Is this the most memorable image to come out of Rio?

AN Egyptian athlete has become the talk of the Olympic village after taking to the beach volleyball court in her hijab.

While most female players hit the sand in nothing more than a bikini Egyptian athlete Doaa Elghobashy played a match last night in a long sleeve top, tights and a hijab. 

And an image of her and German player Kira Walkenhorst contesting the ball as it lingers above the net may well prove to be one of the most enduring images of the Rio Olympics - if only because it has inspired such diverse reactions. 


The Egyptian team were the beneficiaries of uniform regulation changes, which were brought in before the London games, aimed at enabling women from Muslim nations to take part. 

"I've been wearing a hijab for the last 10 years, and the international union of the game gave us the right to play with the hijab and I'm really happy for this," Elghobashy told Associated Press after she and her partner lost to Germany. 

"It doesn't keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them."

And while some critics have taken exception to the move it taps into a much stories line of images which show the Olympic spirit overcoming global divisions. 

During the 1968 Olympics track and field star Tommy Smith raised his fist in the air - the black power salute - in a protest against racial discrimination in the US. 

And Australia witnessed its own similar moment in Sydney in 2000 when Cathy Freeman ran around the track at Homebush wrapped in both the Australian and the Australian Aboriginal flags.


Cathy Freeman.
Cathy Freeman. File Photo


For more great Olympic moments check out our top ten here.