An Iranian Paralympic athlete “refused” to shake hands with Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, when she presented him with his silver medal on Sunday. Or so Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported this week.
The 40-year-old Mehrdad Karam Zadeh did not offer his hand to the Duchess as she presented medals for the discus event Sunday. Instead, he clutched his hands close to his chest and bowed.
Middleton reached to shake hands with gold medal winner Aled Davies of Great Britain and bronze winner Lezheng Wang, from China.
But she did offer her hand to Zadeh either, since she had reportedly been briefed about the convention, observed in a number of Muslim cultures, which prohibits contact between unrelated men and women.
Middleton was reportedly “happy to accept [Zadeh's] wishes,” and “considered it an honor to present the medals.”