Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

Journey to the Olympics 82020b4681836c28c5578f454e1591fa8199c33d

Published on March 27th, 2016 | by Amna Al Haddad


Camp with UAE National Team & Olympic Qual.

It is often perseverance that takes us places, not luck.

The last 3.5 years journey of my life in the sport of weightlifting has been an experience I will never forget. An experience that has allowed me to grow as a human being; beyond the barbell, athletic endeavors and success.

Last year, around November, after a month of being in excruciating pain I found out that I have a disc herniation and had been advised to stop lifting completely by the doctor. I was at a crossroads. I have worked hard to reach to this goal and this point.

What do I do?

I had to take a month off lifting and rehabbing my back – and once again, start training from scratch. Get my strength back, without further hurting my back. While in the US, I sought out coach Justin Oliver from Unrivaled Strength, who has a track record in getting people strong – it was only a matter of weeks until I was able to get back on my feet, almost pain-free while training and closer to getting back to my previous strength prior to the injury. As well has seeing Dr Casey Boggs, whilst in Ohio twice a week for treatments for my back.

I have had to put my head down, and do work. It wasn’t fun. My body was in pain some days, and some days I felt great. I had to push, but not too much. I had to learn how to macro diet, which I never really tried before, but it has made a difference for me (when I stuck to it! :P), but life happens and sometimes I just had to eyeball it.

In December, I found out that I was selected to part of the UAE team to compete at the upcoming Asian Games – Olympic Qualifier. So, that was a determining factor in making some changes in terms of choices, including, diet-wise, training-wise, and moving back to the UAE.

January: Crowdfunding Campaign Results

In January, I have had crowdfunding campaign at LaunchGood platform and it was an absolute success with some major players contributing to the campaign:

The founder of Stutter UAE – Farah Al Qassieh
The owner of MproveFitness and EHOH Crossfit – Mohammed Al Tamimi
& Hassan Al Sayegh.

Thank YOU!

They made a big contribution toward my campaign which has truly helped me in my training and in being able to pursue physiotherapy for my back regularly. I was supported by 76 people – from all over the world – to help fund my goal for the qualifiers.

Without PEOPLE’S and community support toward my campaign – both locally and internationally – continuing on this journey and path would have been a challenge.

February: Nike HQ Visit

In February, I was invited as an athlete from the Middle East to visit the Nike World HQ in Portland for an official welcome, and that was an amazing experience. Stay tuned for some awesomeness on the way, until then I cannot share more details just yet. Shhh…..

March & April: UAE Camp & Asian Games – Olympic Qualifier.

And that brings us to today.

I have had moved back to the UAE for a camp with the UAE National Team to train during April  and compete at the Asian Games – Olympic Qualifier taking place from 20 – 30 of April in Uzbekistan.

I have reached this far, and I wasn’t willing to walk away without giving it one more shot. One more chance. Back injured or not. I know I will do my best, no matter the end result.

Lets put this show on the road!

I wanted to take a moment to also thank my sponsors, Nike, PurePharma, Goat Tape and Compex, and everyone has been part of my journey morally, emotionally, and mentally. Thank you. <3

In the News:


About the Author

Amna Al Haddad , born in 21 Oct 1989, is an Emirati who always had a passion for health and fitness. She made history by being the first Emirati and GCC national to ever to participate in the Reebok Crossfit Games Asia Regionals. Since then she embarked on Olympic Weightlifting with being an IWF Arab and West-Asian Champ -63. A NIKE sponsored athlete, a motivational speaker and published author.

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