Abtal: A new podcast series on Arab journeys to the Paris Olympics

Ons Jabeur, Mayar Sherif, Farida Osman, Abdullah Al Marri and Hana Goda feature in the first episodes

The National is launching Abtal, a podcast series featuring conversations with Arab athletes on their journeys to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Arabic word Abtal means both champions and heroes.

Hosted by sports journalist Reem Abulleil, this series will delve deep into the lives of some of the region's sporting heroes, focusing on the human behind the athlete, the pressures they endure and the mentality they adopt to perform and excel.

Among the sportswomen and men Reem has sat down with are tennis stars Ons Jabeur and Mayar Sherif, swimmer Farida Osman, equestrian Abdullah Al Marri, and table tennis prodigy Hana Goda, getting the chance to view them in a different light, one that goes beyond their results or popularity or status, and to let them narrate their own stories, and tell everyone what they expect of themselves rather than what the world expects of them.

The goal is that by the time of the Olympic Games in July, listeners will have gained a deeper understanding of what these athletes go through to make it to the biggest stage in the world of sport.

Tune in weekly from January 29 to February 19 for the first four episodes, and stay tuned for the second part of this series later this year as Reem speaks to more Olympians from the region.

Abtal can be downloaded and subscribed to on all popular podcast platforms and apps.

Updated: January 29, 2024, 5:58 AM