Ibtihaj Muhammad, eighth-ranked fencer in the world, defeated her opponent Olena Kravatska from Ukraine 15-13 in the opening round of women's individual sabre this morning. She also became the first U.S. athlete to wear a hijab during the Olympics.
Muhammad has actively used her Olympics appearance as a platform to disprove misconceptions of Muslim Americans.
"I wish that, not just my life, but the lives of Muslims all over the world were a little bit easier, particularly in the United States. I'm hoping that with my first-time appearance as a member of Team USA here at the Olympics, I'm hoping that the rhetoric around the Muslim community will change," Muhammad told NBC last week.
Muhammad, who grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, picked up fencing partially because the uniform allowed her to wear a hijab.
Muhammad will face Cecilia Berder of France, ranked one position below her at ninth, later today.