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Ibtihaj Muhammad: First U.S. Athlete to Wear a Hijab in the Olympics

at 10:47 am | By

This woman is making history.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is breaking down barriers in a big way. She will be the first Muslim American athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.

She’s been fencing since she was 13, but the now 30 year-old Muhammad never thought she would make it as far as she has. Over the weekend, she won the Bronze medal in the Women’s Sabre World Cup, earning her enough points to play for the U.S. fencing team in this summer’s Rio games. But that’s not all this rockstar athlete is up to…

Keep reading to hear her fascinating story!

Humble beginnings


Muhammad was born in Maplewood, New Jersey on December 4, 1985. Growing up in an athletic household, she has been active since the very beginning. She explored and fell in love with fencing after driving past a high school campus with her mother, where they witnessed a group of female fencers dressed in modest attire.

A few years later, Muhammad was admitted to Duke University on a full academic scholarship, where she continued to fence for her entire college career.

Her epic career

Muhammed’s first major fencing match took place at the 2010 World Fencing Championships. She later went on to win the Bronze medal for the women’s team at the 2011 World Fencing Championships, the Bronze at the 2012 World Fencing Championships and the Gold at the 2014 World Fencing Championships. She has also conquered the U.S. Nationals a total of 3 times. Her demeanor has remained humble, but Muhammad is still incredibly proud of what she’s accomplished as an athletic face for the Muslim American community. In her U.S.A. Fencing bio, Mohammad states, “I want to compete in the Olympics for the United States to prove that nothing should hinder anyone from reaching their goals — not race, religion or gender.”

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