Team USA Swimmer Simone Manuel Scores Historic Gold Medal at Olympics

IRVINE, CA - AUGUST 10:  Simone Manuel reacts to her victory in the Womnen's 50 Meter Freestyle Final during the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships at the Woollett Aquatic Center on August 10, 2014 in Irvine, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Team USA Swimmer Simone Manuel Scores Historic Gold Medal at Olympics

She's the first Black woman to win the 100 meter freestyle.

Published August 12, 2016

Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel made history Thursday night in Rio De Janeiro when she became the first Black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming, taking the top prize in the 100-meter freestyle.

Manuel took the podium with tears of joy in her eyes next to Canadian Penny Oleksiak who tied with Manuel, hitting the wall in 52.70 seconds.

"I'm just so blessed to have a gold medal," the 20-year-old athlete said when speaking to NBC following the race. "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...It's for all the people after me who believe they can't do it, and I just want to be an inspiration to others that you can do it."

It wasn't easy for Manuel to take home the prize, at the halfway mark of the race she was swimming at third, but surged into first place seconds later to capture the gold.

Many have taken to Twitter to celebrate the historic win.

It's a huge moment in both Manuel's life, and the history of the Olympics as a whole. 

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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