Nawal El Moutawakel

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Nawal El Moutawakel (Arabic: نوال المتوكل‎) (born on April 15, 1962 in Casablanca) is a Moroccan hurdler, who won the inaugural women's 400 m hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first female Muslim born on the continent of Africa to become an Olympic champion.[1] In 2007, El Moutawakel was named the Minister of Sports in the upcoming cabinet of Morocco.

Although she had been a quite accomplished runner, the victory of El Moutawakel, who studied at Iowa State University at the time, was a surprise. The King of Morocco telephoned El Moutawakel to give his congratulations, and he declared that all girls born the day of her victory were to be named in her honor.[2] Her medal also meant the breakthrough for sporting women in Morocco and other mostly Muslim countries.

She was a pioneer for Muslim and Arabic athletes in that she confounded long-held beliefs that women of such backgrounds could not succeed in athletics.[3]

In 1995, El Moutawakel became a council member of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), and in 1998 she became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

El Moutawakel is a member of the International Olympic Committee, and she was the president of evaluation commissions for the selection of the host city for the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games.[4]

In 2006, El Moutawakel was one of the eight bearers of the Olympic flag at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy.

Achievements

References

External links

1984: Nawal El Moutawakel (MAR)  • 1988: Debbie Flintoff-King (AUS)  • 1992: Sally Gunnell (GBR)  • 1996: Deon Hemmings (JAM)  • 2000: Irina Privalova (RUS)  • 2004: Fani Halkia (GRE)  • 2008: Melaine Walker (JAM)

 1983: Nawal El Moutawakel (MAR)  •  1987: Nawal El Moutawakel (MAR)  •  1991: Nezha Bidouane (MAR)  •  1993: Nezha Bidouane (MAR)  •  1997: Nezha Bidouane (MAR)  •  2001: Sylvanie Morandais (FRA)  •  2005: Benedetta Ceccarelli (ITA)  •  2009: Phara Anacharsis (FRA)

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