IOC chief Moutawakel honoured at SPIA event
Nawal El Moutawakel’s role in the participation of women from every National Olympic Committee at last year’s London Games is one of the main reasons she was named MENA Sport Business Personality at the inaugural Sports Industry Awards (SPIA).
The Moroccan, a gold medallist at the Los Angeles Games in 1984 and current Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee, has been inspiring women to participate in sport since she became the first-ever Arab, African and Muslim female Olympic champion.
Michael Chalhoub, CEO of Sport360°, who organised the new initiative alongside Mediaquest, said: “Last year was very important for sport because it was a year where we had the Olympics organised in one of the most important cities in the world in London.
“The special thing that we had in 2012 was that we had women participate for each and every country. And that’s something that needs to be underlined.
“We’d like to reward Nawal because she got elected as a Vice-President to the IOC in 2012 and I think that a lot of her efforts and dedication in making countries like Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries get women to participate in the Olympics was huge.
“I think that was the biggest business achievement by a Middle Eastern or North African person.”
Unable to receive the award herself at the glittering gala ceremony at the One & Only Royal Mirage in Dubai, Abdelali Jai, Morocco’s general consul in Dubai, was thrilled to accept on her behalf.
Proud stand-in: Abdelali Jai (second right) collected the award on Nawal El Moutawakel’s behalf.
He said: “Nawal El Moutawakel is a role model to all the Arab and Moroccan youth. She is a huge personality and her winning this award is very fitting and is no surprise for a woman like Nawal.
“She is tireless and her work in sport never stops, and even right now she can’t be with us because she is somewhere else taking care of her international duties. We are very proud of her role in the IOC.”