Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad


Ibtihaj Muhammad is an American sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team. She is known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a headscarf while competing for the United States in the Olympics, as well as for winning an Olympic medal (bronze) while wearing it. She is a 5-time Senior World medalist, including 2014 World Champion in the team event.

In late 2002, Ibtihaj joined the prestigious Peter Westbrook Foundation, a program which utilizes the sport of fencing as a vehicle to develop life skills in young people from underserved communities. She was invited to train under the Westbrook Foundation’s Elite Athlete Program in New York City.

Ibtihaj attended Duke University on a scholarship. She was a 3-time All-American and the 2005 Junior Olympic Champion. Ibtihaj graduated from Duke University in 2007 with an International Relations and African American Studies double major.

Alongside her siblings, Ibtihaj launched a clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring modest fashionable clothing to the United States market. She is also an ambassador for the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative, traveling to various countries to engage in dialogue on the importance of sports and education.

In 2017, as part of its International Women’s Day campaign, Mattel introduced a line of female role model Barbies, including one in a Hijab; and Barbie’s first doll fencer, which is designed after Ibtihaj. Through the creation of a hijabi Barbie, it reinforced her belief that young girls and boys should see themselves through these toys while valuing inclusiveness and diversity.

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