Olympic officials on Tuesday said that a Saudi Arabian female judo fighter can wear a type of hijab during her competition.
“We can confirm the International Judo Federation (IJF) and the Saudi National Olympic Committee, under the auspices of the [International Olympic Committee], have reached an agreement whereby the athlete can compete,” a spokesperson said according to AFP.
“The judo federation will allow her to wear something on her head, which will not compromise her safety and which I think they use for competitions in Asia. It is a solution that is acceptable to all parties,” the spokesperson added.
Saudi officials threatened to pull the athlete, Wojdan Shaherkani, from the games if she did not compete with her head covered.
Gevrise Emane, a French judo competitor who won a bronze Tuesday said, “Judo needs to be more democratic so it’s good for her as a woman to be able to compete. And it’s good for women in general as it will enable them to do sport.”
“It doesn’t bother me (if she covers her head), it’s more likely to be inconvenient for her,” she said.
Saudi Arabia has sent its first female athletes to the Olympics, but stipulated that they must compete wearing headscarves.
International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams told The Associated Press the headscarf is in line with judo rules, and is “safety compliant, but allows for cultural sensitivity.”
The other female Saudi competitor is California-based 800 m runner Sarah Attar.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.