Saudi Arabia led out by woman driver at Rio opening ceremony



In the irony of all ironies, Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are banned from driving, were led out by a woman driver at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

As the teams of athletes were led into the Maracanã stadium, they were preceded by a tricycle bearing the name of their country. This meant the Saudi Arabian team were following the lead of a woman, which obviously did not go unnoticed.

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In 2013, Saudi religious authorities decreed that women would be allowed to cycle, but only in parks and other “recreational areas” and accompanied by a male relative.

Women were only first allowed to compete for Saudi Arabia at the 2012 Olympic games in London. In this event, four of the twelve competitors for Saudi Arabia are women.

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They are 100m runner Kariman Abuljadayel, marathon runner Sarah Attar, fencer Lubna Al-Omair, and judoka Wujud Fahmi.

This story originally appeared on The Independent.

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