Rio Olympics 2016,! This Question Will Be Answered To Him If He Can Be Seen As A Women’s Muhammad Ali

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Ibtihaj Muhammad took up fencing aged 12 because it was the easiest sport that allowed her to compete by covering her whole body
Ibtihaj Muhammad took up fencing aged 12 because it was the easiest sport that allowed her to compete by covering her whole body

The question is posed to her if she can be seen as the female Muhammad Ali: someone of African-American background, vocal in her political views and competing for the USA at the Olympics.

Regarded as one of the greatest sportsman of all time, Ali died earlier this year at the age of 74 and Muhammad says it has changed the way she feels about herself as an athlete.

“If I can be a fraction of who Muhammad Ali was, what he stood for as a pacifist, as an athlete and as an American, then I would be grateful and happy to do that,” she says.

“People did not want well for him not because he was an amazing boxer but because of his skin colour. He still found strength to speak up and was not afraid and truly believed in his journey.

“It reassured my sentiments and feelings that I owe it to my community to speak up against these things but I don’t feel I can for a second be compared to Muhammad Ali.”

A gold medal in Brazil, though, may go a long way to doing just that.

Ibtihaj Muhammad will compete for Team USA in the women’s sabre fencing heats on Monday, 8 August, which start at 12:50 BST.
– BBC London

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