Swimmer Simone Manuel Had A Heartfelt Response To Her History-Making Gold Medal Win

"This medal is not just for me."

Team USA swimmer Simone Manuel just made Olympic history. The 20-year-old won gold in the women's 100-meter freestyle on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. 

Not only is this Manuel's first gold medal — it's also the first time in history that an African American woman has won a medal in an individual Olympic swimming event.


Manuel, who already won silver in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, had an emotional response to her unprecedented win, and she took a moment to make a heartfelt dedication.

"This medal is not just for me, it's for a whole bunch of people who... came before me and have been an inspiration to me," Manuel said of her accomplishment. 

Maritza Correia, for example, was the first black woman to make the U.S. Olympic swim team and won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay in 2004.

Manuel went on to say of her win, "It's for all the people after me who believe they can't do it. I just want to be inspiration to others that you can do it."

Manuel tied in the race with Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak, who also received gold. They both finished in 52.70 seconds, an Olympic record. 

In true Olympic spirit, Manuel and Oleksiak's mothers posed together for a photo celebrating their daughters after the race.

Manuel isn't finished in Rio. She still has the opportunity to take home another medal for the 50-meter freestyle on Friday.

(H/T: Mashable)


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