Ibtihaj Muhammad hasn’t claimed an Olympic medal yet, but she’s already set to make history in the games.
The women’s saber fencer first made history years ago when she became the first Muslim woman to compete for the U.S. in fencing.
Now, Muhammad has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and will make history once more by being the first U.S. athlete to compete at the Olympics in a hijab.
“I want to compete in the Olympics for the United States to prove that nothing should hinder anyone from reaching their goals — not race, religion or gender,” Muhammad said. “I want to set an example that anything is possible with perseverance.”
The 30-year-old pro athlete has been on fire this season. So far, she’s earned bronze medals at two of the three world cups held. Muhammad mathematically secured her spot on the 2016 Olympic team Saturday in Athens, where she claimed her second medal.
She now ranks second in USA Fencing’s national team point standings. Two-time Olympic champ Mariel Zagunis ranks number one. Both ladies will remain first and second through April 11, when the points standings conclude and the entire 2016 U.S. Olympic Fencing Team is named.