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Nike introduces athletic hijab for Muslim athletes

The Nike Pro Hijab was introduced Tuesday for Muslim athletes.

The hijab, which will come in 3 colours, will be available for purchase in 2018

In this undated image provided by Nike, figure skater Zahra Lari wears Nike's new hijab for Muslim female athletes. 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. (Nike via The Associated Press)

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 colours: black, vast grey and obsidian. Oregon-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.

Ibtihaj Muhammad of the United States pose with her bronze medals in Team Sabre fencing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 13, 2016. (Vincent Thian/The Associated Press)

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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