Simone Manuel’s response after swimming from behind to tie for gold and breaking the Olympic 100-meter record? “All I can say is all glory to God. … I’m just so blessed.” Manuel is the first African-American woman to win gold in a swimming event, the first African-American woman to medal in an individual swimming event, and the first American to win the 100-meter since 1984.
She will leave Rio with two gold and two silver medals. On Saturday night she won gold as freestyle anchor of the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay team and missed gold by two hundredths of a second in the individual 50-meter freestyle. Earlier in the week she was part of the silver medal team in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, afterward tweeting “All Glory to God! Super blessed by this awesome experience!”
Manuel hopes her example will bust stereotypes of African-American swimmers and motivate others, but looks to the day where her race is a non-issue, commenting “I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer’”.
She spoke about the win in relation to the issues facing people of color in the United States.
“It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality. This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory” .
Original story found at Religious News Service
Photo by Marcos Brindicci/REUTERS