Simone Manuel is officially in the history books after winning the Women’s 100m Freestyle in Rio.  She is the first African-American to win the gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event and with it, she used her platform to acknowledge police brutality in America.

“It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” Manuel said. “This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My color just comes with the territory.”

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Manuel was also on the first ever Olympic USA Women’s Swim Team to have two African Americans compete. The Texas native continued to speak on what it is like to be in a sport that doesn’t have many African-American women.

“The title of black swimmer suggests that I am not supposed to win golds or break records, but that’s not true because I train hard and want to win just like everyone else.”

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 Coming into this year’s Olympic games wasn’t the easiest for Manuel. The pressures of being a face for the black community took a toll at times.
“It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot,” Manuel said. “Coming into the race I tried to take 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.’

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Watch her amazing win and emotional reaction below.

https://youtu.be/PyApiBQAcKU

https://youtu.be/ouofGNdORYA