Ethan Garcia

Ethan Garcia

An American Muslim Fencer Lunges Into U.S. Olympic History In Rio

Even if fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad doesn't medal at the Rio Olympics, she is set to make the history books. Once she hits the fencing strip for her first bout in the women's individual sabre competition on Aug. 8, she will become the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete while wearing a hijab.

Olympic Stories:
"She didn't find fencing. The sport found her when she was 12, during a car ride with her mother. They were passing a fencing practice at her local high school in Maplewood, N.J., and her mother couldn't help but notice what the athletes were wearing.Fencers, they wear long jackets, and they wear long pants. And "as a Muslim youth, I was looking for a sport where I didn't have to alter the uniform in any way."
"America is all that I know. I feel American down to my bones. For anyone to challenge that idea, that I'm not American or that I don't belong, it's frustrating," Muhammad says. "I want people to see a Muslim woman in hijab and represent the United States this summer. I don't want people to think that that's out of the norm."