"[Sara] Ahmed, who wore a full-length unitard and a sports hijab while competing, said: "I hope it will encourage other girls to take up the sport. A new weightlifting generation can be born, a new beginning." #rio2016 #olympics #olympics2016 #saraahmed #hijab
A photo posted by Bella Hijabs (@bellahijabs) on
Just a few days after Tunisian fencer Ines Boubakri made Olympic history by being the first Arab woman to win an Olympic medal in fencing, another athlete from the region continues to break barriers for Arab women.
Egyptian weightlifter Sara Ahmed became the first Arab woman to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting when she took home the bronze medal in the 69kg group earlier this week. Kazakhstan's Zhazira Zhapparkul took home the silver, while China's Xiang Yanmei won the gold.
In addition to Ahmed's unprecedented performance, her clothing choice also points towards progress for Muslim athletes around the world, as she joined other female athletes such as American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Saudi Arabian runners Kariman Abuljadayel and Sarah Attar, who also donned hijabs in Rio.
Today at 3pm (KSA time) #Saudi Olympian Sarah Alattar will compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics @sarahattar - A few days ago #Saudi Athlete Kariman Abualjadayel (pictured) became the first Saudi woman to compete in the 100m > proud of her participation & accomplishment - اليوم تشارك العداءة السعودية سارة العطار في أولومبيات ريو ٢.١٦ الساعة ٣ بتوقيت المملكة - فخورين بمشاركتها للمرة الثانية في الأولمبيات (بعد لندن ٢٠١٢) - وبالأمس شاركت السعودية كاريمان ابو الجدايل (في الصورة) كأول امرأة سعودية في ال ١٠٠متر - #السعودية #اولومبياد #saudiwomen #saudipride #saudiarabia #saudiwoman #Sarahattar #karimanabuljadayel #SaudiOlympics #olympics #rio2016 #rio
Ahmed's win is particularly noteworthy, though, because the International Weightlifting Federation only changed its rules to allow athletes to wear full-coverage uniforms in 2011. Prior to this, head-coverings were not allowed in the sport.
A big congratulations to Ahmed and all the other Arab athletes who are paving the way for female athletes everywhere!