With the Olympics starting, we’d like to gather up all the Arab flag bearers, making us proud in Rio, in one article here. We’ll start from the West to the East.
1. Mauritania: Jidou ElMoctar
He is a 31 year-old runner who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he also bore the flag, in the 200 m event. Airtime: Saturday, 13th of August.
2. Morocco: AbdelKebir Ouaddar
“I was raised as her own son by Princess Lalla Amina of Morocco.” Ouaddar, 54, started his equestrian journey at the age of 14 with the Royal Family. Airtime: Sunday, 14th of August.
3. Algeria: Sonia Asselah
She’s a 24-year-old judoka, who also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Airtime: Friday, 12th of August.
4. Tunisia: Oussama Melouli
He’s a 32-year-old, three-time olympic medalist, swimmer. Airtime: Friday, 12th of August.
5. Egypt: Alaaeldin Abouelkassem
He’s a 25-year-old fencer who won a silver medal in the men’s foil event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Airtime: 7th and 12th of August.
6. Lebanon: Nacif Elias
He is a 27-year-old udoka, won the PJC World Cup in Isla Margarita and San Salvador in 2010. He switched to Lebanon in 2013 and won silver at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014. He also won the PanAm Open in Lima and Buenos Aires in 2016. Airtime: Tuesday, 9th of August
7. Iraq: Waheed Abdul-Ridha
The 33-year-old boxer had claimed an Olympic spot with a quarterfinal victory at the 2016 AIBA World Qualifying Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan. Airtime: Tuesday, 9th of August.
8. Jordan: Hussein Ishaiash
“Ever since I joined the National Team in 2009, I wanted to reach the Olympics and now I have achieved this,” said the 21-year-old boxer. Not only that, Ishaiash, you are also the Jordanian flag bearer! Airtime: Saturday, 13th of August.
9. Oman: Hamed Said Al-Khatri
The 31-year-old shooter, started practicing shooting and competing in it in 2008. Airtime: Sunday, 14th of August.
10. Madagascar: Asaramanitra Ratiarison
The 28-year-old Judoka won various bronze medals at the African Championships U48kg; three back to back medals 2013/2015. She competed at the World Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and various Grand Slams in Paris since 2013. Airtime: Saturday, 6th of August.
11. United Arab Emirates: Nada Al-Bedwawi
The youngest flag bearer in this list, this 19-year-old swimmer is also UAE’s first female Olympic swimmer.
WE SAID THIS: It appears that there were no flag bearers for the Libyan, Sudanese, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Comoran, Kuwaiti, Yemeni and Syrian flags. Nonetheless, we are proud of all the Arabs that made it, and the teams they lead. Best of luck to all the nations, make us proud!