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Simone Manuel Becomes The First African-American Female Swimmer To Win A Gold Medal In A Individual Swimming Event

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Last night (8/11/16), African-American swimmer Simone Manuel made history with her victory in the women’s 100 meter freestyle.

Manuel has become the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event ever, setting an Olympic record time of 52.70. This Friday and Saturday the 20 year-old Sugarland, Texas native will go for more gold and participate in the 4×100-meter medley relay and the 50-meter freestyle. This is huge for America of course, but an even larger win for the African-American community. I hope this will break the stigma of black people not knowing how to swim and encourage those who don’t to learn. Most African-Americans didn’t have excess to clean pools or even just a pool for that matter, a very long time ago because of segregation. From that, swimming wasn’t able to be passed on the generations after. Of course there are plenty of blacks who know how to swim now, but access to proper competitive swimming classes in the inner cities are scarce. With Simone’s victory and the national attention she is about to receive, hopefully now more black children will be inspired to follow in her foot steps. Read some of the heart felt congratulations tweets from fans and celebrities.