Simone Manuel has just made history.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Team USA athlete became the first black woman to take home a gold medal in an individual swimming sport. Manuel competed in the women’s 100m freestyle and tied for gold with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak.
Manuel’s win was also the first time an American has taken home the gold in the sport since 1984.
The 20-year-old athlete later explained that this historic victory was not just for her.
“This medal is not just for me, it’s for a whole bunch of people who have come before me and have been an inspiration to me,” she said, according to Daily Mail.
She also stated her hope that her win can help to diversify the sport.
“I’m super glad that I can be an inspiration to others and hopefully diversify the sport,” Manuel explained. “But at the same time, I would like there to be a day where there are more of us and it’s not like ‘Simone, the black swimmer,’ because the title ‘black swimmer’ makes it seem like I’m not supposed to be able to win a gold medal.”
Manuel was not the only American athlete to make history in Rio. Earlier in the week, swimmer Michael Phelps won his 22nd gold medal, making him the greatest athlete in the history of the games by surpassing Leonidas of Rhodes.
Congratulations to Manuel, Phelps and the rest of Team USA for making all of us back home extremely proud!