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Saudi Arabia lets a woman onto its Olympic team

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Saudi Arabia has decided to add a woman to its 2012 Olympics team, after watching a YouTube montage of Mia Hamm photos set to "You're the Best Around" much arm-twisting. The move followed an announcement from Anita DeFrantiz, head of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Women and Sports Commission, who said she would bar any country which didn't allow female athletes to compete from global competition.

Now, don't get crazy. Just because they're letting a lady on the team doesn't mean Saudi Arabia is going all women's lib on our asses. Girls are still forbidden from participating in sports at state-run schools, and there don't seem to be plans to finally start a federation to organize women's sports. Plus, the team's token female athlete will have to live abroad. But the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee has vowed to support a woman who lives in Europe and qualifies through the IOC or international federations.

The country hasn't picked its lady yet, but eighteen-year-old Dalma Rushdi Malhas appears to be its the most likely candidate. Malhas, an equestrian, won a bronze medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore in individual show jumping.

I know you're probably still fighting back tears over this heart-warming story of a country being dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century, so I'll leave you with a sports-themed video every bit as inspirational: