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In the middle of an election cycle replete with messages of fear and words of hate, Michelle Obama picked up a foil in the middle of New York City on Wednesday and learned to fence in the name of hope, unity and patriotism.

The First Lady was in Times Square to celebrate the 100-day countdown until the Summer Olympics kickoff, continuing her years-long “Let’s Move” work promoting healthy living, exercise and eating for the nation’s youth.

And amid a day filled with speeches, basketball lessons and smiles for the camera, the most moving, emotionally laden moment came when Obama spent time with fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S Olympian ever to compete in a hijab.

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