Amna Al Haddad
Amna Al Haddad

Amna Al Haddad

Former Journalist and Olympic weightlifter
United Arab Emirates

Amna is a multi-award-winning sports pioneer from the Gulf, freelance journalist and motivational speaker. She is known for breaking the glass ceiling as an Olympic weightlifting athlete from the UAE. In 2012, she decided to turn her passion into a career and became a full-time athlete. She was the first Arab woman to participate in international competitions and helped UAE reach the Rio Olympics in 2016. She is a mental health advocate and writer, who also inspired the development of the Nike Pro Hijab.


What is your favourite sport? Outdoor activities!
What drives you? The endless possibilities of a new day.
What was your defining moment to get to where you are now? Deciding to take action toward bettering my life through choosing exercise as a method to tackle my mental health.
What is your first sporting memory? Taking part in a fitness event in 2011 in the UAE, which was my first exposure to the world of sports and competing.
Who is your inspirational woman in sport? Every woman can be her own inspiration.
Why is sport important? Sports can build character, resilience, and gives you the ability to deal with failure with grace.  Sport is not about winning.  It’s about human spirit and what it is made of.  It brings joy, sadness, excitement, thrill, and exploring how far one can go within human physical ability.