Tehran, Iran, May 11, 2023: Millions of Iranian children watch Amoo Pourang (Uncle Pourang) on State TV three days a week. A couple of hundred were lucky to catch him ‘live’ with the popular presenter Dariush Farziayi playing the role of the Master of Ceremonies at the Iran leg of the Hangzhou Asian Games Fun Run on Thursday, May 11.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Amoo Pourang walk-in. I was happy to come and take part in this Fun Run, but I’m even gladder that I came because I got the chance to see him up close,” exulted nine-year-old Fatemeh, one of the 250 children who turned up at the Enghelab Sports Complex on a crisp summer day.
Amoo Pourang was in full flow as delegations from the Olympic Council of Asia and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee were warmly welcomed by the Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Seyed Manaf Hashemi.
Also present on the joyous occasion was China’s Ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, who got into the spirit of things by posing for pictures with the children and their parents, even before the ceremony got underway.
But the masterstroke delivered by the Iran NOC was in getting Amoo Pourang to run the show for “every child in Iran knows of Amoo or Uncle Pourang,” according to Farid Fattahian, Iran NOC Director of International Relations Department. “We wanted to keep the kids happy and make this a joyous occasion.”
It was jolly and colourful. The school children, aged between five and 13, began the celebrations by standing in line and spelling out HANGZHOU 2022 which was captured by a drone camera. They then spontaneously began dancing to catchy Iranian songs, exhorted on by Amoo Pourang.
The children then participated in a 750 metres Fun Run before they were all presented with medals and certificates signed by OCA Director General Husain Al Musallam.
“This is the 18th Fun Run for the Hangzhou Games and it is definitely one of the best of the best we have had,” said Jean Zhou Jian, Director of OCA Media and Broadcast Department.
“The Iran NOC always organises events perfectly and we are thankful for the wonderful weather and a beautiful backdrop and scenery. We also had the best MC (master of ceremonies), but most importantly we had the best kids and we are grateful to the parents who bought them here. Thank you for coming,” Jeans added.
Chinese Ambassador Chang congratulated all parties – OCA, HAGOC and Iran NOC – for organising a delightful Fun Run, while HAGOC representative Yao Fei, Deputy Director HAGOC Executive Office, wished all Iranian athletes the very best at the Asian Games, from September 23 to October 8.
His views were echoed by Iran NOC Secretary General, who believed Iranian athletes would win many medals. “We will celebrate again with the champions,” Manaf Hashemi said.