Saudi Arabia and Sarah Attar

Not many medals going for the Team GB ladies today so we thought we’d focus on something else well worth celebrating instead. Today in the Olympic Arena, Sarah Attar became the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete for her country in athletics.  Although she came over the line half a minute behind all her fellow 800m competitors, she still recieved a standing ovation from the crowd for her amazing achievement.

As previously written about, Saudi Arabia finally crumbled after pressure from the IOC to include women in their team, eventually agreeing to send a token two female athletes to London 2012.  Earlier in the games Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani became the first Saudia Arabian woman to ever compete in the Olympics after her opening and only round of Judo, whilst today Attar took to the track to fly the flag for her country women in athletics.

Being born to an American mother and Saudi Arabian father, Attar has duel nationality but opted to run for Saudi Arabia as she wanted to help raise the profile and inspire other women to compete in sport.  She and Shaherkani also demonstrated that its possible to abide by their beliefs by competing in outfits that fit with Muslim order.  There is a lot to be said about this and will be said about this, but for now let’s just celebrate this amazing achievement and keep everything crossed that these Games are the start of something for women in sport in male-centric cultures.


Image from (Thanks!)


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