Ridayah, 6 February 2022 (TDI): Saudi Arabia joins for the first time in history the Beijing Winter Olympics. Back in early 2021, the Saudi Winter Sports Federation put out a call looking for skiers and snowboarders. This was to form a potential delegation that is currently representing the kingdom since Thrusday.
Saudi Arabia Attempts to join the Beijing Winter Olympics
However, this historic day for Saudi Arabia has an incredible story behind it. It is compared with the Jamaican experience of achieving enough points to be qualified. In other words, as the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) recruited USA and Austria coaches, the Saudi Winter Sports Federation did the same with European trainers.
The reason was to emulate the JOA’s achievement to participate in the Winter Olympics. Besides that, the Saudi Sports Federation also prepared a training program in the Swiss Alps to proudly represent the Kingdom.
That is why Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Delegation leader said, “It’s the same concept,” to refer to the Jamaican case. “It’s inspiring how they did it and nobody thought it’s possible,” he added
In addition, the elected President of the SWSF pointed out that the federation is “seeking stars who have athletic ability, are talented, fast, powerful.” Especially those who have a desire to push their boundaries to represent their country.
In this regard, 8 male athletes were carefully selected to be part of rigorous training programs in the run-up to the Winter Olympics. All of them have minimum or little experience in winter sports; therefore, the challenge is even bigger for Saudi Arabia.
Nonetheless, the Saudi Delegation started its participation on Friday 4th. This with Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, president of the Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee, as their leader.
On route to the Olympics
Along these lines, the path for the 8 athletes wasn’t easy due to the high standards of competitiveness. That is why, Snowboarder Yousif Kurdi used to take unpaid leave from his job to hit the slopes in Chamonix, France.
“We’re going to train, and if we get 1% improvement every day, we’re good,” he said. Yousif Kurdi, selected for the Beijing Winter Olympics, pointed out that there is out of the team’s control to have been training for it all their lives.
Beijing Winter Olympics Inauguration Ceremony
Therefore, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US attended the ceremony too. She, on behalf of the Kingdom, received cheers at Beijing’s National Stadium. In this way, Princess Reema Al-Saud mentioned that athletes are an inspiration to show that there are no unattainable ambitions.
In addition to that, the ceremony hosted in the “Bird’s Nest Stadium” featured artistic and musical performances. From exhibits to musical presentations, athletes and international personalities enjoyed the Chinese culture.
In brief, the Saudi Delegation achieved their dream to join the Beijing Winter Olympics. This, as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to explore new industries, has shocked the nationals and international authorities.
Thus, the President of the SWSF also invited private businesses to help provide snow and ice for the athletes’ training. Not to mention an already-in-progress plan to build the region’s largest indoor ski slope at a Riyadh shopping mall.