Fencer will be first U.S. Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab


Over the next few months, more and more American athletes will qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

One of them -- Ibtihaj Muhammad -- has already made history.

Muhammad, a top female fencer, won bronze at a World Cup event last weekend, securing her spot on the team. She will be the first U.S. Olympian to compete in a hijab, the headscarf worn by some Muslim women.

“When most people picture an Olympic fencer, they probably do not imagine a person like me,” she said after another recent competition. “Fortunately, I am not most people.”


Though it is a difficult time to be Muslim in the United States, the Duke-educated woman has not let that slow her down.

“I have always believed that with hard work, dedication and perseverance, I could one day walk with my U.S. teammates into Olympic history,” she said.

President Obama singled her out during a speech at a Baltimore mosque this week.

“Bring home the gold,” he reportedly said to Muhammad, who was in the audience. “No pressure.”

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