Meet the Olympians: Sarah Attar
Junior Sarah Attar will have the honor of being one of the first two women ever to compete for Saudi Arabia at the Olympics. Attar has run both cross country and track for the Waves for the past two seasons. She was born in the United States but holds dual citizenship thanks to her father.
"A big inspiration for participating in the Olympic games is being one of the first women for Saudi Arabia to be going," said Attar in an IOC press release. "It's such a huge honor and I hope that it can really make some big strides for women over there to get more involved in sport."
Attar, an art major, was named to the West Coast Conference's Commissioner's Honor Roll the past two years, as well as being recognized as a Pepperdine Scholar-Athlete. She was named to the WCC's All-Academic honorable mention squad for cross country in 2011.
"Sarah is a wonderful Pepperdine student who works hard in all she does," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "We are excited and very proud of her selection to the Saudi Arabian Olympic Team. We hope that she has a great experience and we look forward to her sharing stories with our team when we all get back together in late August."
Saudi Arabia was one of a few countries that had not yet sent women to compete at the Olympics, but after long negotiations, the International Olympic Committee announced on July 12 that the country would be sending two women to the 2012 Games in London: Attar, who will run the 800 meters, and Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, who competes in judo.
Initial heats for the women's 800 meters are scheduled for August 8, with the semifinals on August 9 and the final on August 11.
Check back here after the Olympics for a full interview exclusive with Sarah Attar.