For the first time in the history of Olympics, a saber fencer will compete while wearing a hijab. This was announced by U.S Olympic Team on Tuesday. Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first American to participate in Rio 2016 Olympic Games and that too as a saber fencer. She qualified for this after she won a bronze medal in Athens last week. Ibtihaj Muhammad, 30, has been in the limelight before when she became the first Muslim to compete in fencing. She herself announced her selection on her official twitter account.
Originally from Maplewood, New Jersey, Muhammad started fencing at the age of 13. Her mother encouraged her to do so after she observed the fencing team and noticed that the athletes had to be fully covered in this sport. She emerged in the team as a minority as she herself realizes the “lack of minority in the sport” and stated that she wants to break the barriers for women in
this sport. Moreover, she also hopes to make history in 2016 Olympics. She is also a sponsored athlete for Dick’s Sporting Goods.
This will be Muhammad’s first Olympic performance. She is not only a part of the team but is also ranked second because of her excellent performance throughout the fencing world cup. She will complete individually as well as with her team during the Olympics Games. Muhammad will fence along with Mariel Zagunis, who is ranked first in the U.S, in Brazil this year. However, the entire team will be officially announced on April 11.