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El Moutawakel, a former Olympian, celebrates International Day of the Girl in Mumbai

Mumbai: Nawal El Moutawakel, a member of the Laureus Academy and gold medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, visited the Magic Bus program in Mumbai to commemorate International Day of the Girl.

Along with former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, El Moutawakel paid a visit. The event also featured PT Usha, president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), who competed with El Moutawakel in the 1984 Olympics and has a unique relationship with him off the track.

Later this week, both Laureus Academy members and PT Usha will be in Mumbai for the IOC session. Their visit on Wednesday will provide them a chance to promote the Olympic principles of excellence, camaraderie, and respect.

The first-ever women’s 400-meter final in LA was won by El Moutawakel. By doing so, she added to history by becoming the first Muslim woman to win a gold medal and the first Moroccan athlete to do so.

As a founding member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, she visited the Magic Bus project, which has been giving children and young people in India access to education, opportunities, and a way out of poverty since 1999.

In India, Laureus Sport for Good and Magic Bus have a long-standing collaboration. The project has received funding from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation since its start in 2001, and it was honored with the Sport for Good Award at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards.

“Seeing the amazing job Magic Bus doing inspires me. By providing young girls and boys with educational possibilities, they have transformed lives. The goal of gender equality and the International Day of the Girl are intertwined. Within underserved neighborhoods, an initiative like Magic Bus is assisting in making that a reality, according to El Moutawakel.

“Today is International Day of the Girl Child, observed by the United Nations. Through sport, we can empower girls and promote gender equality, and I’ve had a terrific experience. Before the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, Sergey Bubka and I am present here with Nawal El Moutawakel. IOA President PT Usha expressed gratitude to Laureus for everything that they do to promote gender equity in sport.

It’s amazing how many of Laureus’ own values this goal embraces. Every day, we observe how sport can improve the lives of children and young people in need, and we both believe that sport has the capacity to transform the world, according to Magic Bus CEO Jayant Rastogi.

Several well-known Indian sports figures, such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Kapil Dev, are members of the Laureus Academy. The fact that India is hosting the ICC Cricket Men’s World Cup this month, which is being played in 10 different stadiums in 10 different Indian cities, strengthens the nation’s growing stature as a major force in international sport.

The International Olympic Committee’s general assembly, or the 141st IOC session, would then take place in Mumbai from October 15 to 17. There has only ever been one other IOC session convened in India.