Just call her a hometown hero! Ibtihaj Muhammad took home her first Olympic medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, taking home the bronze with Team USA during the saber fencing event.
The 30-year-old Maplewood native competed alongside Dagmar Wozniak, Mariel Zagunis and Monica Aksamit, ultimately taking down the Italian team 45-30. The women’s fencing team has not won a medal since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
That wasn’t the only historic moment this American superstar made! Ibtihaj is the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Olympic Games with a hijab, a veil that predominantly covers the head and chest commonly worn by Muslim women. Everything about her screams confidence and strength!
“A lot of people don’t believe that Muslim women have voices or that we participate in sport,” Ibtihaj told USA Today. “And it’s not just to challenge misconceptions outside the Muslim community, but within the Muslim community. I want to break cultural norms.”
Before joining the 2010 national fencing team, this superwoman was a three-time All-American and 2005 Junior Olympics Champion at Duke University, where she graduated from in 2007 with a double major in African-American studies and international relations.
So far, the experience for her has been a “remarkable” one. The Columbia High School graduate admitted she feels proud and honored to act as a representative for those voices who go unheard.
You go girl!