Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

The maker of Barbie announced this week that it will sell a doll modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year's Olympics wearing a hijab.

Mattel said the doll will be available next fall as part of the Barbie "Shero" line, which honors women who break boundaries.

"I had so many moments as an athlete where I didn't feel included, where I was often in spaces where there was a lack of representation," Muhammad said Monday. "So to be in this moment, as a U.S. Olympian, to have Mattel . . . diversify their toy line to include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab, is very moving to me."

Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.

"There was so much about the doll that was important to me," she said. "As a kid, I was bullied for having larger legs, and sport taught me to embrace my body and to love my body and the strength that it could produce. I think that having strong legs helped me win a medal at the Olympic Games, so I wanted my legs to be larger, more athletic legs, toned legs."

— Associated Press