Inspiring success from GCC women athletes, now for the Olympics

Published on The National, by Chuck Culpepper, March 15, 2011.

A rare feeling availed itself last week in Abu Dhabi, a sense of being a privileged witness to an energetic blooming in a cultural history. In six sports around the capital, women from five countries competed and won medals and stood for national anthems in the second GCC Women’s Games … //

… Noora Al-Ammari, 16, a Bahraini taekwondo artist, found “a good experience, and it’s my first time abroad. I am one of the three youngest players on the Bahraini team. I played my first match yesterday against the UAE, and it was hard, but at least I got points, which is better than nothing.” Notably, she receives enthusiastic parental support “especially from my dad. He thinks taekwondo’s a good game for me. “He likes how we compete, how we get confidence and stuff. It teaches respect and commitment.”

Of course, all pioneers ram into walls. 

Abrar Al-Fahad, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti gold medallist in taekwondo, sees “improvement” but craves “more participation,” noting that only Kuwait and Bahrain entered her weight division, and that in Kuwait, “We have only six girls, so we get to spar only against each other.” She regarded Sheikha Maitha’s numerous training partners and the UAE’s Korean coaches with a healthy envy … (full text).

Links:

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf CCASG – in short Gulf Coperation Council GCC – on wikipedia: The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG; Arabic: مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية‎),  also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a political and economic union involving six Arab states of the Persian Gulf with many economic and social objectives;
the Council’s Homepage and Gulf Links;

Abu Dhabi to host GCC Women’s Games, March 2, 2011: More than 350 athletes from five Gulf countries are expected to take part in the second GCC Women’s Games that kicks off in Abu Dhabi on Monday;

UAE to host GCC Women’s Games, April 16, 2009.

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