With Day 3 of the Rio Olympics in the books, America continued to shine brighter with every competition.
Fencing kicked off with Team USA’s Ibtihaj Muhammad. The 30-year-old made history as the first American woman to compete in the Olympics with a hijab. The spotlight was instantly on her and her sabre.
Muhammad, ranked 8th overall in the world, rose to her first challenge in defeating 33rd-ranked Olena Kravatska of Ukraine in the round of 32. With a final score of 15-13, the match proved to be a close one. Advancing to the round of 16, Muhammad’s next opponent was France’s Cecilia Berder. Ranked ninth, Berder took advantage of minor mistakes by Muhammad midway through the event, and finished on top, 15-12.
MUHAMMAD USA. Printed on the back of Muhammad’s uniform is such a powerful visual!
The New Jersey native can take great pride in knowing that she has kicked open a door of awareness for young girls and all of America. In the current political climate of the country, Ibtihaj Muhammad represented Muslim American woman with pride, honor, and dignity. She used her growing platform to denounce Islamophobia and to educate the uninformed about what it truly means to be a Muslim woman and American, as an Olympic athlete. Revealing her black head covering following each event, she proved that she is not “a stereotype.” A strong statement that will impact generations to come.
Despite falling short in the individual sabre competition, her time in Rio is not over. She will join her teammates on Saturday for a shot at medaling in the team sabre event.
In other Black Girl Magic news…
- USA women’s basketball took the court Monday morning against Spain and routed them 103-63. Yep, another 100-plus point victory! Team USA kept the same starting lineup from Game 1, with Diana Taurasi leading the team in scoring with 13-points. Joining Taurasi in double-digits were our melanin sisters Sylvia Fowles (12-points), Brittney Griner (10-points), and Angel McCoughtry (10-points). Tina Charles held it down in the paint with six rebounds—the most for the team—as well as five assists, two steals and two blocks. The Americans banked 41-out-of-75 shots while the Spaniards made 23-out-of-65.
The champs get to enjoy a day’s rest and will resume play Wednesday, August 10th at 2:30pm against Serbia.’
- After suffering a first-time Olympics loss with doubles partner and sister Venus, Serena Williams, returned to the court to continue her run at gold. Tested early by France’s Alize Cornet, the two battled it out in the first set, but Serena eventually pulled through and won the match in two straight sets — 7-6 (5), 6-2. Williams returns to the court again today and will face Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. A win today, and Williams is on her way to the quarterfinals.
- Madison Keys also remains in the mix. This morning she faces Carla Suárez Navarro of Spain. Could a Keys vs Williams showdown be in the future? Possibly.
To read more of Kayla’s thoughts, follow her on Twitter at@dontKAYme, Instagram at @kayla_nyree. Also, find her writing weekly on blackaphillyated.com and on her personal blog, dearfuturekay.wordpress.com.
For more of Jordan’s take, check out her blog The Watter Girl, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thewattergirl!
photo/video via NBC Sports