Source: VALERIE MACON / Getty Simone Manuel made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics last night. Manuel became the first African-American to win a gold medal in an Olympic swimming event. 20-year-old Manuel upset world-record holder Cate Campbell of Australia, and tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada for gold in the 100-meter freestyle event. The two…
Manuel told NBC Sports, “I hope that I can be an inspiration to others, so this medal is for the people who come behind me and get into the sport and hopefully find love and drive to get to this point.”
Manuel continued, “I think that this win helps bring hope and change to some of the issues that are going on in the world, but I mean, I went out there and swam as fast as I could and my color just comes with the territory.”
In the 2012 U.S. Olympics trials, Manuel came in 17th in the 100-meter freestyle. Her hard work and dedication has paid off, as she stood on the top podium celebrating her gold medal win with Canada’s Oleksiak. Read more on Manuel’s historic win here, and watch her emotional interview here.