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Royal Olympians: Princess Haya of Jordan

Picture by Mark Thomas / i-Images

Coming from the Middle Eastern country of Jordan, Princess Haya is the only royal from the Hashemite kingdom that has competed in the Olympics. Haya is the daughter of the late King Hussein and late Queen Alia; her half-brother, King Abdullah, is currently Jordan’s monarch.

As with her British counterparts, Haya is an equestrian and competed in the games for Jordan in show jumping.

Princess Haya qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and represented Jordan in show jumping and served as the country’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. She also qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, but did not compete after her horse was injured.

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Since the 2000 Olympic Games, Haya became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2007; her time as a member of the IOC ended in 2014. In 2010, she was named as a member of IOC’s International Relations Committee and later served on the IOC Athletes’ and Culture and Olympic Education Commissions. She also serves as a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee alongside several other royals from across the globe.

Although Haya is no longer competing or a member of the IOC, the Princess still attends the Olympic Games to support Jordanian athletes, including the 2008 Bejing Games and the 2012 London Games.

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Haya’s older half-brother, Prince Faisal, now serves on the IOC and is President of the Jordanian Olympic Committee.

In 2014, IOC President Thomas Bach awarded Princess Haya the Trophy of the International Olympic Committee. He said about Haya: “To thank you for your role and your dedication to sport and Olympism, I would like to award you the Trophy of the International Olympic Committee with all our respect and all your recognition for your great work.

“Her Royal Highness Princess Haya has been involved in sport since childhood. Since then, she has devoted her life to sport and, in particular, to equestrian sport. She was the first Arab woman to compete in equestrian events at the continental, world and Olympic levels. She won a bronze medal at the 1992 Pan-Arab Games before taking part in the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, where she was also the flag bearer of Team Jordan.”

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He later added: “Since 2007, within the IOC, she has played a very, very active role, even before becoming an IOC member, serving on various IOC commissions: Athletes’, Culture and Olympic Education, International Relations, Entourage, Women and Sport, and Marketing.

“Through her commitment, enthusiasm, drive and courage, HRH Princess Haya is an example and inspiration to many women in her country, in her region and a great encouragement for many people.”

Haya continues to be heavily involved in equestrianism and previously served as the President of the International Equestrian Federation. She is also a regular at Ascot.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.