Kulsoom Abdullah (كلثوم عبد الله) is a Pakistani-American competitive Olympic Weightlifter and was Crossfit Level I certified. She attended the University of Central Florida where she received her bachelors in computer engineering and received her doctorate in electrical/computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Her website, LiftingCovered.com and Facebook page documents her experiences weightlifting in an effort to compete at U.S. national competitions. She advocated to compete in clothing that adheres to religious codes, opening the door for women from cultures around the world to compete and move beyond preconceived notions of gender, race, and religion. She attended her first U.S. national competition in Iowa in July 2011.
Her athletic feats and determination culminated in an invitation to deliver remarks following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department’s Eid ul Fitr reception 2011. She represented Pakistan as the first female at the international level and first to compete wearing hijab at the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships. Her second International competition representing Pakistan was the 2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships in South Korea.
She resides in Atlanta, GA and works as a Data Scientist. She continues the cycle of empowerment by helping others and supporting relevant causes. In 2014 she was one of four women in The Pakistan Four short documentary – redefining what it means to be a Pakistani Muslim female, one of the recipients of the Georgia Influential Muslim Award and spoke on a panel at the Religion Newswriters Association. In 2015, she was also presented in a 2015 calendar of female South Asian American role models, “Saris to Suits Empowered”, and she is on Team Shirzanan (Persian for “female heroes”) as a spokesperson and role model. The team recently participated at RAGBRAI 2015 (The Register’s Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa) to celebrate our Right to Ride. She continues her work as an Athlete Ambassador for Shirzanan, a Muslim women and sports advocacy group.
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