Saudi Runner Sarah Attar, the Second Saudi Woman to Compete at the Games


Saudi Arabia’s Sarah Attar runs in her women’s 800m round 1 heat at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN)

Although she didn’t place in her 800m heat, Sarah Attar will go down in history. Along with judoka Wojdan Shaharkhani, who competed on August 3, Attar is part of the first group of women from Saudi Arabia to ever compete in the Olympic Games.

The young, US-raised runner (whose photo—sans hijab—mysteriously disappeared from the official Olympics site earlier this week) is a student at Pepperdine University, where she majors in art. A New York Times profile of the athlete noted last month that Attar’s family requested her university remove photographs of her practicing in shorts and a tank top, which may explain the disappearance of her photo from the Olympics site.

Attar told NPR that it was a “huge honor” to represent Saudi Arabia.