Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Beneath her mask, a bigger statement

RIO DE JANEIRO — The bout ended with Ibtihaj Muhammad tumbling backward, driven off the fencing strip by her opponent, driven straight out of the women's sabre competition.

It was not the result she had hoped for, but the 30-year-old New Jersey native wasn't going to let it overshadow her groundbreaking day at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"I wouldn't say I felt down and out," she said. "I realize this moment is bigger than me."

Monday morning, Muhammad became the first American to compete at the Games in a hijab, the headscarf traditionally worn by some Muslim women. Her religion had made headlines and she had patiently faced the media in recent months, answering every question, determined to serve as an example at a time when Islam is so controversial in U.S. politics and the news.

"I don't feel like any part of this journey of mine has been a burden," she said. "I feel like it has been a blessing to represent so many people who don't have voices."

Muhammad lost to Cecilia Berder of France 15-12 in the round of 16 after beating Olena Kravatska of Ukraine 15-13.

Beneath her mask, a bigger statement 08/08/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2016 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning journal: Ryan Callahan feels good after first game action since January

    Sports

    TAMPA — As veteran RW Ryan Callahan was riding a stationary bike before Friday's exhibition game, he felt nervous. There was anxiety.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) pursues Nashville Predators center Colton Sissons (10) during the first period of Friday (9/22/17) preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  2. FSU players rally around freshman QB James Blackman

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — For the first few minutes Saturday, Florida State's James Blackman looked like a true freshman making his first start at quarterback for a big-time program.

    Florida State Seminoles quarterback James Blackman (1) gets sacked during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  Final score, North Carolina State Wolfpack 27, Florida State Seminoles 21.
  3. No. 12 FSU, defense struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — It's easy to blame No. 12 Florida State's 27-21 loss to North Carolina State on the injury to starting quarterback Deondre Francois or the three-week layoff because of Hurricane Irma.

    It would also be wrong.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  4. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off

    Nba

    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  5. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH: