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Profiles in Courage: Wojdan Shaherkani

Wodjan Shaherkani 2012 London Olympics

For some Olympic athletes, it is a risk to their lives simply to participate in The Games. Wojdan Shaherkani, a 16-year old judo competitor from Saudi Arabia, was one of two women selected to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Her participation, however, has received fiercely divided feelings among Saudis.

Women athletes are rare in Saudi Arabia, and females are never permitted to compete in front of spectators where men and women are mixed. Some of the dissenters are so angry, they have gone so far as to label both Shaherkani and Sarah Attar, another female Saudi Olympian, as prostitutes. These trailblazers are opening doors for the women of their country.


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