Saudi Ambassador to the US Reema Bandar Al Saud nominated to International Olympic Committee

Princess Reema has championed women's participation in sports

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 24, 2018 Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud speaks during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in the capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia on Saturday named a princess as its first woman ambassador to the United States, a key appointment as the fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder tests relations between the allies. Princess Reema bint Bandar replaced Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of the powerful crown prince who was appointed vice defence minister in a flurry of late-night royal decrees announced on state media.
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Saudi Arabia's Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud is among three women nominated to the International Olympic Committee this week as part of an effort to increase women's representation in sport.

Princess Reema, the kingdom's ambassador to the United States, said she was "thrilled" by the decision of the IOC's Executive Board to include three women candidates among the five nominees.

"Great progress has been made around the world in promoting greater access to sport for women and girls, and ensuring their equal participation in sports. I remain committed to these principles, and look forward to building on the IOC's efforts in this respect," she wrote on Twitter.

Princess Reema is a member of the IOC's Women in Sport Commission and has led efforts to increase women's participation in sport in Saudi Arabia. She is the Deputy of Women’s Affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority, a board member of Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, chair of the Saudi Arabia Special Olympics and board member of the Saudi Sport for All Federation.

The IOC executive board also nominated Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes of Cuba and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia at its virtual meeting on June 10. The two male nominees are Lord Sebastian Coe of Britain and Battushig Batbold of Mongolia.

The nominations will be voted on at the IOC session on July 17, which will also be held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With the election of these five candidates, the IOC Session and the entire Olympic Movement would benefit from an extremely valuable range of skills and expertise," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement announcing the nominations, noting that "we are also bringing up the female membership to 39”.