First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to several U.S. athletes to mark 100 days until the Rio Games. According to ESPN, following her speech, she headed over to a temporary court set up in the middle of Time Square.
New Jersey native Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, 30, greeted her there. The two women hugged and begun a fencing lesson. Muhammad, who is set to become the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab, practiced technique with the First Lady using foam foils.
While this Olympic year is also an election year, Muhammad feels comfortable as the face of a greater message with many opportunities to speak out. She has decided to use her platform to rally against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s suggestions to ban Muslims from entering the country.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re in this moment, especially during the presidential election, where people feel so comfortable voicing their dislike or the discontent for people of a particular background, a particular race or a particular religion,” she told reporters.
Muhammad believes as an athlete, she plans to reach as many people as possible.
“We as Americans have to fight that, because that goes against the very values that we stand for. I feel like I’m in this position and I have to use it, and I want to use it well. I don’t want to waste my time as an athlete; I want to reach as many people as I can — just not with my skills within my sport but also with my voice.”