As the world is dazed by the terrific gymnast, Simone Biles, another Simone Manuel is breaking a record and making history as well at Rio Olympic’s swimming competitions.
What can we say, Simone appears to be the lucky name for the Olympics.
As a matter of fact this young lady is the first black woman in Olympic history to win an individual swimming gold medal. Simone Manuel is a 20-year-old swimmer from Sugar Land, Texas.
As the first African American female swimmer to win an Olympic medal in an individual event, Simone has broken a supposed racial barrier.
“Coming into this race tonight, I tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something I carry with me, just being in this position.”
“I’m super glad with the fact that I can be an inspiration to others and hopefully diversify the sport. But at the same time, I would like there to be a day where there are more of us, and it’s not Simone, the black swimmer.”
“The title black swimmer makes it seem like I’m not supposed to be able to win a gold medal, or I’m not supposed to be able to break records. That’s not true because I work just as hard as anybody else, and I love the sport. I want to win just like everybody else.”
Just like Simone Biles, Simone Manuel helped the US women swimming team win a silver medal in the 4×100 free competition on Sunday.
Simone made a tie with 16-year-old Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak in the 100-meter freestyle. Both swimmers set a new Olympic record time of 52.70. Coming 3rd place was Swedish Sarah Sjostrom in a time of 52.99.
According to Jeff Wiltse, a University of Montana history professor, swimming has been one of the most racist sports in America.
“Southern cities typically shut down their public pools rather than allow mixed-race swimming.”
He went on to reveal that white Americans would easily abandon pools the moment they become open to black American swimmers.
The above is why it is remarkable that Simone Manuel made the big win at Rio. She has proved that it is not about the color but the will to win the race.