Some of you may have already heard of Muhammad, and we’ll all be hearing a lot more about her soon. As the first US Olympian to wear a hijab, one of the oldest first-time Olympians on Team USA, and an African-American woman in a mostly-white sport, she was worked hard as an ambassador for her culture and her sport of fencing. This has often meant overcoming financial hardships, abject discrimination, and long odds to become an athlete at her sport’s highest level. Continue reading
The Olympics is one of our most complicated social ventures, but it’s undeniably the most important international stage for women’s athletics. And in honor of that, I’ve decided to highlight a different female athlete every day over the next two weeks. Hope you enjoy learning about these incredible people as much as I do!
First up is Oksana Chusovitina, a 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is competing in her SEVENTH OLYMPICS!!! Her skills in the floor exercise are so legendary that she has a tumbling move named after her. And it’s so difficult that even in this constantly changing and improving sport, Simone Biles (favored to win the all-around and floor golds) will be performing it in her floor routine in Rio. That’s a full 25 years after Chusovitina first performed it in international competition in 1991.