MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Ibtihaj Muhammad of Maplewood will be competing in the Summer Olympics in Rio in the Women's Individual Sabre on Mon., Aug. 8, and in the Women's Team Sabre on Sat., Aug. 13, according to NBC Sports.
With her hometown strongly behind her, as seen from the banner in downtown Maplewood to the lawn signs all over town, the community can join together to watch Muhammad compete at two viewing parties on Aug. 8 and Aug. 13, organized by the Township of Maplewood and the New Jersey Fencing Alliance (NJFA).
Both events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the NJFA, located at 50-58 Burnett Ave. in Maplewood. In addition to watching Muhammad compete, the events will also include mini fencing clinics run by the NJFA, information sessions, and the chance to ask questions about the fencing matches.
For kids, there will be face painting, activities, temporary tattoos, and balloons.
Muhammad is expected to compete in the Women's Individual Sabre, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Aug. 8, with Semifinals and Medal Rounds at around 3 p.m.
On Aug. 13, Muhammad will compete in the Women's Team Sabre, which is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., with semi-finals at about 10:30 a.m., and medal rounds at 4 p.m., according to the NJFA.
The NJFA Facebook page states, "we will have our coaches on hand to help explain high-level fencing to the audience, including anyone who may have interest in fencing but cannot keep up with the action or scoring by themselves."
The NJFA will be streaming the Olympic fencing events all week long from August 6 to August 13, and visitors are welcome "to stop by the club throughout the week to learn more about this amazing sport," according to the NJFA website.
Muhammad's profile on the USA Fencing website states that she is ranked second in the U.S., and No. 12 in the world, and that "Muhammad will make history in Rio as the first U.S. woman to compete in the Olympic Games in hijab."