On February 23, Saudi Arabia announced that Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan, known as a trailblazer in the drive to empower women in the Kingdom, would be appointed Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, making her the first female envoy in her country’s history. She was also given the rank of minister, making her the first woman minister in Saudi Arabia. This week, the Kingdom had more announcements to make regarding Princess Reema, this time revealing that she has also been appointed head of the newly established Saudi Special Olympics Federation.
According to Saudi Gazette, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the board of directors of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (GSA) and president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, issued an order this month to establish the Saudi Special Olympics Federation, a decision that coincided with the Kingdom’s announcement to participate in the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, scheduled to be held from March 14 to 21.
Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal
According to Gulf News, the Special Olympics World Games is the first of its kind to be held in the Middle East and North Africa, and is set to be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world in 2019. Over 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 190 nations will participate in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women in Sports Commission and a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, has undeniably been the most prominent female figure in sports in the Kingdom for years, making her the ideal candidate to head the special Olympic body.