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Olympian Simone Manuel: First Black Woman to Win Individual Swimming Medal


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Team USA continues to crush it at the Rio Games, and tonight, it was hard not to shed a few tears for Simone Manuel, who not only came out on top, but made history.

The Olympic swimmer competed tonight in the 100m freestyle and tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada for the gold, with both ladies coming in at a world record time of 52.70. Nuts, right? But what makes this moment even more memorable is that Manuel’s win made her the first African-American woman to ever medal in an individual swimming event.

“All I can say is all glory to God. It’s definitely been a long journey these past four years. I’m just so blessed to have a gold medal. I’m just so blessed,” an emotional Simone tells NBC News after her race.

“It means a lot. This medal is not just for me, it’s for a whole bunch of people who have came before me and been an inspiration to me,” she continues. “It’s for all the people who come after me who believe they can’t do it. And I just want to be inspiration to others that you can do it.”

Manuel adds, “I definitely wanna go out there and swim fast for Team USA, and having everybody swim fast makes me wanna swim fast, so it’s really great to be on such an amazing team.”

This also marks the first gold medal win in this event for Team USA since 1984, and her win definitely caught the attention of a few leading ladies:

Simone Manuel for GOLD!!!!! Well, well done. The tears are well earned. #TeamUSA #Olympics

1st African American to win a gold in swimming!!

AHHH!!! My roomie @simone_manuel just won a gold medal! I’m shaking. So proud of you. #CHAMP

Congratulations, Simone!

Best Reaction Faces at the 2016 Rio Olympics

(originally from here)

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