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Ibtihaj Muhammad, Special Olympics Global Ambassador

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Global Ambassador

Ibtihaj Muhammad is an entrepreneur, activist, speaker, and Olympic medalist in fencing.

A 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 5-time Senior World medalist and World Champion, in 2016, Ibtihaj became the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab.

Ibtihaj was a 3-time All American at Duke University where she graduated with a dual major in International Relations and African Studies. In 2014, Ibtihaj launched her own clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring modest, fashionable, and affordable clothing to the United States market. In 2017, Mattel announced their first hijabi Barbie, modeled in Ibtihaj’s likeness, as part of Barbie’s “Shero” line of dolls. The Barbie became available for purchase in July 2018. Ibtihaj released her debut memoir in July 2018, PROUD: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream. Ibtihaj released her third book, children’s picture book, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab & Family, that became a New York Times’ Best-Seller.

Ibtihaj is a sports ambassador with the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sport Initiative and works closely with organizations like Athletes for Impact and the Special Olympics.

Named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential list, Ibtihaj is an important figure in a larger global discussion on equality and the importance of sport. Her voice continues to unite both the sports and non-sports world.


In 2019, Ibtihaj was recognized as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

Ibtihaj became involved in Special Olympics in 2018 through her friend, Michelle Kwan. Michelle invited Ibtihaj to visit NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to speak about diversity, perseverance, and inclusion in sports and promoting the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Ibtihaj continued to be engaged by attending several Special Olympics events, including the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration in Chicago in July 2018, Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in March 2019 and A Revolution In Action celebratory weekend in Hyannis Port in July 2019.

Ibtihaj will work and focus on with Special Olympics increasing girl and women participation in sports for the Special Olympics movement.

Global Ambassadors


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