International Olympic Committee | Member | 0 Morocco
No women in the world of sport has done more to popularize the Olympic Movement. and the sport of Athletics within the African region as Nawal El Moutawakel. As an Olympic Champion and IOC member, her honours on and off the track have been outstanding.
She made history in 1984 when she won an Olympic gold Medal in 400 m hurdles at the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. There she became the first Muslim and African woman Olympic champion and Morocco’s first ever Olympic champion.
She has played an active role within her country as a leading sport administrator and is a key figure in many of the sport policies which exist today in her country which has inspired some of the world’s greatest Athletes.
El Moutawakel has been a longstanding and active member of the IOC Working Group on Women and Sport since 1996. She was also the first woman Chair of the IOC Evaluation Committee, which evaluated the candidates for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games
She is also a vital member of the IAAF Council member since 1995 and is a leading figure promoting development and Women in Sport amongst Athletics.
Her legacy continues when she founded the 'Run for Fun” 10km run which takes place annually through the streets of Casablanca for women from 15 - 75 years. The 2007 edition marked the 9th time this event was staged and it is organised under the umbrella of the Moroccan Association of Sport and Development of which she is the President. In 2006, a record 25,000 women took part; the numbers have increased phenomenally since the race was first run. The mission is to promote sport in Morocco and encourage women’s participation.
El Moutawakel uses her popularity and influence to continue breaking down barriers for women. She has been an agent of change in the male-dominated Moroccan society, helping and inspiring other women to assert themselves through sport.
Her leadership and vision serve as an example globally, and she has been recognized by the USA’s Women in Sport Foundation where she was awarded the prestigious Women in Sport Award this year.
El Moutawakel and her husband, Mounir Bennis, have two children, Zineb and R?da, and live in Casablanca, Morocco.