Sarah Ahmed Samir won the bronze medal in Women’s 69 kg at the 2016 Olympics of Rio de Janeiro by lifting a combined weight of 255 kg. Xiang Yanmei from China claimed gold and Zhazira Zhapparkul from Kazakhstan won silver. Ahmed is delighted to be the first Arab woman to win a medal in her category for her country on the podium, without context.
In fact, Ahmed is the first Egyptian woman to win a bronze medal of achievement in Women’s 69 kg and the second Egyptian woman after Abeer Abdelrahman to receive a medal for her country in weightlifting.
Abeer Abdelrahman who is Ahmed’s compatriot was finally awarded the silver medal after the gold and silver medals were stripped from their original recipients due to taking drugs. Abeer Abdelrahman had competed in Women’s 75 kg at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
On Wednesday August 10th 2016, I watched the 18 year-old lift the weights and I was impressed. Tears of joy, feeling of excitement, goosebumps; they all overwhelmed me for a moment. It was truly beautiful to see a woman not letting other dictate what kind of sport she could take part in. Obviously she wasn’t naked and she dressed modestly in her own ways to compete. Our faith is not meant to be a burden for us as we can do many things and still observe it. Ahmed knows it and we all know it.
Sara Ahmed Samir adds the bronze medal she recently won to the gold medal she received at the 2014 Youth Olympics of Nanjing, China. She is excited and wonders what the reaction of her compatriots will be when she returns to Egypt.
Ahmed’s brother is also a weightlifter and this is how she became interested in the sport. Her wish according to Channel News Asia: “I hope it will encourage other girls to take up the sport. A new weightlifting generation can be born, a new beginning.“
Egypt has a history of winning gold medals in weightlifting but they haven’t won any recently. Her goal: “I hope I can help to re-establish Egypt as a successful weightlifting nation.”
Well, Sara Ahmed, you can do it! Continue to inspire and make a difference in the Arab world and the world as a whole. Congrats!