America’s First Muslim Olympian Athlete Will Inspire You to Be Better
Ibtihaj Muhammad found fencing when she was 12 years old, growing up in New Jersey, USA. As a practicing Muslim, her mother was eager to find a sport that would allow her daughter to dress modestly, to honor Islam. This launched an unexpected, barrier-breaking career for Ms. Muhammad, who, in 2016, became the first Muslim woman to represent the United States at the Olympics wearing a hijab.
She was part of the women’s saber team that won a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro, which continued her meteoric rise to fame. Time magazine placed Ms. Muhammad on its list of “The 100 Most Influential People” and Hillary Clinton tweeted about her during her presidential campaign.
In Rio, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American Muslim athlete to compete while wearing a hijab. pic.twitter.com/OrRSHnH2Ra
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 8, 2016
A Barbie doll has been modeled after her.
But in her new memoir, “Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream,” which is out this month along with a young readers edition, Ms. Muhammad documents the alienation she felt from her teammates and coach, the death threats that she said neither the United States Fencing Association nor the Olympic committee took seriously, and her feelings of anxiety and despair.