Sprinters from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan make history at the Olympics

It’s stories like these that remind us what the Olympic Games is all about. Sure, a gold medal can change your life as an athlete, but only a small group of those participating ever really taste that kind of success. For hundreds of other athletes, the mere opportunity to compete at the Games is enough.

Which brings us to the Saudi Arabian athlete who made history today, and won the support of a lot of women (and men) from around the world, when she became the first Saudi woman to compete in the 100m sprint.

You might notice Kariman Abuljadayel stands out from her fellow competitors, wearing a full-body kit and hijab.

Finishing seventh in her preliminary heat, Kariman will not advance to the final stages of the event, but that’s not the point – she should be praised for her efforts.

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Afghanistan’s Kamia Yousufi followed suit (literally) in her heat, finishing last.

Their attire drew many comparisons to Australia’s Sydney 2000 golden girl, Cathy Freeman. Their attitudes and spirits too! Supporters took to social media to commend the pairs efforts.

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What do you think about these women competing in the Olympic Games? What other tales of triumph can you recall from sports history?