Touran Shadpour wears industrial-strength hejab—the chador, the tentlike black wrap that preserves the female form as the mystery the mullahs prefer. A lecturer in physical education at a college in Tehran, she produces a tattered copy of the official program from a long-ago World Track and Field Championships. She opens to an inside page, careful to fold back the program's cover so that it obscures a photo of her at age 25, hair presumably flowing, neck presumably ripe. But the text alongside the photo she leaves unobscured, and it reveals that in 1977 she was among the best female track and field athletes in Asia.
Two years later the revolution fixed Shadpour's personal bests in amber. She never competed again. She is still the Iranian women's record holder in the 100 and 200 meters.
"I hope that someday my records will fall," she says. "I hope to see one of my students break them."