Meet the First US Athlete to Wear a Hijab to the Olympic Games

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 09: Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

 

Born in Maplewood, New Jersey, of African American descent, Ibtihaj Muhammad is a fencer who has been qualified for being part of the US team that’s joining in the Olympics this year.

 

Her parents were looking for a sport that would fit in with her lifestyle as a hijabi; she’s been a fencer since the age of 13, during her school years at Columbia High School.

 

 

Four Milestones in Her Fencing Career

 

2002

olympic-team-usa-fencer-ibtihaj-muhammad
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

 

Ibtihaj joined the the Fencing Club at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, a program which treats the sport of fencing as a vehicle to develop life skills in young people. Her fencing skills were so impressive that she was invited to train under the Foundation’s Elite Athlete Program in New York City!

 

 

2005

(Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)
(Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)

 

While she attended Duke University, where she received an academic scholarship, Ibtihaj won the 2005 Junior Olympic Championship. She graduated in 2007 with an International Relations and African Studies double major.

 

 

2010

u4_u1_runner
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

 

She has been a member of the US National Fencing Team since 2010. She currently ranks 2nd in the US and 8th in the world. Ibtihaj is a 5-time Senior World medalist, including 2014 World Champion in the team event.

 

 

2014

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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

 

She launched  Louella, her own clothing company which aims to introduce modest fashionable clothing to the US market. She is also a sports ambassador serving on the US Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative.

 

 

WE SAID THIS: 3ash ya Ibtihaj!

 

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