Saudi Arabia at the Olympics
|Saudi Arabia at the Olympic Games|
By Saudi Arabian law, women were, until recently, not permitted to compete in the Olympic Games. 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.
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. 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."
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 were Wojdan Shaherkani in judo and 800-meter runner Sarah Attar. Prior to June 2012, Saudi Arabia banned female athletes from competing at the Olympics.
Medals by Games
|2000 Sydney||0||1||1||2 |
|2012 London||0||0||1||1 |
Medals by sport
List of medalists
|Silver||Hadi Al-Somaily||2000 Sydney||Athletics||Men's 400 metre hurdles|
|Bronze||Khaled Al Eid||2000 Sydney||Equestrian||Individual show jumping|
|Bronze||Ramzy Al Duhami
Abdullah Al Saud
|2012 London||Equestrian||Team jumping|
- "Rice hopes Saudi women will soon compete in Olympics", AFP, August 17, 2008
- "Saudi women vie for Olympic rights", BBC, June 13, 2008
- Gardner, Frank (24 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Saudis allow women to compete". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Qatar decision to send female athletes to London 2012 increases pressure on Saudi Arabia", Inside the Games, July 1, 2010
- "Bar countries that ban women athletes", Ali Al-Ahmed, New York Times, May 19, 2008
- "Saudis to send two women to London Olympics". My FOX NY.com. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Gardner, Frank. "London 2012 Olympics: Saudis allow women to compete". BBC News. Retrieved 13 July 2012.