February 27, 2017 Kazem Gilanpour, a revered colleague and former editor of Kayhan Varzeshi (Kayhan Sports), passed away on 14 February, 2017 in Andorra, where he had worked as a ski instructor for many years. He was 95.
Gilanpour is fondly remembered by his colleagues as a lovable, kind, gentle and dignified man. A journalist through and through, he consistently demonstrated exemplary work ethics, creative excellence and unequalled insight as a sports writer.
Gilanpour studied law at Tehran University and had an excellent command of written and spoken Farsi, English and French. He was one of the founders of Kayhan Varzeshi and remained its managing editor for a long time. The magazine enjoyed a large circulation and was very popular among sport enthusiasts. Gilanpour was also the managing editor of a newsletter published by the American Embassy in Tehran.
As a Kayhan journalist, Gilanpour travelled the globe through the years, reporting on various international sporting events, including a number of Olympics.
Kazem Gilanpour was one of Iran’s most famous skiers and accomplished climbers. A section of Ab-e Ali ski piste is named after him. He had climbed most, if not all, notable mountain peaks in Iran. He was an active member of Iran Climbing Federation’s search and rescue team.
He organized and managed the first ever cycling race across Iran that was sponsored by Kayhan. Gilanpour, his wife and their two children, Leila and Kaveh, immigrated to England after the 1979 Islamic revolution and settled in Hertfordshire. Shortly after, he started working with Kayhan-London. In addition to managing the content and layout of the sports page, Gilanpour oversaw the newspaper’s overall output.
Gilanpour spent a few months a year in Andorra as a ski instructor. As with most die-hard climbers, he would camp on the snowy slope and spend the night in his sleeping bag. He would use the time in-between ski lessons to translate articles from foreign media, and would send them to Kayhan via a friend and fellow skier who frequently travelled between Andorra and London.
Gilanpour was a creative and innovative journalist. He started a new style of sports writing in Iran that combined news with analysis. The editorial team of Kayhan Varzeshi, which included Kazem Gilanpour, Dr Sadreddin Elahi, Mehdi Asdollahi, Mehdi Dorri and others, set a new standard of sport journalism that was subsequently emulated by all other publications in Iran.
Kayhan-London offers its sincere condolences on the passing of this trend-setting sports writer, revered colleague, and loyal friend to Keyvan, Leila, Shahab and other members of his family, as well as those in the greater Kayhan family of journalists.