Emerges

Born and raised in Tehran, Dorsa Yavarivafa’s affinity for badminton blossomed at a young age. Introduced to the sport by her father, a semi-professional table tennis player, she tried her hand at various sports but found solace in the individuality of badminton. As she recalls, “I immediately fell in love with badminton. I believed I could pursue it in the future. At that time, though, it was just for fun, not taken seriously.” Little did she know that this love for the sport would become her beacon of hope when adversity struck.

Rising Through the Ranks in Iran

In Iran, Yavarivafa showcased her formidable talent, consistently clinching gold medals in women’s singles events. She reminisces, “Everything was going perfectly. I kept winning gold medals and progressed to higher-level tournaments. Then I started competing internationally in Iran.” However, her idyllic life suddenly came to an abrupt halt when safety concerns forced her and her family to flee their home country. With her father unable to join them, Yavarivafa and her mother embarked on a perilous journey in search of safety and asylum.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF World Championships

Overcoming Obstacles in a New Land

“We were not safe in Iran,” Yavarivafa recounts the harrowing experience that led her and her mother to traverse through Turkey, then France, and finally England. Language became a barrier in this unfamiliar land, as she struggled to communicate due to limited English skills. However, her indomitable spirit refused to be dampened. She persevered, learning English and eventually discovering a badminton club in Birmingham. It was there that she met Lorraine Cole, the 2006 European Senior Champion and women’s doubles player, who would become her coach. Despite the language barrier, Yavarivafa’s determination spoke volumes, and Cole recognized her potential, offering her an opportunity to train.

A New Horizon in England

With permanent residency secured in England at the age of 16, and pursuing her studies in college, Yavarivafa’s journey was gradually leading her toward new horizons. Fate intervened when she reconnected with a coach from her past in Iran, which eventually led to an introduction to Olympic badminton player Kaveh Mehrabi. Mehrabi played a pivotal role in guiding her toward the possibility of becoming part of the Olympic Refugee Team. Yavarivafa’s dream of competing in the Olympics was now within reach, supported by the Refugee Athlete scholarship offered by Mehrabi, who is now the Athletes’ Department Director at the International Olympic Committee.

The Olympic Dream

Upon hearing the word “Olympics,” Yavarivafa knew she wanted to be a part of it. She embraced the challenge and expressed her willingness to work hard to qualify. The Refugee Athlete Scholarships, funded by the International Olympic Committee through its Olympic Solidarity program, provided Yavarivafa with financial support for training and competition, nurturing her chances of being selected for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals

A Reunion and Emotional Tournament

Yavarivafa recently competed at the Middlesex Senior Gold Tournament 2023, where she may have lost in the first round of women’s singles, but winning wasn’t her sole purpose. The tournament served as a heartwarming reunion, allowing her to reconnect with her father after a five-year separation. In Iran, laws restrict men from watching women participate in sports, making this the first time her father could witness her compete. Yavarivafa admits, “I think he was more stressed than me. I did get very emotional watching him watch me.”

A Message of Hope

Dorsa Yavarivafa carries an inspiring message of hope for refugees all around the world: “Anything is possible. Never lose hope.” Her journey showcases the power of perseverance, love for sport, and the potential for triumph against all odds. Let us stand together, inspired by her story, and join her on the #RoadtoParis, where dreams will become reality.


Q: How did Dorsa Yavarivafa pursue her badminton career despite the challenges she faced?
A: Dorsa Yavarivafa’s determination and love for badminton were steadfast, enabling her to overcome language barriers and find support from coaches who recognized her potential.

Q: How is the International Olympic Committee supporting refugee athletes like Yavarivafa?
A: The International Olympic Committee offers Refugee Athlete Scholarships, providing financial support for training and competition, giving refugee athletes a chance to compete and be part of the Olympic Refugee Team.

Q: What message does Yavarivafa aim to spread?
A: Yavarivafa hopes to inspire refugees worldwide with her message that anything is possible and encourages them to never lose hope.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF World Championships


Dorsa Yavarivafa’s journey is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience, determination, and unwavering love for sport. Her indomitable will and dedication have brought her closer to achieving her dream of participating in the Olympics. We stand in awe of her bravery and eagerly anticipate her continued success on the #RoadtoParis. Visit Carnegiecentre to learn more about inspiring athletes like Dorsa Yavarivafa and stay updated on their incredible journeys.