For Tunisia, which first participated in the Games in 300 BC, Wajdi Bouallegue may hold the best chance at Olympic gold. The gymnast, who was recently profiled by CNN about his participation in the 2011 revolution and photographed performing athletic stunts in the former presidential home, has won the African title for floor exercises six times since 2000.
Middle Eastern pioneers are already breaking records in the 2012 London Olympics. Saudi Arabian women are competing for the first time, Tunisia is going for the gold in basketball, the UAE is making its debut, and much more. See action shots of some of the region’s Olympic trailblazers.