14 Muslim women who won medals at 2016 Rio Olympics

We look at 14 Muslim women who made their country proud at the Rio Olympics 2016

News Desk August 22, 2016
Aliya Mustafina (RUS) of Russia celebrates winning the gold. PHOTO: REUTERS

Although Muslim women are often portrayed as oppressed and taking a secondary role to men, these Olympic winners are defying stereotypes and being hailed as heroes across their home countries. Hear them roar!

Dalilah Muhammad, USA, athletics: Gold

Dalilah Muhammad (USA) of USA celebrates after the race. REUTERS

Dalilah Muhammad of the United States led from start to finish to take the Olympic gold medal in the 400 meters hurdles. She has recorded three of the five best times in the world this year. Muhammad hails from Queens, New York, and in an interview with news website NY1, her parents Nadirah and Askia Muhammad said their daughter’s Muslim faith, discipline and talent had taken her all the way to Rio.

How four Olympians are fighting Islamophobia

Majlinda Kelmendi, Kosovo, judo: Gold

Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) of Kosovo reacts. REUTERS

Majlinda Kelmendi made history at the Rio Games as she took gold in judo to become the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic medal, a feeling she said she would not trade for any amount of money in the world.

Aliya Mustafina, Russia, gymnastics: Gold, silver and bronze

Aliya Mustafina (RUS) of Russia celebrates winning the gold. REUTERS

Mustafina, 21, picked up three medals at the Rio Olympics, including a gold medal in the women’s uneven bars, a silver in the women’s team all-around event and bronze in the individual all-around event.

Muslim fencer becomes first American athlete to compete at the Olympics wearing a hijab

Maria Stadnik, Azerbaijan, wrestling: Silver


In the women’s freestyle 48 kg event, Maria Stadnik, 28, won her nation a silver medal.

Zhazira Zhapparkul, Kazakhstan, weightlifting: Silver


In the women’s 69kg final event, 22 year-old Zhazira picked up a silver medal. After she won, her father said, “We are ecstatic that she won! She is not only our daughter now, but the daughter of the entire nation."

Rio 2016 – tops and flops

Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, Indonesia, weightlifting: Silver


Indonesia’s Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, 22, competing in the women’s 48kg weightlifting competition, won a silver medal for her nation.

Ibtihaj Muhammad, USA, fencing: Bronze


Ibtihaj Muhammad, 30, won a bronze medal in the team sabre event. After winning she told CNN: “What I love about my experience here as a minority member of Team USA is that I’m able to encourage other youth to pursue their dreams, to not let other people dictate their journey for them.”

Sara Ahmed, Egypt, weightlifting: Bronze


Egyptian weightlifter Sara Ahmed said she had blazed a trail for women athletes after becoming the first female from her country to stand on the Olympic podium with weightlifting bronze at Rio. Ahmed is the first Arab woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal.

German women earn first Olympic football gold

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, Iran, taekwondo: Bronze


Competing in the -57kg category in taekwondo, Alizadeh picked up a bronze medal, making the 18-year-old the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal. “I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold,” she said.

Hedaya Wahba, Egypt, taekwondo: Bronze


In the other bronze-medal semi-final in the -57kg category, Wahba, 23, won Egypt’s third medal of the Games, only the second-ever won by an Egyptian woman. On the final day of the Olympics, more Egyptian women than men won medals in Rio.

Pakistan-origin woman set to make history as first Baloch female Olympian

Patimat Abakarova, Azerbaijan, taekwondo: Bronze


Patimat Abakarova, 21, won a bronze medal at the womens taekwondo event in the -49kg category.

Ines Boubakri, Tunisia, fencing: Bronze


Tunisia’s bronze medallist Ines Boubakri dedicated her individual foil award to Arab women. After winning, the 27-year-old said, “This medal, it’s historic for Tunisia. It’s incredible. I hope that this will be a message for all Tunisians, especially our youth, all Tunisian women, the Arab woman. A message which says that you must believe that women exist and they have their place in society.”

Britian shines against Dutch for first women’s hockey gold

Marwa Amri, Tunisia, wrestling: Bronze


Marwa Amri, 27, won the bronze medal in under-58 kg women’s wrestling for Tunisia.

Nur Tatar, Turkey, taekwondo: Bronze


Nur Tatar, 24, celebrates after winning the Women’s Taekwondo -67kg Bronze Medal Contests against Chia-Chia Chuang of Chinese Taipei on Day 14.

This article originally appeared on BuzzFeed

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below


Mr Obvious | 5 years ago | Reply Two of the fourteen are from the USA - so much for all the anti USA blather which implies that Muslims are persecuted in the USA.
Reeba | 5 years ago | Reply This clearly shows you do not have to wear your religion to be a muslim and to follow your dreams.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ


Most Read