Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Ibtihaj Muhammad of the United States, falls to the ground as she competes with Olena Kravatska of Ukraine in the women's individual saber fencing event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Ibtihaj Muhammad made her mark on the Rio Games by becoming the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
Muhammad's aim to promote a more positive perception of Muslim Americans would likely resonate even more if she left Rio with a medal.
Muhammad and her teammates wrap up sabre competition on Saturday in the women's team event. The U.S., led by No. 8 Muhammad and No. 3 Mariel Zagunis, are ranked fourth in the world behind Russia, Ukraine and France.
The Americans shouldn't need much to motivate themselves either after Monday's individual competition, which saw both Muhammad and Zagunis knocked out in the round of 16.
"I love my teammates and I believe in them. I believe in myself. I believe in us, and I want us to win a medal more than anything. I want us to do it for our country," Muhammad said.
The U.S. will face Poland in the opening round, with a possible matchup against the Russians looming for the semifinals.