Saudi Arabia at the Olympics

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Saudi Arabia at the Olympic Games

Flag of Saudi Arabia
IOC code  KSA
NOC Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee
Website www.saudiolympic.org.sa (Arabic) (English)
Olympic history
Summer Games

Saudi Arabia has competed in eight Summer Olympic Games. They first appeared in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. They have never competed in the Winter Olympic Games.

The issue of women's participation[edit]

Wojdan Shaherkani, first female competitor from Saudi Arabia to compete at any Olympics in any event, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in Judo

By Saudi Arabian law, women were, until recently, not permitted to compete in the Olympic Games.[1] However, following the International Olympic Committee pressuring the Saudi Olympic Committee to send female athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympics, in June 2012 the Saudi Embassy in London announced this had been agreed.[2][3]

There were calls for Saudi Arabia to be barred from the Olympics until it permitted women to compete—notably from Anita DeFrantz, chair of the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sports Commission, in 2010.[4] In 2008, Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, likewise called for Saudi Arabia to be barred from the Games, describing its ban on women athletes as a violation of the International Olympic Committee charter. Stating that gender discrimination should be no more acceptable than racial discrimination, he noted: "For the last 15 years, many international nongovernmental organizations worldwide have been trying to lobby the IOC for better enforcement of its own laws banning gender discrimination. [...] While [its] efforts did result in increasing numbers of women Olympians, the IOC has been reluctant to take a strong position and threaten the discriminating countries with suspension or expulsion."[5]

Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics and won a bronze medal in equestrian (see Saudi Arabia at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics).

Saudi Arabia agreed on July 12, 2012, to send two women to compete in the 2012 Olympic games in London, England. The two female athletes are Wojdan Shaherkani in judo and 800-meter runner Sarah Attar.[6] Prior to June 2012, Saudi Arabia had banned female athletes from competing at the Olympics.[7] Every country competing at the London Games will include female athletes for the first time in Olympic history.[8]

List of medalists[edit]

Medal Name Games Sport Event
 Silver Hadi Al-Somaily Australia 2000 Sydney Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics Men's 400 metre hurdles
 Bronze Khaled Al Eid Australia 2000 Sydney Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian Individual show jumping
 Bronze Ramzy Al Duhami
Abdullah Al Saud
Kamal Bahamdan
Abdullah Sharbatly
United Kingdom 2012 London Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian Team jumping

Medals by sport[edit]

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 0 1 0 1
Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian 0 0 2 2
Total 0 1 2 3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rice hopes Saudi women will soon compete in Olympics", AFP, August 17, 2008
  2. ^ "Saudi women vie for Olympic rights", BBC, June 13, 2008
  3. ^ Gardner, Frank (24 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Saudis allow women to compete". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Qatar decision to send female athletes to London 2012 increases pressure on Saudi Arabia", Inside the Games, July 1, 2010
  5. ^ "Bar countries that ban women athletes", Ali Al-Ahmed, New York Times, May 19, 2008
  6. ^ "Saudis to send two women to London Olympics". My FOX NY.com. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Frank. "London 2012 Olympics: Saudis allow women to compete". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Saudis to send two women to London, make history". SI.com. Retrieved 13 July 2012.