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Nawal El Moutawakel

From Academic Kids

Nawal El Moutawakel is a Moroccan hurdler, born on 15 April 1962 in Casablanca. She won the inaugural women's 400 m hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first Muslim and African woman become an Olympic champion.

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 declared that all girls born the day of her victory were to be named in her honour. Her medal also meant the breakthrough for sporting women in Morocco and other Muslim countries.

In 1995, she became a council member of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), and in 1998 she became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Nawal El Moutawakel is married with Mr. Bennis and has two children.

Nawal El Moutawakel is now president of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission for the selection of the town which will hold the Olympic games of 2012.


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