Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today's Olympic Hero

The Big-Cat was in the Bird's Nest last night to see two amazing being Usain Bolt winning the 200m race in world record time (by about 7 metres)...see picture taken by the Big Cat.

But, in my humble opinion, an even more amazing thing was watching Roqaya Al-Gassra from Bahrain run the 200m Women's semi-final. She didn't win, in fact, she finished 6th in her semi-final heat and did not qualify for the final that was to be run on Thursday evening. Roqaya missed qualifying for the final by only 12/100ths of a second. What I find amazing about Roqaya is that she runs in a full hijab...especially since Bahrain does not require its athletes to compete in traditional Muslim garb, but Roqaya Al-Gassra chooses to wear the full hijab while she is sprinting against the best women in the world.

She had won her quarter final heat in the 200 meter dash on Tuesday and she says she wears the full hijab as a personal choice. “Wearing the hijab shows that there are no obstacles,” she said. “I’ve set my best times wearing the hijab.”

She wears the hijab to respect her religion and her customs. She wears it because she chooses to; and that is what the Olympic ideal is all about.

Keep in mind, the Olympic moto is Citius, Altius, Fortius (Swifter, Higher, Stronger)...and it's not just about being Swifter, Higher, Stronger than everyone else in the world... but it is really about being Swifter, Higher, Stronger than you were yesterday; Swifter, Higher, Stronger than the perceptions of your society; or Swifter, Higher, Stronger than whatever limits have been placed on you (or limits you have placed on yourself). And Roqaya demonstrates all of these goals.

Despite her not making the final of the 200m, Roqaya is truly Swifter, Higher, Stronger.

1 comment:

Mika Ryan said...

P-kitty, you're not just a cat, you're a philosopher!