Saudi women will compete in Olympics

Saudi Jeans reports that the drama over sending women to the Olympics is finally over. After much wrangling behind the scenes, two women have been named as competitors, Wejdan Shahrkhani in judo above 78kg, and Sarah Attar in the 800m race.

To appease the clerics, Saudi’s most senior sports official Prince Nawaf bin Faisal announced a set of rules for women’s participation at the Olympics. Athletes can only take part if they do so “wearing suitable clothing that complies with sharia” and “the athlete’s guardian agrees and attends with her,” he told local daily al-Jazirah. “There must also be no mixing with men during the Games,” he added.

Sarah Attar can be seen here in a training film released by the International Olympic Committee.  The California-born athlete is wearing a headscarf here, but she does not wear it in another photo, apparently taken from her university’s website.

Video here (she is the first athlete in the video, a short training film and interview), the main website is here, but it does not appear possible to link to that article directly.

Other barriers to Saudi women competing in sports were removed earlier in the month, when the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the governing body for FIFA, ruled that female players will be permitted to wear hijab/headscarves for soccer competition.


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