The US's first Black swimmer to win a gold medal, Simone Manuel, dedicated her win to ending police brutality on August 11. Manuel tied with Penny Oleksiak from Canada at 52:70 to win gold in the 100 metre freestyle race at the Rio games that day.
“It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” Manuel told reporters. “This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory.
“I tried to take the weight of the Black community off my shoulders. It's something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not 'Simone the Black swimmer,'” said Manuel.
While admitting she is ambivalent about her historic position, she said confidently that the “medal is not for me. It is for some of the African-Americans who have come before me. This medal is for the people who come behind me and get into the sport and hopefully find love and drive to get to this point.”
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]
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