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Kimia Alizadeh celebrates after defeating Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden during the Women's -57kg bronze medal taekwondo contest at the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Kimia Alizadeh, the first and only Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal, announced on Instagram Saturday that she has permanently left her home country, condemning the Iranian government for its "corruption and lies."

What she's saying: The 21-year-old Alizadeh, who won the bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, said she would always remain a "daughter of Iran," but that she could no longer sit at the regime's "table of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery," according to a CNN translation.

  • "I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years," Alizadeh wrote.
  • "They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me."

The big picture: Alizadeh's defection comes at a fraught moment for the Iranian government, which is facing growing domestic unrest over the downing of a Ukrainian commercial jet last week. Protests roiled the country this weekend, with many demonstrators calling for the resignation of top officials — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Go deeper: Iran's 3 catastrophic mistakes

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Sports

Live updates: Olympics formally kick off with "sobering" opening ceremony

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway. But this year's largely spectator-less opening ceremony is a "sobering" event focused primarily on the athletes.

The latest: The cauldron in Tokyo has been lit, formally kicking off the Olympic Games. Tennis star Naomi Osaka had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch to light the cauldron.

1 hour ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its nickname to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.

Alabama governor: "It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks"

Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A frustrated Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) told reporters Thursday that "it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks" for the state's continued surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: Alabama has reported nearly 8,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week. It's one of the few states in the country with fewer than 40% of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.