Even after competing in Rio and Tokyo, two-time Olympian Dalilah Muhammad won't forget where she came from — because her home in Queens' Rochdale Village helped shape the athlete and person she is today.
Her passion for track and field started as a child, when Muhammad said she would go to the local community center and run around cones her coach set up inside a ballroom. But her love for her community started at home, where her father worked as a chaplain in corrections and her mother is in social work. Muhammad said that community feeling stretched to her sister, who is now a teacher, and her brother, who worked in the military.
"We enjoy family and we enjoy community," her father, Askia Muhammad said. "There's an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child, and in our experience, that is the absolute truth. Because so many people contributed to the success of Dalilah and all of our children."
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After Muhammad won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles in the Rio Olympics, her mother Nadirah said that all of Rochdale Village broke out into a roar. When Muhammad returned home, the neighborhood threw a parade for her.
Muhammad said that the strong support system of her community, family and friends motivates her.
"It makes me proud to be representing Queens and be from Rochdale Village," she said. "It's definitely the thing that pushes me forward to do my very best."