I've beaten that mark three times, quite frankly with little training, each time in my 40's.
And believe me, I've never been Olympic material.
So what's Sarah Attar doing in the Olympics?
The short answer is this: Though she was born and raised in California, Attar has dual U.S.-Saudi Arabian citizenship. The Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee previously did not allow women on their team. In 2012, the International Olympic Committee threatened to ban Saudi Arabia from the Games unless they did so. So, Attar and one other woman were drafted as tokens to let Saudi Arabia compete. She was assigned a distance she had never competed in before - the 800 meters - and came in dead last in a qualifying heat.
This year she's representing Saudi Arabia again, and once again the qualification requirement has been waived for her - in order to let Saudi Arabia conform to the rule.
Attar ran cross-country in high-school and college in California. I have no idea whether she was a "devout" or "practicing" Muslim. But she ran in typical shorts and a singlet. Apparently she still trains that way. However, most photos of her running in non-Muslim garb have been scrubbed from the internet. Publicity photos now show her running in Muslim attire. And she will of course be wearing a full Muslim body suit when running the Marathon in Rio.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to run a marathon wearing a full body suit, especially on a hot day.
This mediocre athlete who lent her name and "talent" to covering for (literally) one of the most misogynistic countries in the world has, as one might expect, become another sharia-feminist icon, snaring a sponsorship opportunity with Oiselle, a women's sports clothing company, among other things. She claims to be fighting for her Saudi Arabian sisters:
Attar sees her American freedoms as a unique opportunity, almost a responsibility, to show the world, and specifically Saudi girls, that sports are a possibility for them. “I feel my story speaks to the value of the Olympic creed of the importance of participation over winning, of global connectivity,” she told RunnersWorld.
The Fittish article that the above quotation comes from reminds us of Nawal El Moutawakel - the first woman from a majority Muslim country to win an Olympic Gold medal. She won the Gold for Morocco in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. Ms. Moutawakel is currently Vice-President of the IOC.
As far as I can tell, she never wears a hijab.
Nawal El Moutawakel is a heroine. Sarah Attar is a shill.
|Nawal El Moutawakel|