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Nike unveils hijab for Muslim athletes

The Nike Pro Hijab has been in development for a year, according to Nike

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BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Nike has unveiled a hijab for Muslim female athletes.

The Nike Pro Hijab has been in development for a year, the company said. Athletes contributed input into the product, and figure skater Zahra Lari was among those who tested it.

The pull-on hijab is made of light, stretchy fabric that includes tiny holes for breathability and an elongated back so it will not come untucked. It will come in three colors: black, vast grey and obsidian. Beaverton-based Nike says the hijab will be available for sale next year.

Lari, a hopeful for the Winter Olympics next year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, posted photos of herself wearing the hijab on her Instagram page. Lari is from Abu Dhabi and represents the United Arab Emirates.

"Can't believe this is finally here!!" she wrote.

Last summer, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad of New York became the first Muslim American woman to compete for the United States wearing a hijab at the Olympics. She earned a bronze medal at the Rio Games.

The U-17 Women's World Cup last October in Jordan marked the first time Muslim players wore headscarves during a FIFA event. Soccer's international governing body formally lifted a ban on head coverings in 2014, recognizing Muslim and Sikh players.

Meanwhile, the governing body for basketball, FIBA, has come under fire for banning headscarves during international competition.

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