Reading the Wall Street Journal’s account of the Friday night Olympic wrestling final between the self assured American Jordan Burroughs and his Iranian rival Sadegh Goudarzi I couldn’t help but ponder the parallels between the saga in the ring, and the real life political grappling over how to best deal with the threat of Iranian nuclear belligerence. Here is the Journal’s report:
The two rivals tested each other for the first minute and 45 seconds of the match. Then with 15 seconds remaining, Burroughs rushed his rival. Goudarzi dodged to his left, and both wrestlers ended up with their knees on the mat. But the American was quicker to get up. He charged again, catching Gourdazi on his back heel, and dropped the Iranian to take the round, 1-0.
Burroughs waited until there was just 14 seconds in the second round. When Gourdazi tried to put his arms on Burroughs’s shoulders, the American again dropped to his knees, grabbed both legs and then shuffled forward with his knees still on the mat. He finally stood up and shoved the Iranian out of the ring to earn his point.
It would be comforting to many around the world to know that the United States had a similar end game strategy in mind to their current diplomatic brinkmanship exercise. Burroughs however, left no room for the questioning of his intentions when he changed his twitter handle last year to @alliseeisgold, and tweeted this message the night preceding the final match: “My next tweet will be a picture of me holding that Gold medal!!!”
Perhaps it was this confidence inspired, vocal clarity that assured his victory, President Obama might do well to take heed.
A video of the Iranian and American rivals facing off at last year’s world championship can be viewed below.