Ibtihaj Muhammad stoic in defeat: ‘I feel proud to represent Team USA’

The fencer missed out on a medal in the women’s sabre but by competing as a proud Muslim American she played an important role for her country

Anyone who thinks that as a Muslim woman Ibtihaj Muhammad is not worthy of every bit of her nation’s acclaim should have watched her in the Carioca Arena 3 on Monday morning. They should have seen her pull the fencing mask with an American flag over her black hijab and then battle Ukraine’s Olena Kravatska to a second round Olympics win. They should have watched as she fought back in the third-round against Cecilia Berder of France until she stumbled on the final, deciding point and tears formed in her eyes, and her family and friends shouted “USA! USA! USA!”

Maybe then they would have realized she might be the most essential Olympic athlete the US has this summer, as a presidential candidate appears to have forgotten what an American looks like.

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