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Khadijah Diggs

Triathlete, United States of America

She is currently ranked in the top 5% of her age group by Ironman Triathlon and is the first African American woman to represent Team USA in Long Course Triathlon and the first Muslim women to represent Team USA in any multisport event. The single mother of twins competed in her first triathlon in 2012 at age 43, and now aspires to win a national championship in the Master’s division.

 

What is your favourite sport? My favorite sport is of course triathlon.  I love and perform the best at cycling but I wouldn’t want to do any without all three.  I am a true triathlete at heart.
What drives you? I am motivated by seeing others encouraged.  I am not a natural athlete, I am a single parent, I work and must train primarily at night.  I want people to know that if I can pursue my passion, they can too.  When others tell me that they are inspired it gives me energy and motivation.  I am also hopeful that young Muslim women will fall in love with the sport as I have.
What was your defining moment to get to where you are now? When I made the US Team in 2016 it changed how I saw myself.  I had failed to make the Team the previous year.  I devoted all of 2016 towards that one goal.  I was grateful to Allah for giving me the strength and focus, and to my friends and family for supporting and believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself at times.  I became more confident and more willing to take chances in racing and life.
What is your first sporting memory? My first sporting memories are running age group track and field and my father coaching me.  Also going to swim with him on the weekends.  They are my favorite childhood memories!
Who is your inspirational woman in sport? I am a Shelly Anne Fraser-Price and Chrissie Wellington Fan as well as Meredith Kessler.  They are happy and love what they do.  They race and smile……on top of being the best at what they do.
Why is sport important? I think sports gives women a sense of self and confidence that nothing else can provide.  It’s an opportunity to reflect, to challenge yourself, to collaborate with others…..there is a mental aspect along with the physical.  I believe sport is important for overall well being no matter the level at which you have the opportunity to compete.