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 Olympic games in Rio. Muhammad is the daughter of Eugene Muhammad and Denise Garner and grew up one of six children. She began fencing at age 13. According to her father, fencing was a sport that was uniquely accommodating to her religion, which requires her body to be fully covered. Ibtihaj's hobbies include working out, camping, photography, politics and traveling. She is a three-time NCAA All-American and was additionally recognized as the Muslim Sportswoman of the Year in 2012. Ibtijaj serves on the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative. In 2014, she launched her own fashion brand, Louella by Ibtihaj Muhammad, which she manages with her siblings. She works with the Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization founded by Olympian Peter Westbrook to mentor inner-city kids through fencing. Her role models growing up? The Williams sisters. Ibtihaj says she found inspiration from their confidence playing tennis.