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Simone Manuel is the First Black American Woman to Win an Individual Olympic Gold in Swimming

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History will remember Simone Manuel as the first Black woman from the United States to win an individual medal in Olympic swimming. Her medal is a gold one, secured in the 100-meter freestyle on Thursday.

Manuel tied for gold with Canada's Penny Oleksiak in an Olympic-record time of 52.70 seconds. The Stanford student qualified first in the 100-meter freestyle semifinal.

Despite her impressive showing in the qualifying rounds, her win was unexpected. She hasn't garnered the same kind of attention that many of her fellow swimmers receive. She, herself, looked shocked as she realized she'd come in at the top of the leaderboard.

This is the first gold for the US in the 100-meter freestyle since 1984.



This is the 20-year-old's second Olympic medal. She won silver in the 400-meter freestyle relay last week.

Manuel is joined on Team USA by another Black woman swimmer, Lia Neal. This is the first time two Black women swimmers have represented the U.S.

NBC did not air Manuel's gold medal ceremony. You can see it here.

Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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