Five Saudi children have returned from Athens where they took part in a special awards ceremony for the 29 winners from 17 countries in the ‘Visa Olympics of the Imagination’ (VOI) global art competition for young people. The winners, each accompanied by a parent, were flown to the Greek capital where they witnessed four events in the 2004 summer Olympics and visited cultural sites such as the Parthenon. The five ( Souha Al-Shahri: Rana Al-Amri: Salam Taraben: Lina El-Shamy: and Saeed Abdelrahman Al-Hafezare the first to represent the Middle East region since the launch of the competition at the 1994 winter Olympics in Norway.
Over the past decade, nearly a million schoolchildren ages 9 to 13 have participated in the biennial competition, submitting an original piece of art based on selected themes that highlight the Olympic spirit and a united and peaceful world. For the Athens 2004 Games, the theme was “How the Olympic Games can help create a better future”.