Tags: simone manuel | 100 meter freestyle | victory | historic

Simone Manuel 100-Meter Freestyle Victory Makes History Twice

Image: Simone Manuel 100-Meter Freestyle Victory Makes History Twice

Gold medallist USA's Simone Manuel wave her national flag during the medal ceremony of the Women's 100m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 11, 2016. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 12 Aug 2016 01:43 PM

Simone Manuel's 100-meter freestyle victory at the Rio Olympics made history twice.

Manuel, 20, battled Canada's Penny Oleksiak to a rare tie for the gold medal, and both set a new Olympic 100-meter freestyle record at 52.70 seconds at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Manuel also became the first African-American female swimmer to win a gold medal for the U.S. at the Olympics, The Washington Post reported.

To boot, both women beat out the event's world record holder, Australia's Cate Campbell.

According to USA Today, the last time a woman from the United States won the event was 1984, when Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer also tied.

The most recent event also marked the first time there was a tie for a swimming gold since Anthony Ervin and Gary Hall Jr. tied for the 50-meter freestyle medal in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

As one of two African-American female swimmers on the U.S. women's team, Manuel said that she hopes her victory can be an inspiration to women and girls everywhere.

"Hopefully it will get them inspired," Manuel, a Texas native and a collegiate swimmer at Stanford, told the Post. "The gold medal wasn't just for me. It was for people who came before me and inspired me to stay in this sport, and for people who believe that they can't do it. I hope that I'm an inspiration to others to get out there and try swimming. They might be pretty good at it."

Manual said, though, she does not want to just be known as the "black swimmer" and hopes more African-Americans will follow in her footsteps.

"Just coming into this race tonight, I kind of tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something I carry with me just being in this position," Manuel told the Post. "But I do hope that it kind of goes away. . . . 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 break records. And that's not true."

The Huffington Post pointed out that the gold medal was Manuel's second medal of the Olympics. She won a silver medal as a member of the U.S. women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay team earlier.

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Simone Manuel's 100-meter freestyle victory at the Rio Olympics made history twice.
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2016-43-12
Friday, 12 Aug 2016 01:43 PM
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