RELATED: Olympics for Kids
The 2016 Olympics in Rio started last Friday, and the television is always on at our house. This is very unusual for us, but we made an exception so we can cheer on our favorite Arabic speaking athletes at the 2016 Olympics Games.
At the 2016 Rio Games, there are 486 athletes in 362 events representing The Arabic countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These amazing athletes come from 20 out of the 22 countries that are part of MENA, with only Kuwait and Syria not taking part. To inspire my daughters to watch the Olympic Games, I compiled a list of five Arab Olympic winners that have won medals in the past years.
5 Arab Olympic Winners
Habiba Ghribi, Tunisia
Habiba Ghribi attended the 2008 and 2012 and won in the women’s 3000m steeplechase at the London 2012 Games. She is the first woman in Tunisia to win an Olympic medal.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Nouria Merah-Benida, Algeria
Nouria Merah-Benida participated in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Games. She won gold for both women’s 800 meters and 1500 meters in track in 2000 Sydney Games. Later that year, she went on to win silver in the 800 meter and a gold medal at the 1500 meter at the African Championships as well.
Ghada Shouaa, Syria
Ghada Shouaa attended the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. At Atlanta 1996, Ghada won the women heptathlon event. She was the first Syrian athlete to win a gold medal.
Nezha Bidouane, Morocco
Nezha attended the 1992, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. She won bronze at the 2000 Sydney’s Olympic Games for women’s 400m hurdles. Before that, she won a gold medal at the Greece 1997 World Championships.
Nawal El Moutawakel, Morocco
Nawal EL Moutawakel attended the 1984 Olympic Games winning gold at the 400 meters hurdles for women in Las Angeles. She is the first woman from an Islamic nation to win an Olympic medal, and the first Moroccan athlete to win a gold medal.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
These Arab Olympic winners have achieve the unthinkable on the world stage. They have sacrificed so much to compete with the best of the best. I hope more Arab women athletes become medal winners this year in Rio. I want my daughters to know that there is no limit to what they can achieve. Do you have a favorite country you are cheering on?
Don’t forget to download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.
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