Hours away from Rio Olympics 2016 opening ceremony, Michael Phelps waves the American flag around thousands of Olympic spectators. Reports mentioned fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad fits as the flag bearer than the swimmer.
With the prevalent discrimination among Muslims around the globe, it would’ve been a game changer if the committee chose Muhammad to represent the United States, various reports stated.
The 30-year-old fencer is the first American woman who’ll compete in the Games wearing the traditional headscarf called hijab.
It may not be the first time for the Olympic history to witness Muslim women taking part in a global event like the Olympics, however it’d be the first for US.
Being part of the Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential persons in the world, she far more deserves to hold the American flag and proudly waves it in front of thousands of people, Steve Politi from NJ suggests.
According to Politi, having seen Muhammad chosen to bear the flag would certainly make a powerful statement to the world.
Prior to fencing, she tried other sports where she could join and train. She tried volleyball, track, softball and other sports.
However, fencing allowed her to cover herself entirely when she was just 13. At least, with the whole body covered, nobody would feel uncomfortable seeing a Muslim woman in the sport.
Her mom told her to give it a try. So, she did. As young as she was, she found her new passion which paved her the way to Rio Olympics 2016.
She said she wanted to encourage other Muslim women around the world to never overpower fear to hinder the desire to join the Olympics.
In the past, there were less than a dozen athletes wearing hijab in London Olympics 2016 according to LA Times. Muhammad will be the first American Olympian doing the same in Rio Olympics 2016.
“For anyone to challenge that idea that I’m not American or that I don’t belong, it’s frustrating. I want people to see a Muslim woman in hijab represent the United States this summer,” she said to. NJ.
She remains hopeful for more American Muslims as well as the others around the world to participate in such historical event.
Photo courtesy: Instagram.com/@ibtihajmuhammad