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DailyBeast: Royal Olympians

Princess Haya of Jordan

Before the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Princess Haya of Jordan was prepared to withdraw from her country’s show-jumping team because her father, King Hussein, was dying. So she wrote to a former Olympic champion, Muhammad Ali, to ask for advice. “He was the only person I confided in,” Princess Haya admitted many years later. “I was thinking about stopping competing and pulling out of the Games. I never thought [my letter] would get to him or that he would ever read it. He replied to me and said I must go ahead. He subsequently discovered my identity and looked me up in Sydney. He was very kind and very supportive during the Games.” Now married to the ruler of Dubai, Princess Haya is retired from show jumping but she remains one of the most successful racehorse owners in the world.

(Photo: AP Photo)
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