Saudi Arabia’s Sarah Attar may have finished last (and more than 30 seconds behind her closest competitor) in yesterday’s women’s 800 meters race, but she portrayed one of the best you-go-girl Olympic moments in these Games that made everyone in the stadium stand up and cheer.
At 19 years old, Attar is the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics–a feat which made history. Keep in mind, that Saudi Arabia is the same country where women are not allowed to travel abroad without permission from a man; they are also banned from driving and weren’t even allowed to vote until last year. So the fact that Attar was at the Olympics, representing her country and women, was huge.
And even though she came in last place in the 800-meter race, she didn’t seem to care (unlike the poor sportsmanship we saw with McKayla Maroney). In a statement to the Associated Press, Attar said that she was simply proud to be there:
This is such a huge honor and an amazing experience, just to be representing the women. I know that this can make a huge difference.
Attar went on to say that her goal is to inspire other women now:
For women in Saudi Arabia, I think this can really spark something to get more involved in sports, to become more athletic. Maybe in the next Olympics, we can have a very strong team to come. I mean, seeing the support like that, it’s just an amazing experience,” she said. “I was so excited to be a part of it. I really hope this can be the start of something amazing.
And inspiring, she is. As Attar rounded the track in last place, she did so to a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. It was quite simply, one of the best moment in the Olympics this summer. You go, girl.