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#AskAMogulAnything:Hi,I'mIbtihajMuhammad.I'manOlympicfencerandthefirstAmericantocompeteinanOlympicswearingahijab.Askmeanythingyou'dlike!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVEon10/12@1pmET.

Ibtihaj Muhammad
Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
over 2 years Conversation

Your questions will be answered Wednesday, October 12th at 1 pm ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi - I'm Ibtihaj Muhammad. 

I'm an Olympic sabre fencer. I represented the United States in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio and won a bronze medal in Team Sabre competition.  I was the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics. I am also the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn an Olympic medal. 

Other athletic achievements of note: I'm a three time NCAA All-American. I was named the Muslim Sportswoman of the Year in 2012. And I serve on the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative.

Some more information about me: My hobbies include travel and photography. My heroes as a child included Venus and Serena Williams. I was inspired by their confidence. And in 2014, I launched my own fashion brand, Louella by Ibtihaj Muhammad, which I manage with my siblings. 

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Wednesday, October 12th at 1 pm ET. 

33 replies

As a guest user, you can still reply to conversations. Just press the "Reply" button below, which will prompt you to sign in or sign up on Mogul before your Reply posts.

  • Jillian McCarten 80
    over 2 years ago

    Congratulations. You are very inspiring. How have your fellow athletes treated you? Are they supportive? And how did people respond when you were first starting your fashion business?

    Congratulations. You are very inspiring. How have your fellow athletes treated you? Are they supportive? And how did people respond when you were first starting your fashion business?

  • greenefingers
    over 2 years ago

    Salaam! First of all mabrook on the medal. As an Amazing role model to young girls and women around the world, esp Muslim's, What would your advice be to young girls and women on self belief and tackling fears to achieve your goals. To those people that struggle with this what are some key tips you can offer? p.s pls follow me on @ranakadiri :)

    Salaam! First of all mabrook on the medal. As an Amazing role model to young girls and women around the world, esp Muslim's, What would your advice be to young girls and women on self belief and tackling fears to achieve your goals. To those people that struggle with this what are some key tips you can offer? p.s pls follow me on @ranakadiri :)

  • Ibtihaj Muhammad
    Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
    over 2 years ago

    Thanks for your time and questions everyone! It's been so much fun connecting with you. To keep up with me in the future, be sure to follow me @ibtihajmuhammad

    Thanks for your time and questions everyone! It's been so much fun connecting with you. To keep up with me in the future, be sure to follow me @ibtihajmuhammad

  • Carmen Mackins
    Carmen Mackins PR & Writing Consultant
    over 2 years ago USA

    Such a big fan of yours! What would you say is the hardest part about training for the Olympics?

    Such a big fan of yours! What would you say is the hardest part about training for the Olympics?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you! The hardest part about training for the Olympics was definitely staying healthy. I qualified for the games back in February, so I had from then until August to be in the best physical shape of my life, but also be in a position where I wouldn't be competing while injured. Many athletes at the elite level deal with sprains, ligaments tears, muscle strains, etc., so I was praying to make it to the Games injury free!

      Thank you! The hardest part about training for the Olympics was definitely staying healthy. I qualified for the games back in February, so I had from then until August to be in the best physical shape of my life, but also be in a position where I wouldn't be competing while injured. Many athletes at the elite level deal with sprains, ligaments tears, muscle strains, etc., so I was praying to make it to the Games injury free!

  • Ibtihaj Muhammad
    Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
    over 2 years ago

    Hi!! I'm here live to answer your questions for the next hour. I'll be answering questions that have already been posted as well as new questions that are added for the next hour - so now's your time to ask me anything!!

    Hi!! I'm here live to answer your questions for the next hour. I'll be answering questions that have already been posted as well as new questions that are added for the next hour - so now's your time to ask me anything!!

  • Kelly Hudson
    over 2 years ago

    And how are you feeling about this election??

    And how are you feeling about this election??

  • Kelly Hudson
    over 2 years ago

    What's your biggest piece of advice about dating and balancing career and personal?

    What's your biggest piece of advice about dating and balancing career and personal?

  • Arshiya Kherani 53
    over 2 years ago

    Salaams Ibtihaj! Would love to know what kind of hijabs you've worn throughout training, and any product advice you have for rising activewear brands that are designing sports hijabs?

    Salaams Ibtihaj! Would love to know what kind of hijabs you've worn throughout training, and any product advice you have for rising activewear brands that are designing sports hijabs?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      WS! I like to workout in hi jabs made from a light georgette fabric

      WS! I like to workout in hi jabs made from a light georgette fabric

  • Lucy Chen
    over 2 years ago Chicago, IL, United States

    Hi I'd like to try fencing as a hobby. Is it a hard skill to learn? Do you have advice for those who want to train for fun? How has the Olympics changed your life?

    Hi I'd like to try fencing as a hobby. Is it a hard skill to learn? Do you have advice for those who want to train for fun? How has the Olympics changed your life?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      The Olympics have changed my life in a few ways: (1) I was able to set this BIG goal and with hard work and perseverance see that goal come to fruition. (2) Becoming the first American to compete (and medal!) in the Olympics wearing hijab has helped changed my narrative and the narrative of Muslims around the globe. I pray this moment will help Muslim youth, African American youth, female youth unconsciously graph their dreams and believe that they are possible!

      The Olympics have changed my life in a few ways: (1) I was able to set this BIG goal and with hard work and perseverance see that goal come to fruition. (2) Becoming the first American to compete (and medal!) in the Olympics wearing hijab has helped changed my narrative and the narrative of Muslims around the globe. I pray this moment will help Muslim youth, African American youth, female youth unconsciously graph their dreams and believe that they are possible!

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Hi Lucy! Fencing is such a great workout and I would encourage anyone who is looking to pick up a new activity to try it! It's not only great for your legs and bum, but it's also great for your core. One of the secrets to a powerful lunge, is a strong core! Like anything, if you're looking to excel at fencing, it takes a lot of practice, but if you're looking to just have fun, there's room for that too!

      Hi Lucy! Fencing is such a great workout and I would encourage anyone who is looking to pick up a new activity to try it! It's not only great for your legs and bum, but it's also great for your core. One of the secrets to a powerful lunge, is a strong core! Like anything, if you're looking to excel at fencing, it takes a lot of practice, but if you're looking to just have fun, there's room for that too!

  • Ufi Tahir
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    Congratulations! You're an inspiration to all of us. Every Muslim girl has a 'hijab story'. I mean...how and when she decided to wear the hijab and situations she might have had to face initially be it at home or school or workplace. Would love to hear your hijab story! Thanks!

    Congratulations! You're an inspiration to all of us. Every Muslim girl has a 'hijab story'. I mean...how and when she decided to wear the hijab and situations she might have had to face initially be it at home or school or workplace. Would love to hear your hijab story! Thanks!

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      My mom introduced me and sisters to hijab in a pretty cool way. When we were really young we would wear hijab to school maybe once a week. As we got older, we would wear it two or three times a week or on days we didn't have gym. By the time we hit puberty and we would wear hijab everyday, we were accustomed to our hijab, our peers were used to seeing us in hijab, our teachers were used to it, etc. It felt like a very gradual process and we were lucky to be around the same kids from K-12th grade!

      My mom introduced me and sisters to hijab in a pretty cool way. When we were really young we would wear hijab to school maybe once a week. As we got older, we would wear it two or three times a week or on days we didn't have gym. By the time we hit puberty and we would wear hijab everyday, we were accustomed to our hijab, our peers were used to seeing us in hijab, our teachers were used to it, etc. It felt like a very gradual process and we were lucky to be around the same kids from K-12th grade!

  • girl
    girl not yet a woman
    over 2 years ago

    Hi Ibtihaj, I watched you during the Olympics and greatly admire your success. My little brother is an avid fencer with Olympic dreams. What advice do you give young fencers, especially as they head off to college? I'd love to pass on your words of advice to him.

    Hi Ibtihaj, I watched you during the Olympics and greatly admire your success. My little brother is an avid fencer with Olympic dreams. What advice do you give young fencers, especially as they head off to college? I'd love to pass on your words of advice to him.

  • Julie S.
    over 2 years ago

    Hi Ibtihaj, You were amazing at the Olympics and you are truly inspiring! My question is, what were some of the more difficult challenges that you've encountered as a Muslim female athlete and what helped you overcome them? Thank you so much for your time!

    Hi Ibtihaj, You were amazing at the Olympics and you are truly inspiring! My question is, what were some of the more difficult challenges that you've encountered as a Muslim female athlete and what helped you overcome them? Thank you so much for your time!

  • tayloramead
    tayloramead Journalist/Blogger, Social Media Specialist, & Women's Advocate
    over 2 years ago New York City, NY, United States

    Congratulations, Ibtihaj! Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions, it is truly an honor to be able to chat. My question is: What is one thing you wish you were told when you were younger that you hope to teach girls and women as part of the U.S. Department of State's Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative?

    Congratulations, Ibtihaj! Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions, it is truly an honor to be able to chat. My question is: What is one thing you wish you were told when you were younger that you hope to teach girls and women as part of the U.S. Department of State's Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative?

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    Congratulations on all your success! You are an inspiration! What do you think needs to be done to address Islamophobia in society?

    Congratulations on all your success! You are an inspiration! What do you think needs to be done to address Islamophobia in society?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thanks Bethany! Great question. There are a few things I believe WE can do to address Islamophobia and it starts with support, acceptance and inclusion. Standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in moments of xenophobia and Islamophobia and having those tough conversions with those closest to us (colleagues and family members) who make anti-Muslim statements. Addressing the issue starts with meaningful dialogue!

      Thanks Bethany! Great question. There are a few things I believe WE can do to address Islamophobia and it starts with support, acceptance and inclusion. Standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in moments of xenophobia and Islamophobia and having those tough conversions with those closest to us (colleagues and family members) who make anti-Muslim statements. Addressing the issue starts with meaningful dialogue!

  • Sally22
    over 2 years ago

    Also wondering what the Rio games were like? What were your favorite moments?

    Also wondering what the Rio games were like? What were your favorite moments?

  • Sally22
    over 2 years ago

    Hi Ibtihaj - I hate that there is such discrimination going on in the U.S. on a number of fronts right now - especially during this ugly election. Have you encountered bouts of discrimination? What have you done to counter those moments? What's your advice to young Moslem women who may be facing discrimination?

    Hi Ibtihaj - I hate that there is such discrimination going on in the U.S. on a number of fronts right now - especially during this ugly election. Have you encountered bouts of discrimination? What have you done to counter those moments? What's your advice to young Moslem women who may be facing discrimination?

  • booklover423
    over 2 years ago

    Hi Ibtihaj - Fencing is such a great sport. How has pursuing fencing helped you with other areas of your life? What skills in fencing translate to other life skills?

    Hi Ibtihaj - Fencing is such a great sport. How has pursuing fencing helped you with other areas of your life? What skills in fencing translate to other life skills?

  • MaryPflumPeterson
    over 2 years ago

    Hi Ibtihaj - Such an honor to have you answer questions on Ask A Mogul Anything. What drew you to fencing? How old were you when you started? Did you have any female role models in fencing?

    Hi Ibtihaj - Such an honor to have you answer questions on Ask A Mogul Anything. What drew you to fencing? How old were you when you started? Did you have any female role models in fencing?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Love Ask A Mogul and so honored to be here! My parents were in search of a sport for me to play where I could be fully covered as a Muslim youth. We found fencing bc the athletes wore long jackets and pants. I started at 12 and have been fencing ever since! I had the opportunity to join the Westbrook Foundation in NYC at age 17 where I was exposed to older, successful athletes in the sport. One of my greatest mentors was/is Erinn Smart, Olympic Medalist, Wharton graduate and overall boss!

      Love Ask A Mogul and so honored to be here! My parents were in search of a sport for me to play where I could be fully covered as a Muslim youth. We found fencing bc the athletes wore long jackets and pants. I started at 12 and have been fencing ever since! I had the opportunity to join the Westbrook Foundation in NYC at age 17 where I was exposed to older, successful athletes in the sport. One of my greatest mentors was/is Erinn Smart, Olympic Medalist, Wharton graduate and overall boss!

  • Abdisamad Sheikh
    Abdisamad Sheikh CEO/Founder of Mama Weliya
    over 2 years ago Washington, DC, United States

    Congrats on the Olympic Medal Ibtihaj! Thank you for all the great work that you do. What advice would you give to young Muslim women aspiring to be an athlete/professional on chasing their dreams without compromising their values?

    Congrats on the Olympic Medal Ibtihaj! Thank you for all the great work that you do. What advice would you give to young Muslim women aspiring to be an athlete/professional on chasing their dreams without compromising their values?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you for the support! I would encourage anyone chasing their dreams to not allow others to dictate their journey for them. So often society confines us based on gender, race or ethnicity. Believe it or not, we can also be our own greatest obstacle, unconsciously shielding ourselves from doing great things. You have to be your own biggest advocate and refuse to take no for an answer and be willing to work harder than everyone around you to make those dreams a reality.

      Thank you for the support! I would encourage anyone chasing their dreams to not allow others to dictate their journey for them. So often society confines us based on gender, race or ethnicity. Believe it or not, we can also be our own greatest obstacle, unconsciously shielding ourselves from doing great things. You have to be your own biggest advocate and refuse to take no for an answer and be willing to work harder than everyone around you to make those dreams a reality.

  • Abdisamad Sheikh
    [deleted]
    over 2 years ago Washington, DC, United States

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  • Davd Williams 98
    [deleted]
    over 2 years ago

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  • glasshalffull100
    over 2 years ago

    I've loved following your success! What are your goals for the future? Do you want to compete in another Olympics? And what are your goals beyond competition?

    I've loved following your success! What are your goals for the future? Do you want to compete in another Olympics? And what are your goals beyond competition?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you! Goals for the future? Where do I start haha? Some of my short terms goals include growing my clothing company LouellaShop.com and getting some rest :) I also look forward to using sport to inspire those around me. Right now I'm in the middle of a speaking tour, sharing my story and some of the steps I've taken to be successful. Not sure another Olympic Games is in the cards for me, but I plan to take it one year at a time. We have World Championships in July, so I'm looking forward to gearing up for that!

      Thank you! Goals for the future? Where do I start haha? Some of my short terms goals include growing my clothing company LouellaShop.com and getting some rest :) I also look forward to using sport to inspire those around me. Right now I'm in the middle of a speaking tour, sharing my story and some of the steps I've taken to be successful. Not sure another Olympic Games is in the cards for me, but I plan to take it one year at a time. We have World Championships in July, so I'm looking forward to gearing up for that!

  • miranda444
    over 2 years ago

    Congratulations on your success. I'm wondering how aware you were of the history you were making as an American Olympian during the Rio games? Did that add to your experience? Or did that add to the pressure?

    Congratulations on your success. I'm wondering how aware you were of the history you were making as an American Olympian during the Rio games? Did that add to your experience? Or did that add to the pressure?

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you! There was definitely a lot of buzz around me qualifying for the Olympic games, even before I'd arrived in Rio! I've always said that my time in sport is bigger than me. Becoming the first American to compete and medal at the Olympic Games could not have come at a better time in my opinion. Islamophobia is at an all time high. What better way to challenge the Muslim narrative the media pushes than to have a Muslim woman in hijab on the U.S. Olympic Team?

      Thank you! There was definitely a lot of buzz around me qualifying for the Olympic games, even before I'd arrived in Rio! I've always said that my time in sport is bigger than me. Becoming the first American to compete and medal at the Olympic Games could not have come at a better time in my opinion. Islamophobia is at an all time high. What better way to challenge the Muslim narrative the media pushes than to have a Muslim woman in hijab on the U.S. Olympic Team?

  • Mandy Ree
    Mandy Ree Mogul Influencer, Disabilty Activist, Blogger at Legally Blind Bagged
    over 2 years ago Orlando, FL, United States

    Congratulations on your medal. What an honor it must be for you. My question for you, was wearing a hijab during fencing harder than not wearing one? It may seem silly of me, but wearing one while moving around at such a fast pace must feel uncomfortable. Or is it something you're simply used to? Can't wait to hear more about your story

    Congratulations on your medal. What an honor it must be for you. My question for you, was wearing a hijab during fencing harder than not wearing one? It may seem silly of me, but wearing one while moving around at such a fast pace must feel uncomfortable. Or is it something you're simply used to? Can't wait to hear more about your story

    • Ibtihaj Muhammad
      Ibtihaj Muhammad Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics
      over 2 years ago

      Thank you! I actually get this question a lot. Hijab is a part of what I wear, like you would a shirt or pair of pants. So it is definitely something I'm used to and comfortable in. I'm not sure what fencing is like without the hijab, so I don't have anything to compare my experience to haha!

      Thank you! I actually get this question a lot. Hijab is a part of what I wear, like you would a shirt or pair of pants. So it is definitely something I'm used to and comfortable in. I'm not sure what fencing is like without the hijab, so I don't have anything to compare my experience to haha!

  • Mandy Ree
    [deleted]
    over 2 years ago Orlando, FL, United States

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Ibtihaj Muhammad
Olympic Medalist, First female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics

Ibtihaj Muhammad is a world-renowned American sabre fencer. She made headlines for being the first U.S. athlete to compete at the Olympics in a hijab and is the first first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics. She earned a bronze medal in team competition in the 2016 [...]

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