Egyptian Women’s Beach Volleyball Player Wears Hijab Against Bikini-Clad Opponents at Rio Olympics

Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 8, 2016.
Doaa Elghobashy (EGY) of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst (GER) of Germany compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women's Preliminary - Beach Volleyball Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


Cultures collide! One Egyptian athlete is gaining some extra attention during her team’s first-ever Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — and it’s not just for her skills.

Beach volleyball player Doaa Elghobashy made headlines over the weekend for wearing a hijab while going up against Germany. “I have worn the hijab for 10 years,” Elghobashy, 19, told the Associated Press after the match. “It doesn’t keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them.”

She added: “I’m proud to be seen raising the Egyptian flag in a carnival with so many nations.”

One photo of Elghobashy in particular has been making the rounds online. Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson published an action-shot of the athlete battling it out with bikini-clad opponent Kira Walkenhorst at the net.

Egypt's Doaa Elghobashy (L) vies with Germany's Kira Walkenhorst during the women's beach volleyball qualifying match between Germany and Egypt at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy (L) vies with Germany’s Kira Walkenhorst during the women’s beach volleyball qualifying match between Germany and Egypt at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

“I wish Doaa Elghobashy was around when I was a hijabi-wearing high school volleyball player #RioOlympics2016,” one commenter tweeted on Monday. A second simply noted: “Great photo.”

Back in 2012, the International Volleyball Federation tweaked its guidelines and announced that bikinis would no longer be required during Olympic matches. “Many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible,” spokesperson Richard Baker told the AP at the time. The only requirements now for participants are sleeved or sleeveless tops and shorts that don’t exceed three centimeters in length.

Elghobashy made her Olympic debut at the Copacabana venue on Sunday. She and her teammates lost to Germany with a score of 21-12, 21-15.

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!