She began swimming at age 5. She’s 32 now, and has been teaching swimming for 15 years, since she was just 17. In 2008, she set her first sea swimming record in a 12 kilometre swim, which was officially recognised by the sports ministry. She was wearing the same swimming outfit then as now.
Her problems began in 2010, when she decided to swim around Kish island
in three days. A representative for the sports ministry came to watch. Elham had only swum 5 kilometres when out of nowhere, police boats rammed into her and those accompanying her. The shock seriously hurt one of her legs, and her hip was lacerated by boat propellers. [FRANCE 24 could not independently verify these claims.] If her father hadn’t helped her, she surely would have drowned.
After this, Elham was in a bad place. Her injuries healed, but emotionally, she was a mess. She decided to say goodbye to swimming. But those of us close to her encouraged her to swim again. After undergoing therapy, she began to practice anew. For a long time, she swam 5 kilometres every night and ran 12 kilometres every day.
Swimming in the Caspian sea.
On June 11, she swam from 5:30 am to 2:30 pm, going back and forth along a private, women-only beach to avoid any potential run-ins with police boats. All this for nothing, since the sports authorities refused to acknowledge her feat in the end.
Elham’s swimming attire wears 6 kilos! And because the suit she wears is designed for diving, not surface swimming, it causes very painful chafing. I really don’t see how she could cover her body any more that she already does.