Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Sasha Banks’ trip back to Abu Dhabi

A year ago, on Dec. 7, 2017, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss made history as the first women to wrestle in the United Arab Emirates. They had to adhere to UAE’s modesty mandates, but I think we all can agree Sasha’s gear still looked awesome.  In this era of WWE women’s wrestling that’s touted several first-ever matches, it’s possibly the most impactful. Since, they’ve used clips of the match, and the “This is hope” chant, in video packages and WWE 24: Women’s Evolution. 

This weekend, Sasha Banks headed back to Abu Dhabi, and its neighboring city Dubai. She received a hero’s welcome on her three-day tour to announce WWE’s partnership with the Special Olympic World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. She visited the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Later, she spent time with the students and athletes at James Wellington School and attended an event at Dubai Mall. 

Just try to look at Sasha’s pictures with Chaica Sultan Saqr Al Qassimi and try not to smile. Chaica is 22-year-old black belt and bronze medal winner. She recently spoke at the United Nations about the rights of women with disabilities. Outside of UAE, she participated in the Arab Karate Championship in Cairo, where she won her bronze medal.

Founded in 1968, the 2019 Special Olympics will be the biggest humanitarian event hosted in the Middle East. Over 7,500 athletes from 175 countries will compete in 24 events from Mar. 14 to Mar. 21, 2019.

Good on Sasha Banks, and the WWE, for continuing to give girls around the world positive representation to strive towards. They should be commended for their long-standing support of Special Olympic athletes. 

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