Ibtihaj Muhamnmad – Always a Winner
Sometimes we celebrate the hijab, and sometimes we bemoan that so many stories are written through the lens of what Muslim women wear. What can I say? We are complicated like that. But as Americans – Muslim and not Muslim, so many of us embraced fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad for the essence of who she was and who so many of us felt was the ideal representation of the United States in a time when so much rhetoric, hate, racism and other-ism has divided us.
As the first U.S. athlete to compete in Olympics wearing a hijab, or headscarf, Muhammad strongly embraced her role as the anti-Trump and inspiration for so many of us who grew up wearing long pants in gym class (me, ME! Holding my hand up high!). Though wasn’t favored to medal and lost her second round (she will be fencing this weekend to help her team fight for a team medal), she was a winner to me and so many others from the moment she made the team, the moment she stood on the fencing stage and sincerely prayed to God before she started her match.
Four years ago my daughter enrolled in gymnastics for a year after watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics team take the gold in London. This year she and my youngest son are already enrolled in fencing classes. Love. It.
Next: The Refugee Olympic Team