Sixty-five year old Feraydoon Bahrami is not just a regular behind the wheel on Sydney streets as a taxi driver, he’s also an Olympic kayak judge and will be proudly representing Australia as our sole representative at Rio 2016.
Feraydoon also officiated at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was the only judge selected to represent Australia for the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London events.
Feraydoon Bahrami (front and centre) with fellow international judges at the 2015 world championship in Milan, Italy
His story shines a light on the diverse backgrounds of Australian taxi drivers, the flexibility the job provides and the talents so many of them possess.
In his native Iran, Feraydoon was one of the finest kayakers of his generation and, after moving to Australia in 1996, he kept his love of the sport alive by officiating at paddling events and working his way to becoming one of the world’s best.
"I have been driving a taxi for many years to support my family, but paddling is my real love. It is great to still be involved in the sport and I’m thankful for the opportunities it has given me."
“Last year I was the only Australian nominee selected for world championship in Milan Italy and also now for 2016 Brazil Olympics.”
“I have been to the recent Olympics and World Championship events and I can tell you the athletes may be the stars who get the media attention, but the coaches and officials also dedicate their time, effort and personal expenses to make sure the events are a success.”
It’s something I am happy to do because it is a labour of love.”
All the best to Feraydoon at Brazil 2016!