Team USA Swimmer
By the time Simone Manuel graduated from high school, she had already broken an American record in the 100 yard freestyle. The Texas native went on to become a multi-time NCAA All-American and Champion for the Stanford Cardinals before her Olympic debut in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Manuel made history by becoming the first African American woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming in the Olympics. She achieved a sweep at this years world swimming championships, making her the first American woman in history to do so. Her debut during the eight-day event included winning four gold and six silver medals.
Manuel has said that Black people of all ages have approached her and said she inspired them to learn to swim. She began her love affair with the water at age four, when her parents signed her up for swimming lessons. Since she began competing professionally, she has made it her life mission to ensure diversity and cecss to traditionally underrepresented groups. Last summer, Manuel signed a contract with sponsor that includes a reportedly unprecedented inclusion rider. Manuel thanks African-American mentors in swimming, like Cullen Jones, Maritza Correia, and Sabir Muhammad for keeping her grounded. She recently wrote on Twitter: “Always pursue your passion regardless of stereotypes and biases that may try to deter you from reaching your dream. GO BEYOND!!!”
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