(WOMENSENEWS)—Despite recent losses, female athletes from the Middle East who competed in Olympic events like judo and track and field for the first time remain upbeat about their historic appearance.
One U.S. gymnast also made history this week, but the focus has shifted to a social media controversy involving her hair.
Check out the most recent news about women and the Olympics below:
Washington Post blog: Gabby Douglas and Her Ponytail
Gabby Douglas not only won gold in the gymnastics individual all-around competition at the 2012 Olympics, but she became the first African American to snag the prize. Yet some comments on Twitter in the past few days have focused not on her performance, but on her hair, according to a Washington Post blog. Some tweets read, for instance, “Jesus be a Hot Comb for Gabby Douglas Hair… Amen!” and “My mama sitting screaming at Gabby Douglas on TV because her hair not fixed.”
USA Today: U.S. Judo Gold Winner Overcame Sexual Abuse
U.S. Olympian Kayla Harrison, 22, won the gold medal in judo on Aug. 2. But she has overcome more than her opponents to get there; when she was a teenager, one of her coaches was found guilty of sexual abuse involving Harrison, reported USA Today.
BBC: First Female Saudi Arabian Athlete Makes History
The first female Saudi Arabian Olympian to compete, 16-year-old Wojdan Shahrkhani, lost her judo competition against Puerto Rican Melissa Mojica, reported the BBC Aug. 3. “Unfortunately, we did not win a medal, but in the future we will and I will be a star for women’s participation. It was the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said afterward. The other female athlete competing for Saudi Arabia in the 2012 Olympics, American-born Sarah Attar, will run in the 800-meter race next week.
Reuters: Only Afghan Woman Upbeat Despite Loss
The sole woman from Afghanistan to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games failed to advance from the 100 meter preliminary round, but Tahmina Kohistani remained positive about her role in the Games and improving her personal best time, reported Reuters Aug. 3. ”I’m saying sorry to my people for my achievement but I think my best achievement is for me to represent Afghanistan as the only female athlete…I think that’s more important than a gold medal.” She ran the race in 14.42 seconds, beating her personal best of 15 seconds.
New York Times: U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Heads to Semifinals
The U.S. women’s soccer team beat New Zealand on Aug. 3 and are now headed to the semifinals, reported the Associated Press. Abby Wambach, 32, who has scored in every match so far, has been the main focus of the women’s team this year, with New Zealand’s coach calling her a “nightmare.”
Huffington Post: Female Athlete from Qatar Injured
Noor Hussain Al-Malki of Qatar sustained an injury during the preliminary 100 meter race and was unable to complete her run, but she is still one of the four female athletes sent by the country, which has never before sent women to the Olympic Games, the Huffington Post reported.
Associated Press: Women’s Eight Rowing Continues Winning Streak
The U.S. women’s team won gold in women’s eight rowing, reported the Associated Press Aug. 2. The team also won gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and hasn’t lost a competitive event since it won the world title in 2006.
For coverage of women at the Olympics from earlier in the week read “Olympics Women Are Winning All Kinds of Notice.”