She was trained outside of Saudi Arabia for much of her life.Saudi officials have gone back and forth this year over whether Saudi women would be officially supported as Olympic contenders. Human Rights Watch and other groups pressed the International Olympic Committee to demand Saudi Arabia include women if it wanted to take part in the games.In March, a Saudi prince said women could compete in the games as long as they didn’t defy Islamic laws, but in April, the Saudi sports minister declared that “female sports activity has not existed and there is no change in this regard.”
The country would not block women from competing, he said, but would not officially endorse them."The reality is there are virtually no Saudi sportswomen up to Olympic standards," an editorial in theSaudi Gazette argued at the time. "It is ridiculous, and frankly malevolent, wanting to punish Saudi Arabia now for something that is beyond its control."Human rights groups argued that keeping women out flouted the Olympic Charter against discrimination.
The matter was settled on Sunday, just weeks before the London Olympics are to begin, when the Saudi embassy in London announced that the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee “will oversee the participation of women athletes who can qualify for the Games.”“The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee is working in a close and constructive cooperation with the international Olympic Committee to achieve this participation,” it added.
Along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei will also send female athletes to the games for the first time this summer, the International Olympic Committee reported last month.