Saudi Arabia Will Bring Female Athletes To Olympics
Saudi Arabia has reached a crucial milestone in the countries human rights growth this year, announcing that female athletes from the country will be allowed to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Saudi Embassy in London announced in a public statement that it will allow female athletes to compete in London and that the country’s Olympic Committee will “oversee participation of women athletes who can qualify.”
The announcement comes at a time when speculation was growing that the country could face disqualification based on gender discrimination.
Saudi Arabia has almost no history of women participating in international sports and many of the country’s religious conservatives still strongly oppose women competing on a professional level.
Because the country lacks a strong female sporting history the country’s Olympic committee says the only female competitor currently at Olympic standards is showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas.
Officials in the country say other females may still qualify over the coming weeks and that women who appear on the world stage will be required to dress in a way that “preserves their dignity.”
Women competing for Saudi Arabia at the Olympics will be required to wear loose-fitting garments that are modest in nature along with “a sports hijab” which is a scarf that covers the hair but not the face.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons to the Jamaican bobsled team inCool Runnings but if there is one thing that movie taught us it’s that the great sense of pride in breaking new Olympic ground is far more important than victory, perhaps the women of Saudi Arabia will feel that same sense of accomplishment.