Royalty in Rosemary: Ironman princes from Bahrain cause a stir

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM.

Others were indifferent. And still others thought they should not have been allowed to participate in the Ironman calling attention to the protest raised by a human rights organization, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain, that sent a letter to Ironman CEO Andrew Messick requesting that the princes’ applications to compete in the race be denied. The organization said it was attempting to “alert” Ironman officials of “grave allegations of deeply unethical behavior, including defamation, arbitrary arrest and torture directed and carried out by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad and Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.”

Bahrain, an island nation situated between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Persian Gulf, has endured an ongoing political uprising since February 2011 with citizens calling for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its crackdown on protests.

Following the visit, Shaikh Nasser was quoted by the Bahrain News Agency as vowing to bring an Ironman tournament to Bahrain . "We had not brought the magic carpet with us to achieve our good results, but we competed with you fairly," he said in jest, adding that Bahraini team simply wanted to honor their country.

This marks the second time royalty has recently stopped by the South Walton area. In late October, Destin played host to King Safrotwe Kakradae IV, ruler of the Aduana-Abrade clan in the eastern region of Ghana. He spent seven days on the Emerald Coast and met with area business leaders and prospective investors.


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