Muslim Olympic athletes of Rio Olympics 2016

Muslim Olympic Athletes in Rio Olympics 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Muslim Olympic athletes depicting that faith is not incidental, but central to their excellence in sport.

Mo Farah Prays before Race

On Aug. 13, Somali British long distance runner Mo Farah sought to claim back-to-back gold medals in the 10,000-meter run. In the middle of the race, the favorite locked his legs with another runner and fell on the track. He bounced right back up, strategically wove his way past the pack and claimed gold.

After he crossed the finish line, Farah fell on the track again—this time to pray. He bowed his head before a stadium of adoring spectators. That performance was just as dramatic as racing past Kenya’s Paul Kipngetich Tanui to win this third gold medal.

Farah’s prayer can help counter the damaging stereotypes of Muslims held by many around the world. For Farah, and scores of Muslim athletes, faith is not incidental, but central to their excellence in sport. “I normally pray before a race,” Farah said. “I read du’aa [Islamic prayer or invocations] think about how hard I’ve worked and just go for it.”

Muslim Olympic athletes Breaking Gendered Stereotypes


A young woman in a head scarf can often conjure up images of frailty and disempowerment. But Egyptian weightlifter Sara Ahmed defies all stereotypes. She can out-lift most women in the world and has the kind of physical power few possess.

muslim olympic athletes
Sarah Ahmed 2016 winning moment

Donning all black with a red headscarf, the colors of her nation, the diminutive Ahmed lifted a combined weight of 255kg (562lbs) to claim the bronze medal in the 69kg weight class. The feat, given her nationality and ethnicity, was unprecedented. Ahmed became an instant icon in her native Egypt, becoming the first female medalist in the nation’s 104-year history in Olympics’ competition and the first Arab woman to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting.

As she bowed her head to receive her medal, Ahmed represented world-class power, strength and Muslim womanhood, disrupting tropes that have enabled headscarf bans in France and trite oppression narratives in America and elsewhere.

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Ibtiaj Muhammad

Muslim Olympic athletes U.S. fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history, then won in opening round

Merely by stepping onto the strip at Carioca Arena 3, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made a bit of Olympic history.

The 30-year-old New Jersey native became the first American athlete to compete at the Games in a hijab, the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women.

Ibtihaj Muhammad was a star in the Muslim American community long before she stepped onto the global scene. But her story was about far more than being “the first U.S. Olympian to wear a hijab during competition.” She championed a cause long-ignored by non-Muslims and Muslims alike: the distinct experience of African American Muslims and the distinct perils often created by intersecting racism and Islamophobia.

In response to Donald Trump’s proposed ban Muslim immigrants to the U.S., Muhammad responded: “I’m African American. I don’t have another home to go to. My family was born here. I was born here. I’ve grown up in [New] Jersey. All my family’s from Jersey. It’s like, well, where do we go?”

She claimed bronze. But her story, and the ignored narratives her Olympic excellence made possible, is golden.

Above excrept taken from article that first appeared in

Muslim girls Conquer taekwondo .

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates after winning her bronze medal match in the women’s -57kg.

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin becomes the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal.

kimia alizadeh zenoorin and hedaya wahba lead charge of muslim women in taekwondo
Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hedaya Wahba of Egypt pose on the podium with their gold medals in the women’s -57kg taekwondo competition. (Photo: Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths)

Dalilah Muhammad won Olympic gold in women’s 400 hurdles

These Muslim Olympic athelete Won the First Olympic gold for their Country

tadjikistan's dilshod nazarov competes in the men's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 summer olympics at the olympic stadium in rio de janeiro, brazil. | ap
Tadjikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov competes in the men’s hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Ahmad Abughaush made history on Thursday by winning Jordan’s first ever Olympic medal, claiming gold in the men’s under 68kg taekwondo division in Rio.

Shooter Fehaid Al-Deehani made history by becoming the first person to win an Olympic gold medal as an independent athlete.

Shooter Fehaid Al-Deehani made history by becoming the first person to win an Olympic gold medal as an independent athlete.

Faheid al Deehani was unable to represent his native Kuwait at Rio 2016 after its Olympic body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).Al-Deehani, 49, beat Italy’s Marco Innocenti 26-24 in the final of the double trap shooting event.

The IOC banned Kuwait in October 2015 citing domestic laws that permit government interference in sports.

A List of Muslim Olympians to watch in Rio Olympics 2016:

Track & Field
Great Britain

IBTIHAJ Muhammad
United States

Track & Field



United Arab Emirates


Great Britain


Track & Field
Saudi Arabia

Track & Field


Track & Field

Siddikur Rahan

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin
Islamic Republic of Iran

Hedaya Wahba

Dalilah Muhammad
Women’s 400m hurdles


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