Summer Olympics 2012: Boxing in Burqas

Posted on October 4, 2009

From the UK TimesOnline:

The Summer Olympics of 2012 will have something never seen before, female boxers.  And in an extra bonus to this new sport, there will be a team of Muslim women from Afghanistan.

This team of 25 women, aged 14-25, have been recruited to fight by former professional boxer Fadir Sharify, who is now their coach.   They are training in Kabul’s Olympic stadium, a stadium where the Taliban used to hold public executions.

Part of the challenge in assembling the team was covincing the parents of these women that it would be okay to fight in the ring.  The second challenge was how to observe the traditional Muslim dress while fighting.  But now the International Boxing Association (IBA) has agreed that the women can wear a hijab under their headgear as long as their faces are exposed.  They also will be wearing clothes which cover their bodies entirely so as not to violate the Muslim code of dress for women.

It should make for a popular Olympic event debut, not only due to the newness of the sport, but also because of  the spectacle of the uniforms.

Posted in: Sports