This Athlete Becomes First Dubai Lady To Feature In Global Nike Campaign

With the Olympics around the corner, there will be a lot of interest from the UAE to see how our athletes perform. One person hoping for success is Amna Al Haddad , the 26-year-old Emirati weightlifter. 

She has created history by becoming the first Emirati and GCC national to compete in the Asia Regionals and the first and only Muslim woman to do so in a headscarf.

Now she features in the Nike Inner Strenght campaign. Her story is remarkable in that she was depressed and overweight before she started training, and this road has led who to hopefully representing the UAE in Rio at this summer's games. 'Inner Strength' is a documentary series that captures the inspiration and motivation that drive Nike athletes in their training.

You can follow Amna's journey on her social media channels

'I was depressed and a few pounds overweight'

“Before all this, I was depressed and a few pounds overweight, then there was a day where I was like, ‘You can do much more than this. You can be better than this.' So, I said to myself, ‘Go and do something. Go for a walk.’ And that’s what I did. I went for a walk and that changed my life. From there, I started going to the gym normally and then I got into CrossFit, which changed my view of strength sports for women, and I just fell in love with weightlifting.”  

Nike Inner Strength Campaign, 2016

Amna competes wearing a head scarf

Part of the Nike Inner Strength Campaign

Almost there...

Not much left before we travel! I am humbled that I am going to be participating at one of the biggest weightlifting events in history - the Asian Championship , Olympic qualifier for Rio - taking place in Uzbek from 22-30 of April. The last four years of my life haven't been easy, nothing was handed to me, I worked for everything I have. There were those who believed me in and stuck by me from day one, and those who came for a period to push me forward and then disappeared and those who flat out ignored me and laughed at me. But I still stand tall and I still persisted because I know what I am doing goes beyond the weight on the barbell (that's between me and myself). I am part of something bigger and that has more weight than any colored plates lifted. 💪❤️

A post shared by آمنة الحداد Amna Al Haddad 🇦🇪 (@amna.s.alhaddad) on

Written By

Richard Fitzgerald

Rich is a media fiend who hasn't been seen without an iPhone in hand since 2007. With a passion for all things health and fitness, what he lacks in hair he more than makes up for in creativity. As the founder of Lovin Dubai, he's our fearless leader.