Exclusive! The History-Making Olympic Fencer

Exclusive! The History-Making Olympic Fencer


This summer all eyes will be on Rio for
the Summer Olympics and our next guest is making headlines and
history. Time magazine is calling her
the new face for team USA. From Maplewood, New Jersey
please welcome Ibtihaj Muhammad.>>I am so obsessed with you.>>[LAUGHTER]
>>I’m so excited to be here. You’re such a role model. Thank you so much for having me.>>Thank you so much. Well you’re a role model. This is incredible for
you to be going to the Olympics. So, let’s tell everybody
why you’re making history.>>So I’m a fencer and I will, this summer be the first Muslim woman to represent team USA while
wearing the hijab.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>That is fantastic.>>Thank you.>>I mean do you know how important
that is, and what is a hijab?>>[LAUGH]
>>First of all, the hijab literally means to cover,
in Arabic, and Muslim women who observe it cover everything with the exception
of their face and their hands.>>Right, so
what you’re wearing now is a hijab.>>Yes, this is a hijab.>>And you are covered completely. Is that one of the reasons
you’re doing this sport? Is that what your parents wanted you to,
cuz you’re not gonna be a swimmer.>>Right. [LAUGHTER]
>>So, growing up, sports were always
a big part of our household.>>Mm-hm.>>All of my siblings played sports,
I tried->>What did they play?>>My brother played football,
I have sisters who played volleyball. I tried all these different sports
growing up, and with each sport, my mom always had to alter the uniform for
me. By adding long sleeves or pants, and
we were literally parked at a stop light, my mom and I, when I was 12. And she noticed in the local high school,
the kids inside had on masks, they had on long pants,
they had on long sleeves, and she’s like, I don’t know what that is, but when you
get to high school, I want you to try it.>>[LAUGH]
>>It was always really important to my mom to keep me active. She saw how excited I
was to be in sports and she wanted me to do that
while observing the hijab.>>So thank you for being here,
cause I know that you’re very busy, so thank you for being here.>>Yeah.
I mean training and traveling all the time but
I always find time for you.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>That’s very sweet.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Okay, so I mean really it is very difficult and
you have to train constantly and. So you’re gonna fence with, unfortunately, our poor Andy Zenor
is the only guy we have around here. Let’s go over here, okay?>>Yeah, I’m excited to show you.>>Okay, I can’t wait. I really am excited about this. Okay, Andy?>>[LAUGH]
>>Andy, have you ever done this?>>Not once.>>Shouldn’t you have a cup on or
something?>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean, I’m not even kidding. You know, she’s going to the Olympics.>>[LAUGH]
>>How many swords do you have?>>In general?>>Uh-huh.
>>A bunch. Do you want one?>>[LAUGH]
>>Yes.>>Yes?
[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH]>>[APPLAUSE] I do.>>So, this is, I’m a saber fencer, and our target area is from the waist up. And my goal now is to score as many
points as I can against our friend Andy.>>That was just twice she hit you.>>[LAUGH]
>>So, when I hit Andy, a red light will come on, and when Andy
hits me, a green light will come on. So, we’re gonna go ahead and get started. I’m gonna go full on here. Are you ready?>>[LAUGH]
>>Yup.>>All right. [SOUND] Okay.>>Just warming up. Just warming up.>>That’s one. Let’s go. Come on, come on, come on. Let’s see it.>>Okay, still warming up. Still warming up.>>[LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]. It’s not a point unless you make noise,
right? [LAUGH]
>>They’re real swords everybody. They’re not fake.>>[SOUND] Okay, all right.>>[LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]>>[APPLAUSE]>>[SOUND] Okay. You’re doing such a good job.>>[SOUND]
>>[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH]>>[SOUND]>>[LAUGH]>>[INAUDIBLE]>>[LAUGH]>>It’s draining Ellen, it’s very draining. She’s good. That was so good. You are awesome.>>You got two points. Listen, that’s very impressive two
points against someone who is going to the Olympics and hopefully going
to win the Olympics for us. And
>>[APPLAUSE] All right I got something for you.>>Yeah?
>>It’s a special Ellen uniform that you can wear. Boy, this is heavy!>>So cute!
>>So you’re Team Ellen, okay? [APPLAUSE]
>>I love it!>>And one more thing. This is to distract, you know,
see how he was doing that? [LAUGH] This is going to
distract your opponent.>>Okay, that’s the secret.>>Yeah, I don’t know if that is legal or not but you’re going to have that and
you can wear that. All right, [INAUDIBLE] you’re awesome.

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