Representing your country at the Olympics is a goal that most professional athletes can only dream of. For one young Somali woman, this dream has become a reality.
Munirah Warsame will be the first Somali woman to ever represent the country in taekwondo at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan that will commence from 23 July to 8 August 2021.
At the age of 20, Munirah has already made history with her participation alone. “It feels so unreal to be able to represent Somalia at the Olympic Games, I feel incredibly honoured and excited to be representing my home country,” Munirah tells us in between rigorous training sessions.
Born in the United Kingdom, Munirah has still chosen to represent Somalia, for very heartwarming and noble reasons. “What made me want to represent Somalia was to fight for my home country and also to show other girls like me that there are opportunities and that they can do it,” she tells us.
Taekwondo isn’t a very popular sport in Somalia or amongst Somali communities in the diaspora, yet Munirah was introduced to the sport from a very early age. “I first started taekwondo when I was about 6-years-old and it began as an after school activity, just to keep me and my brothers busy,” Munirah explained, “but it later became my career and a sport I absolutely love doing”.
Amongst the many challenges that athletes who are training for the Olympics face, Munirah also caught Covid-19 during her preparation period. “The biggest challenge was getting Covid and quickly getting back into intense training, but Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) it was hard, but it is going to be worth it Insha’Allah (God willing)”.
Despite some of these challenges, Munirah remains positive. “My personal goal for this Olympics is to Insha’Allah (God willing) bring back a medal and also fight to the best of my ability”.