Stephen Colbert Has A Spirited Fencing Duel With Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

With the Olympics in Rio now in full swing, people are beginning to pay attention to sports that, outside of the Olympics context, are way on the backburner. Case in point, on Friday, American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. After a nice chat, Colbert decided to take on Muhammad in a fencing demonstration. You can probably guess how it went.

Muhammad is an Olympian of note not just for her fencing skills, but because she is the first American Olympian to compete wearing a hijab. The conversation between Colbert and Muhammad focused primarily on this fact, and on Muhammad’s Muslim identity and so on. After that, though, it was time for some fun, and it happened to come in the guise of two people going at each other with swords.

Decked out in full fencing gear, Colbert and Muhammad had a quick bout using Muhammad’s chosen weapon, the sabre. Colbert had a painting of his own face on his mask, which was funny but also kind of creepy.

Naturally, Muhammad dominated the match, winning by a score of 5-0. Colbert did get a couple hits on Muhammad, but they both came after Muhammad had already scored a point. Also, while there is no way to know in what order Friday’s episode was recorded, in the prior segment Colbert had been drinking wine with Diane Kruger. Not that it would have made a difference, of course.