Simone Manuel: First African-American To Win Individual Medal In Olympics 2016

Simone Manuel: First African-American To Win Individual Medal In Olympics 2016
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Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual swimming event.


Manuel earned the gold medal by winning the women’s 100 meter freestyle event – which has not been won by the U.S. since 1984 – at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Manuel, from Texas, tied for the first place with Penny Oleksiak from Canada. Their victory also marked a new world record in the swimming event – both finished the race in 52:70. Sarah Sjostrom came in third, clocking 52:99.

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2016 Rio Olympics: Simone Manuel creates history

As reported by, this is Manuel’s second medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. On Sunday, she won the silver medal in the 4×100 freestyle event.

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“This medal is not just for me, it’s for a whole bunch of people who have come before me and have been an inspiration to me,” Manuel said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “And it’s for all the people after me who belive you can’t do it.”

Also read: Rio Olympics: Katie Ledecky Clinches 3rd Gold Medal

Simone Manuel: Previous accomplishments

“I just want to be an inspiration to others that you can do it,” she added.

In 2014-2015, Manuel swum for Stanford University and won two NCAA Division I titles in her freshman year. Bagging the first positions in 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle events, she set new school records. She was also victorious in the 2013 World Championship Team and the 2013 Duel in the Pool team.

With her latest achievement, Manuel became the first U.S. swimmer to take home a medal in women’s 100 meter freestyle since Natalie Coughlin finished third, and earned a bronze medal, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Manuel also became the first U.S. swimmer to win the gold in the same event since Carrie Steinseifer and Nancy Hogshead won in 1984.

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