Rio-Olympics witnessed the trend being changed when two female Egyptian volleyball contestants Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy chose to wear the Hijab (covering), i.e. leggings and long sleeves instead of the regular two-piece bikinis for the event, breaking the stereotypes and the notions about what a sportsperson must wear and not wear.
Hijab-wearing volleyball player a smash hit online after Rio Olympics photo https://t.co/ytESg6XZbu
— RT Sport (@rtsportnews) August 8, 2016
Sports have long been associated with dress codes, like in cricket, tennis, football, swimming, boxing, volleyball, etc. Certain dress codes are worn by athletes to suit the nature of the sport. However it is their performance which is put into question and not the appearance or necessity of any rules of the game, and modern rules are not a “no-go” for participation due to dress code.
Standard regulations for uniform sizes were followed by The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) previously. However these guidelines were eased for the London 2012 Olympics which permitted full sleeves and leggings.
Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy making history for Egypt as the first women’s Olympic beach volleyball pair pic.twitter.com/nisxdBTTZN
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) August 7, 2016
This is not the first occasion when Muslim women have chosen modest clothing as per their dress code while participating at the Olympics, or other international sports event, one of which was Woroud Sawalha, a Palestinian female athlete at the London 2012 Olympics. Another example is the US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who has observed the hijab since she started her career and is the first athlete to participate with her hair covered.
— Beach Volleyball (@FIVBBeach) August 8, 2016
The Egyptian Duo lost the match against Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in the 40-minute face-off.
“I have worn the hijab for 10 years,.. It doesn’t keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them.” Elghobashy told the press after the game.
“The goal was to allow more people to play the sport of volleyball,” said FIVB (Federation of International Volleyball) spokesperson Richard Baker, adding that the sport wanted to “open it up culturally” for players.
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) August 7, 2016