Ibtihaj Muhammad (born December 4, 1985) is an American sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team. She is best known for being the first Hijabi Muslim woman to qualify for the United States Olympic team. She will make history at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when she becomes the first United States athlete to compete in the international games wearing a Hijab.
In 2014, she founded a clothing company called Louella aimed at making “modest, fashion-forward clothing.”
Time reports that “…as a kid, Ibtihaj Muhammad stood out. She was faster and stronger than her friends, and she was serious about her religion. Most of the sports she tried required physically revealing gear, in sharp contrast to the modesty her Muslim faith required. Then she discovered fencing. The sport let her express her athletic talent, and the uniform allowed her to stay true to her faith.”
“My parents were looking for a sport for me to play where I wouldn’t have to alter the uniform as a Muslim woman.”
“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. I want to set an example that anything is possible with perseverance.”