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1st Olympian to compete in hijab for US to speak in Illinois

February 19, 2019

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — An Olympic medalist who became the first athlete to compete for the United States while wearing a hijab will be the featured speaker during an upcoming event at Illinois State University.

The university says fencer Ibtihaj (Ib-tee-HAJ) Muhammad of New York will speak at the Muslim Cultural Dinner on April 3 in the Bone Student Center.

As a member of the U.S. National Fencing Team, Muhammad helped Team U.S.A.’s women’s fencing team win the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She wrote a memoir that was published last year titled “Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream.”

The university says Muhammad “inspires others to challenge the status quo as a powerful symbol of America’s tolerance and diversity.”

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