First ever figure skater in hijab?

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Zahra Lari, competing in the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, just days ago, representing United Arab Emirates

She is coached by Alexandra Ivleva, a famous Russian skater in her time

She was not the only Muslim skater at the tournament, FWIW, there was also Elizabet Tursynbayeva, from Kazakhstan

who ended up taking silver, alongside Mai Mihara of Japan (Gold) and Russia's own Stanislava Konstantinova (Bronze)

Tursynbayeva, though, does not wear any hijab, few women in Kazakhstan do, it's not such a conservative society as the Arab countries...

Also, at 24, Lari was perhaps the oldest competitor there. Mihara and Tursynbayeva are both 19, and Konstantinova - 18, for example.

She said, in an interview with Russian media, that she greatly admires (ethnic Tatar and also Muslim) Russian skater Alina Zagitova, who won Gold in Pyeongchang Olympics last year, when she was only 15; she said Zagitova was an icon for all Muslim girls like her from Middle East, who want to skate also

«Загитова – кумир всех мусульман». Фигуристка из ОАЭ вышла на лёд в хиджабе

Anyway, yeah, fascinating. More previous stories about her:
Zahra Lari: 'With my story, I feel I have broken ground for women'
Meet Zahra Lari, the Hijabi Athlete and Activist Who Is Bringing Figure Skating to the Arab World
Zahra Lari, the first professional figure skater to compete internationally wearing a headscarf