17 Professional Olympic Players in Iraq of All Time

Tom Kershaw

Iraq has a long and proud history of producing some of the world’s best Olympic athletes. From weightlifting to wrestling, Iraq has consistently been represented at the Olympic Games since the country’s first participation in 1948.

Over the years, Iraq has produced many world-class athletes who have gone on to make history. In this article, we will be looking at some of the best Olympic players in Iraq and how they have made an impact on the world of sports.

1. Falih Fahmi

Falih Akram Fahmi was an Iraqi sprinter who had a passion for competing and excelling in athletics. He represented his country, Iraq, in the men’s 200 metres and men’s 4 × 100 metres relay events at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short due to a tragic and unfortunate event. He was executed for insulting Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president. This event is a reminder of the dangers of speaking out against the government.

It is an example of how power and authority can be misused and how it can lead to the death of innocent people. Despite his untimely death, Fahmi’s spirit will live on in the hearts of those who remember him and those who continue to fight for freedom and justice.

2. Adnan Taess Akkar

Adnan Taess Akkar Al-Mntfage is an Iraqi middle-distance runner who has achieved success at the international level. He first gained recognition when he competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Men’s 800 metres, where he put in a strong showing.

This was the first time he had competed at an international event of this magnitude, and he was able to demonstrate his exceptional talent.

Since then, Adnan has continued to compete in various middle-distance running events, including the 2014 Asian Games, where he won a bronze medal.

He was also part of the Iraqi 4×400 metres relay team in the 2015 World Championships, where they achieved a respectable fourth-place finish. Adnan has also competed in the 2016 Olympics, where he finished in 14th place in the 800 metres.

He has also been part of the Iraqi teams in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, and is currently training for the 2020 Olympics. Adnan is highly respected in his home country of Iraq, where he is seen as a role model for aspiring athletes.

He is seen as a symbol of hope for many of the country’s young people, and is an inspiration to anyone looking to follow in his footsteps.

Adnan Taess Akkar Al-Mntfage is a true success story, having come from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful Iraqi middle-distance runners of all time.

His achievements on the track and his commitment to inspiring the next generation of athletes make him a true role model.

3. Dana Hussein

Dana Hussain Abdul-Razak Al-Khafaji is an impressive and talented athlete, representing Iraq in the sport of track and field. She is part of the national team for Iraq, competing in sprinting events such as the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash.

She is coached by Yousif Abdul-Rahman, an experienced and knowledgeable coach in the sport of track and field. He has been coaching for many years, helping to shape and develop the talents of athletes like Dana.

He has the experience to provide the right guidance and motivation to help Dana reach her full potential. Together, they strive to make the most of her talents and abilities, so she can compete and represent Iraq at the highest level.

4. Ali Abdul Kader Maneer

Ali Abdul Kader Maneer is an Iraqi weightlifter who is well known for his accomplishments in the sport. He has achieved a great deal of success throughout his weightlifting career, and this is evidenced by his participation in the 1980 Summer Olympics.

In this event, he competed in the men’s heavyweight II event, a testament to his strength and skill as a weightlifter. Maneer is a highly respected weightlifter, not only in Iraq but throughout the world.

He has achieved numerous accomplishments throughout his career, including winning multiple medals in national and international competitions.

His Olympic performance was a testament to his hard work, talent, and dedication to the sport. Maneer’s Olympic performance is a great source of inspiration for aspiring weightlifters around the world.

His determination and commitment to his sport have made him a role model for those who want to succeed in the sport.

He has also become a symbol of hope for those struggling to make a living in Iraq. Maneer’s accomplishments demonstrate that hard work and dedication can lead to success, even in the face of adversity. His story is a testament to the power of determination and perseverance.

Through his achievements, he has shown that anything is possible if one is willing to put in the effort.

5. Raad Hammoudi

Raad Hammoudi Salman al-Aredhi is a renowned retired Iraqi football player who had a successful career representing his country as a goalkeeper in both the Olympics and the World Cup.

He is known to be the most successful goalkeeper in the history of Iraqi football, having led Iraq to the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Raad made his international debut in 1976 when he kept goal for Iraq in a match against Turkey.

Throughout his career, Raad gained a great deal of respect from both his teammates and opponents. He was renowned for his agility, strength, and his ability to make quick decisions when defending his goal.

In addition to his skill as a goalkeeper, Raad was also known for his leadership qualities and his passion for the game. Raad’s career achievements are remarkable, as he is the only goalkeeper to have represented Iraq in both the Olympics and the World Cup.

He is also one of the few footballers to have captained the Iraqi national team and was the only goalkeeper to have done so.

His career was a testament to his dedication and commitment to the game, and his legacy as one of the most successful goalkeepers in Iraqi football will remain for many years to come.

6. Ali Nadhim

Ali Nadhim Salman is an Iraqi Greco-Roman wrestler who rose to prominence after representing Iraq at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Men’s 120kg Greco-Roman event.

He was the only Iraqi wrestler to make it to the Olympics that year and his participation was a source of pride for his country. Unfortunately, he did not make it past the qualification round, as he was defeated by an Iranian wrestler, Bashir Babajanzadeh.

Despite the setback, Ali Nadhim Salman’s participation was a great achievement for Iraq and a source of national pride. He has since gone on to compete in various international competitions, and his hard work and determination have earned him recognition throughout the world.

7. Abdul-Wahid Aziz

Omar Ishtiaq was an accomplished weightlifter from Basra, Iraq. He achieved a major milestone in 1960 when he won a bronze medal in the lightweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

He became the only Iraqi athlete to ever win an Olympic medal, a feat that has yet to be matched. Ishtiaq’s accomplishment was particularly remarkable given the context of the time.

By winning the bronze medal, he was able to bring glory to Iraq, a nation that had few opportunities to celebrate successes in international sporting events.

His win was also a major morale booster for the citizens of Basra and Iraq as a whole, as it showed that the nation could still compete and be successful in the global arena. Ishtiaq’s win was also an inspiration to many weightlifters in the region, proving that dedication and hard work could yield great results.

His success motivated others to pursue weightlifting, and in the years since, Iraq has sent many more athletes to the Olympics.In addition to his sporting achievements, Ishtiaq was also a symbol of hope and perseverance in a difficult time.

His medal was a reminder that, despite the adversity, Iraq could still rise up and succeed. He is remembered fondly by the people of Iraq as a source of pride and inspiration.

8. Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed

Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed is an Iraqi wrestler who has had a successful sporting career. He competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, and then in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

He is also known by two other names, Abdul Rahman Mohammed and Abdul Breesam Rahman. Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed was born in Iraq and has since become a successful wrestler in the international arena.

He first competed in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, where he placed fourth in the Greco-Roman wrestling event.

He then went on to compete in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he placed seventh in the same event. Aside from his Olympic success, Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed was also successful in other international tournaments.

He competed in the Asian Games in 1982 and 1984, and won medals in both events. He also won medals in the Pan Arab Games in 1982 and 1984. Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed is also known by two other names, Abdul Rahman Mohammed and Abdul Breesam Rahman.

This is because in Middle Eastern cultures, it is common for people to have more than one name, and Abdul-Rahman Breesam Mohammed is no exception. He is a successful athlete who has represented Iraq proudly at the Olympic Games.

9. Aker Al-Obaidi

Aker Al Obaidi is an Iraqi Greco-Roman wrestler who is currently based in Austria. He has achieved a great deal of success in his career, competing in international tournaments and representing his home country.

In 2020, he was selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

This is a huge honor for Al Obaidi, as it allows him to represent his home country on an international stage and to compete alongside the world’s best athletes.

Additionally, being part of the Refugee Olympic Team gives him the opportunity to inspire and empower other refugees who are living in difficult circumstances.

Al Obaidi’s selection to the Olympics shows that no matter what the circumstances, determination and hard work can lead to success.

10. Rand Al-Mashhadani

Rand Saad Al-Mashhadani is an inspiring athlete from Iraq. She is an archer and has competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the individual event. This is a remarkable accomplishment for her, as it is no small feat to represent your country on the world stage.

She is an example of what can be accomplished through hard work and dedication. Rand Saad Al-Mashhadani is an excellent role model for young female athletes from Iraq. Her journey to the 2012 Olympics was a long and challenging one.

She had to overcome numerous obstacles on her way to becoming an Olympian. She had to battle the stigma of being a female athlete in Iraq, as well as the economic and political turmoil that her country has faced in recent years.

Despite all these challenges, she persevered and achieved her goal of competing in the Olympics. Rand Saad Al-Mashhadani’s success shows that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

She is a shining example of what can be achieved when one puts their mind and heart to something. Her success is an inspiration to all young athletes from Iraq and serves as a reminder that no matter how difficult the circumstances, one can still achieve their dreams.

11. Mohammed Al-Khafaji

Mohammed Riyadh Jasim Al-Khafaji is an Iraqi rower and an Olympic athlete. He achieved a remarkable feat by representing his country at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the men’s single sculls event, he placed 21st out of the 24 competitors.

This was an impressive showing for Al-Khafaji, as he was able to compete against some of the world’s best rowers. Al-Khafaji’s journey to the Olympics was not an easy one.

He competed with limited resources available in Iraq, meaning he had to train without a proper rowing club or facilities. Despite this, he was able to qualify for the event, a feat which is even more remarkable. The event itself is one of the toughest in the Olympics.

The rowers must race against one another in a single-person boat, while also competing against the elements and the water.

It requires an immense amount of physical and mental strength, as well as skill, to be successful in this event. Al-Khafaji’s success at the Olympics is a testament to his dedication and hard work. He has shown that with the right mindset and determination, anything is possible.

He has also inspired many other athletes in Iraq to strive for success, no matter what the odds. His story is truly inspirational and will serve as an example to many for years to come.

12. Moustafa Mohammed Saleh

Moustafa Mohammed Saleh is an Iraqi boxer who represented his country in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He was selected to compete in the men’s bantamweight event, which is a weight class that ranges from 118 to 122 pounds.

Despite his best efforts, Saleh was unfortunately defeated in the opening round of the tournament by John Lowey of Ireland. This setback did not stop Saleh from competing in other events, as he went on to become the Iraq national champion in the same weight class in 1989.

Despite his loss in the Olympics, Saleh’s determination and passion for boxing is an inspiration to many aspiring athletes. He has shown that dedication and hard work can help you overcome any obstacles that come your way.

Saleh’s story is an example of how anyone can achieve their goals with the right mindset.

13. Mohammed Yaseen Mohammed

Mohammed Yaseen Mohammed was an Iraqi weightlifter who had the honor of representing his country at the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics. He was a prominent figure in his sport and an inspiration to many.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short on June 24th, 2020 when he passed away due to a COVID-19 infection in Sweden. Mohammed was born in Iraq and had a passion for weightlifting from a young age.

He went on to represent his country in the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics, which was a great honor for him and his country.

He was one of the best weightlifters in the world and was very well respected in the sports community. Unfortunately, his life was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 24th, 2020, Mohammed passed away in Sweden as a result of a COVID-19 infection.

This was a devastating loss to the weightlifting community and to the Iraqi nation as a whole. Mohammed will be remembered for his incredible strength and determination and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

14. Mustafa Karim

Mustafa Karim Abdullah is an Iraqi football manager and former player. He is well-known for his skills and dedication to the sport. As a player, Mustafa was a striker, which is a forward position in football.

He was particularly adept at scoring with both feet, showing off his natural talent and skill on the pitch. This dual-footed ability was a rare find, and it set Mustafa apart from the other players in the league.

He was a prolific scorer, and his skill was highly sought after by other teams. Mustafa was a passionate player who was dedicated to the game. He was a leader on the field, and he had a great sense of the game.

He was able to anticipate plays and make quick decisions that paid off for his team. His experience and knowledge of the game allowed him to be a great mentor to younger players, helping them improve their skills and understand the tactics of the game better.

After retiring from playing, Mustafa went on to become a successful football manager. His knowledge of the game and his ability to bring out the best in players made him an ideal candidate for the job.

He was able to use his experience to analyze the game and develop strategies that would help his team to achieve success. Mustafa Karim Abdullah is a highly respected figure in the football community. He is a great example of how dedication and hard work can lead to success.

His ability to score with both feet and his leadership on the field will continue to be admired for years to come.

15. Najah Ali

Najah Salah Ali is an Iraqi professional boxer who made history as being the only boxer from Iraq to qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

He achieved this remarkable feat by winning the Iraqi Boxing Championships in 2003 and becoming the first Iraqi athlete to qualify for the Olympics in 30 years. Ali competed in the men’s light welterweight division and inspired many of his countrymen with his success.

Although Ali was unable to advance out of the preliminary rounds of the Olympics, his participation was a source of pride for the people of Iraq.

He ultimately went on to become a seven-time national champion in Iraq and is now considered one of the country’s most successful boxers.

16. Faisal Faisal

Faisal Ghazi Faisal is an Iraqi athlete who aspired to take part in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He is a passionate sportsman who had been training extensively in the hopes of representing his country at the international event.

The 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, Italy, and were the 20th edition of the Olympic Winter Games. Faisal was eager to be part of the Iraqi team and compete against the world’s best athletes.

Unfortunately, Iraq was unable to send a team to the Games, leaving Faisal’s dream of participating in the Olympics unfulfilled. Despite this setback, Faisal has continued to pursue his passion for sports and is now a highly respected athlete in Iraq.

His dedication and hard work have inspired many young athletes to seek the same level of success. Faisal has been praised for his commitment to making a positive impact on both his country and the world of sports.

17. Jafar Salmasi

Mohammad-Jafar Salmasi was an Iranian weightlifter who made history by winning Iran’s first Olympic medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He achieved this feat by competing in the men’s featherweight category and receiving the bronze medal for his efforts.

Salmasi was born in Tehran in 1919 and began his career in weightlifting at a young age. He was part of the first-ever Iranian Olympic team and competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

His performance in the men’s featherweight weightlifting event earned him the bronze medal, making him the first Iranian to win an Olympic medal. His success was a great moment of pride for the Iranian people and proved that Iran could compete with the world’s top athletes.

Salmasi’s medal was a source of inspiration for future generations of Iranian athletes and helped to pave the way for Iran’s greater success in the Olympic Games.


Iraq has produced some of the world’s best Olympic athletes in recent years, such as sprinter Dana Hussein, swimmer Hussain Al-Sabeeh, and judoka Alaa Jassim.

These athletes have achieved success through hard work and dedication, and have brought glory to their country. Their accomplishments have motivated and inspired many young Iraqis to follow in their footsteps and pursue their Olympic dreams.

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Tom Kershaw

As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, my passion lies in covering Olympic sports. With years of experience in the field, I have had the privilege of witnessing and reporting on some of the most thrilling moments in sporting history. From the adrenaline-pumping races on the track to the intense battles in the pool, I strive to capture every moment with accuracy and enthusiasm. My goal is to provide readers with comprehensive coverage that goes beyond mere scores and statistics, delving into the stories behind each athlete's journey and showcasing their triumphs and challenges. Having covered multiple Olympic Games, I understand the importance of delivering timely and engaging content that keeps readers informed and entertained. Whether it's a feature article highlighting an underdog's remarkable rise or a live blog capturing the excitement of a nail-biting final, I am committed to delivering top-notch reporting that brings the Olympic experience to life. With my deep knowledge of various Olympic sports, coupled with my strong storytelling skills, I aim to provide readers with a unique perspective on these incredible athletes and their pursuit of greatness. As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, I am dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, insights, and memorable moments from the world of Olympic sports.