CAIRO – Breaking stereotypes around the world, Muslim hijabi athletes have been making records, choosing to compete modestly.
Here follows a short list of renowned female Muslim hijabi athletes, around the world as complied by Elite Daily on Tuesday, April 5:
- Ibtihaj Muhammad, Fencer
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.
- Amaiya Zafar, Boxer
Amaiya Zafar is a 15-year-old amateur boxer from Minnesota who chose to compete in her modest hijab.
Zafar wears her hijab, a long-sleeved shirt and leggings underneath her shorts and tank top when she boxes.
The young girl is currently fighting for her right to don her hijab after she was banned from a USA Boxing-sanctioned event due to her uniform.
Though the USA Boxing Executive Director Mike Martino said the rule will not change anytime soon, Amaiya continues to pursue her boxing dreams by training at her local gym.
“Boxing is really important to me, but so is practicing my religion. And I don’t want to compromise one for the other. I want to be able to practice my religion to the full extent and to participate in my sport. Taking off my hijab isn’t an option for me,” Zafar told MPR News.
- Stephanie Kurlow, Ballerina
The 14-year-old Stephanie Kurlow from Sydney has been dancing ballet since she was two-year-old.
Reverting to Islam in 2010, the young girl stopped dancing after failing to find schools that catered to both her religious beliefs and dance needs.
In January, she created a crowdfunding campaign so she could train in a full-time ballet school for young girls. On her way to chase her own dreams, Kurlow hopes she inspires other young girls to do the same, no matter the obstacles.
Her dream to become the world’s first hijabi ballerina has come true after a Swedish clothing company awarded the young girl a scholarship to pursue her dream.
- Zahra Lari, Figure Skater
Young Emirati ice skating princess Zahra Lari has drawn lights at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, exhibiting her talents in performing jumps with power and grace while proudly donning her hijab.
The hijabi ice princess started ice skating when she was 11 years old.
Currently, she has her sight on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- Amna Al Haddad, Weightlifter
Amna Al Haddad is a 26-year-old Emirati weightlifter. She started out doing CrossFit and in 2012, she became the first hijabi to compete at CrossFit Asia, according to her crowdfunding campaign in January.
In 2013, she was also the first hijabi to compete at the Arnold Weightlifting Championship in Ohio.
Just last year, Al Haddad won six gold medals and three silver at the International Weightlifting Federation Asian Interclub Championships in Jordan. This month, she competes in the Asian Championships in Uzbekistan with her both eyes set on the Olympics.