People Are Awesome: Scarf Selling Judo Champ Is Palestine's First Olympian
Maher Abu Rmeileh can one arm shoulder throw you across the room and then help you accessorize your neckwear. His family runs a scarf stall in the old section of East Jerusalem where he still works, but he trains up to four hours a day in the local YMCA and with grit and determination has become the first Palestinian to qualify to compete in the Olympics. He has trained 20 years for this moment, starting with childhood sparring with his judo-practicing father.
Other Palestinians have participated in the Olympic Games as part of an honorary invitation to developing nations that fail to meet the qualifying standards, but Abu Rmeileh made history by meeting the standards applied to any other Olympic hopeful.