Ibtihaj Muhammad reached a milestone at the 2016 Olympic summer games held in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Muslim-American to win a bronze medal in fencing, as well as the first to wear a hijab, the traditional Muslim headscarf, while doing so.
Now, just months after her historic victory, Nike announced that it will launch a "Pro Hijab line" for female athletes who wish to celebrate their religious roots and athleticism.
Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom was one athlete who tested the product.
"The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport," a statement from Nike said, according to Al Arabiya English. "
WATCH | Ibtihaj Muhammad competes at the Rio Olympic games.
Nike's inspiration for creating a pro-hijab, however, stems back to 2012, when Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar, who competed in the 800m track heats, took the global stage in London, the statement added.
“The Nike Pro Hijab was designed as a direct result of our athletes telling us they needed this product to perform better, and we hope that it will help athletes around the world do just that,” Global Nike Spokeswoman Megan Saalfeld told Al Arabiya English.
The product had to undergo several testing experiments to ensure its functionality, considering that many of the athletes who are likely to wear the hijab reside in the Gulf Arab region where temperatures can reach 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, Nike used a mesh material--a breathable fabric-- to construct the athletic hijab, which also features strategically placed holes for optimal air flow.
“These new garments were again wear tested by elite Nike athletes, like the groundbreaking Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari and Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom. Everyday athletes from around the Middle East also assessed the hijabs,” Nike added.
The Pro Hijab line will go on sale in Spring 2018.
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