Hijab vs Bikini, a Beautiful Game of Beach Volleyball at Rio Olympics

Image: AFP

Olympic games are currently underway in Rio. After the grand opening ceremony on 5th August, people all around the world experienced a beautiful game of beach volleyball between the women’s teams of Germany and Egypt on 8th of August.

The game started off with Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy, representing Egypt, and their rival duo was Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. Egyptians’ heads were covered with hijabs, they were wearing long sleeve shirts and leggings while the Germans were stuck with conventional bikini for the game last night. People experienced the cultural divide between the women in one of the most beautiful ways.

Image: Reuters

The International Volleyball Federation has a standard size for uniforms but ever since the London Olympics 2012, the players have been allowed to wear long sleeves and leggings.

According to the FIVB spokesman, Richard Baker, the move was made to open up the game for different cultures.

Image: EPA

Baker said the move was a successful one. 169 countries were involved in the Continental Cup, the qualifying process for the 2016 Olympics. Last time it was 143.
The match lasted for 40 minutes and the Germans won it by 2-0, continuing their winning streak. The Egyptian duo was playing their first international game outside Africa.

Image: EPA

Talking to the media after the games, Elghobashy said:

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

Both of the teams will be back in action on Tuesday.

Image: PA

Arab women have always been criticized and labeled as oppressed but this game clearly showed that they have the passion to play the game and represent their culture at the same time.