Emirati and American athletes also connect through ice hockey. In February 2019, the UAE Women’s National Hockey team hosted clinics for hockey players with intellectual and developmental disabilities in partnership with the American Special Hockey Association in Washington DC, New York, and Boston.
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, the UAE was represented by a team of 13 athletes (the country’s largest squad ever) in six different disciplines. The team included 18-year-old swimmer Nada Al Bedwawi, an NYU Abu Dhabi student who was the UAE’s first female swimmer to compete in the Olympics and was the UAE national team’s flag bearer. Another top UAE athlete, weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, trained extensively in the United States and is recognized as a pioneer in women’s sports.