Sports

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Thanks Maplewood for Support at Press Conference in Rio

2cc64456328ea9476dc3_ibtihaj_muhammad_at_press_conf_a.jpg
The U.S. Olympic Fencing Team; Ibtihaj Muhammad of Maplewood is fourth from left. Credits: U.S.A. Fencing
a17865e9a951617ce491_dda2a6fd63a5895c8b0c_muhammad_banner.jpg
9cc6bff7f9490c150480_c9293ac5ebabf8a88d90_muhammad_lawn_sign_a.jpg
2cc64456328ea9476dc3_ibtihaj_muhammad_at_press_conf_a.jpg

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - The U.S. Olympic Fencing Team held a press conference on Aug. 4, and team member Ibtihaj Muhammad thanked her hometown of Maplewood for their support. Muhammad, who is ranked second in the U.S. and No. 12 in the world in Women's Saber, made her Olympic debut as the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab.

"I've never felt so much support from my hometown. I've always grown up in a really diverse environment back in Maplewood. They've been so supportive from beginning until end. There's a huge banner hanging of me in my town right now just in support, so I feel the love all the way here in Brazil," stated Muhammad, acccording to a release from U.S.A. Fencing.

In addition to the support of Maplewood, Muhammad discussed at the press conference what it means to be representing New Jersey in the Olympics, "I know everybody on this stage that's from New Jersey, we all were involved in our sport very early, going to public high school in New Jersey. When I look at Team USA, from Carli Lloyd, Jordan Burroughs, and all of us. it's phenomenal we have such good representation coming from our state and I think that is a tribute to the really great sports programs that we have available to us."

Sign Up for E-News

Muhammad also commented on what it's like making history as the first U.S. woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team wearing a hijab. Muhammad stated, "it's been a truly rewarding experience to not just be a member of Team USA and qualify for such a prestigious team, but also to represent so many different people from around the world. I feel like this is a great opportunity and a great moment for Team USA to even be more diverse than we have in the past, and I'm just looking forward to representing myself, my community and also my country in a few days."

Also discussed were the challenges Muhammad has faced. At the press conference she said, "I remember very early on in my sport being told that I didn't belong because I was African-American or there were things that I couldn't do because I was Muslim. I know that not everybody has the same strength and can easily be deterred by comments or adversities that they face when they're younger. So I'm hoping that in the obstacles that I've faced and just being very vocal and verbal about these obstacles and why I feel that they're wrong, that I can inspire the younger generation to continue in face of these comments or misconceptions that people have about who they are."

"I think that's something we can all relate to, growing up and being picked on and being bullied. I think it's important that we speak up on these and we challenge them and encourage our youth to follow their dreams," stated Muhammad.

After the Olympic Games Muhammad hopes that "just my presence on Team USA changes the misconceptions that people have about the Muslim community. A lot of people have this one idea of who Muslims are, like what a Muslim woman even looks like. I think that who I am just challenges and breaks all those stereotypes and those misconceptions just by simply standing in place and being a member of Team USA."

Muhammad also commented that she hopes that "fencing will become even more diverse in the coming years."

The New Jersey Fencing Alliance and the Township of Maplewood have organized viewing parties on Mon., Aug. 8 and Sat., Aug. 13, when Muhammad will be competing in Individual and Team Saber events, respectively. For more details, click here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

In Photos: Local Parks Flood During Monday Morning Rainstorms

April 17, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - This morning's downpours sent torrents of water into the Third River causing it to over flow its banks.

Passaic Avenue at Brookside was closed by the Nutley Police Department shortly after TAPinto Nutley arrived to capture these images of the flooding. 

Runoff inundated Memorial Park, caused the Third River to spill over its banks in Yanticaw Park, ...

After Comparing Democrats to Nazis, Leaders Call for Resignation of Montville Committeewoman

April 12, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee voted to censure Committee Member June Witty for a personal Facebook post she made on April 8 which compared Democrats to Nazis. All four members of the five-person committee asked for her resignation.

The post, a chart which states that Nazis believed in “media mind control,” “no guns,” abortion, and ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Winter/Spring ...

Green Health & Wellness

Sat, April 21, 1:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Edible Wild Plants

Education Green

Sat, April 21, 7:00 PM

Woman's Club of Upper Montclair, Montclair

Showdown Montclair

Arts & Entertainment

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

12th Annual Coffee and A Cause 'Friendraiser' at the Salvation Army, May 3

April 20, 2018

The Salvation Army will celebrate its 12th Annual Coffee & a Cause “friendraiser” on Thursday, May 3rd 2018.

The Salvation Army came to Montclair in 1891, a time when the community was coming into its own. As times changed so did the needs of the community.  In the late 1970’s The Salvation Army expanded the scope of services it provided and developed a social ...