Rio 2016: Fencer Muhammad becomes first American medalist to compete in hijab | NRS-Import | DW | 14.08.2016
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Rio 2016: Fencer Muhammad becomes first American medalist to compete in hijab

US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad went to the Rio Games determined to show the world that sports is a place where Muslim-American women can excel. She succeeded.

Ibtihaj Muhammad and US women's fencing team win Olympic bronze; she is 1st American medalist to compete wearing a hijab.

Muhammad, from New Jersey, won a bronze medal Saturday along with her teammates in the women's team sabre event.

The US beat Italy 45-30 to clinch third place and the first women's medal in fencing for the Americans in Rio.

"This is sport. It doesn't matter what hair color you have, or what religion you are. The point is to go out there and be the best athlete you can be," said US teammate Dagmara Wozniak.

"We're the best representation of what being American is. A mix of so many different cultures and races, and everything all together."

Muhammad made headlines around the world on Monday simply by wearing a head scarf on the piste, adhering to her Muslim faith.

But the 30-year-old preferred to focus on the fencing and her team's success, rather than the attention she has received.

"This has been a long journey for us," Muhammad said. "To be able to compete at the level that we've worked toward, on the world's biggest stage, the Olympic Games, is truly a blessing for us. I'll never forget this moment."

mds/sb (AP)