Jordan’s Princess Haya wants to compete in the 2012 Olympics.
The royal – wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – took part in the show jumping event at the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, and has now set her sights on being part of the Olympic team for the London games.
She told news channel CNN: “Every Games is tough for a million different reasons, and the toughest is that we’re all there trying to win the medal, all of our athletes. I still think of myself as an athlete. Yes, I want to compete in London.”
Speaking ahead of the first day of this year’s Olympics, being held in Beijing, China, Haya said she believed her inclusion in the last Olympic squad provided inspiration to other Muslim women.
She added: “It’s as difficult as it is for any woman, for any man, from any race, any colour.
“I was very lucky. My late father, His Majesty King Hussein, gave me the gift to be able to train abroad, become a professional athlete, and actually it’s a gift that he continues to give me, because now I get to see the same, the example he set, the gift that he gave me opened doors for so many other women in my part of the world.
“And now in my adopted home in the United Arab Emirates, I’m able to see for the first time two high-profile women on their delegation and one carrying the flag in the opening ceremony. And that’s something that I did in the games in Sydney, and I’m just – that’s an example of what sports does for everybody.
“It’s absolutely fantastic, and I think it’s a lot more powerful than politics, than talking, than rhetoric. I think sports really delivers.”