CAIRO – Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American Muslim woman and one of the best fencers in the world, has made it to the Time 100 most influential people list.
“Today Ibtihaj is one of the best fencers in the world—and an observant Muslim woman. This summer, she will represent the US at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” D-Rep Keith Ellison wrote about the Muslim fencer, as each honoree is the subject of an essay by a prominent public figure.
“And when she competes for her country, representing all of us, she will be the first American Olympian to do so while wearing the hijab.”
The magazine’s annual list is in its 13th year and recognizes the 100 most influential people in the world.
Each honoree is the subject of an essay by a prominent public figure. In Ibtihaj case, it was Keith Ellison who wrote the essay.
“Ibtihaj embraced what made her stand out, and she’s an Olympian because of it. That’s not just the story of Ibtihaj Muhammad. That’s the story of America,” Ellison added.
Ibtihaj Muhammad’s fencing days started when she was only 13 when her mother drove past a school and saw athletes training in full body covering gear.
The uniform which they wear for fencing basically inspired her, seeing it as allowing her girl to be an athlete in hijab.
Today she is the world’s 10th swords woman, and is America’s first Muslim Fencer in the world.
This season was a great success to the 30-year-old fencer, earning bronze medals at two of the three world cups held so far.
After earning bronze at the Athens world cup on Saturday, Muhammad mathematically secured her spot on the 2016 Olympic team.
In addition to Muhammad’s bronzes from the 2015-16 season, she claimed the silver medal at a world cup stop in 2013, and has seven team world cup medals.
Muhammad has also been part of the US teams that have medaled at the past five world championships, including winning gold in 2014.