Algerian Judo Star Promoted To Sports Government Position
A trailblazer when it comes to the judo world, Salima Souakri is moving up to help those like her.
It was announced that Souakri has been named the new Minister of Youth and Sports for Algeria. This comes after being a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is the first woman from Algeria and the Arab community to take part in the Olympic tournament.
“I am the first woman athlete to obtain such a position of responsibility. I am very proud of it,” Souakri stated in a release. “After a career, during which I devoted all my energy to the promotion of sport and its values, it comes to embellish my life. I thank President Abdelmadjid Tebboune for the confidence he has placed in me.
“However, I realize that it is a heavy responsibility to be able to bring all my experience to elite Algerian sport and female sport. The current health situation is critical around the world. It is time that we roll up our sleeves to prepare for the big deadlines to come.”
Souakri has competed in four Olympic ceremonies. She placed fifth in the 1996 Summer Games, losing out on the bronze medal. She finished seventh in the 2000 Olympics and fifth in the 2004 Olympics. During her time in the sport, Souakri won the Paris Tournament and the African Championship ten times.
One of her first projects will be working towards the 2020 Olympics, which were postponed to 2021. She will also be working on the 2022 Mediterranean Games, which will take place in Oran, Algeria. Souakri is hoping to use all the core values of judo to her advantage when it comes to moving from the mat to the main stage.
“I am where I am thanks to judo,” Souakri went on to say. “The sport taught me combativeness, willingness, and perseverance. I am among other things very proud to be part of the Gender Equity Commission of the International Judo Federation. I also hope in the coming months to be able to collaborate effectively with all international bodies.”