While most people have been watching Michael Phelps during the Rio Olympics, a new name in swimming has emerged: Simone Manuel.
Manuel set out to prove hard work and dedication can help you accomplish anything, even when others believe you to be incapable. And she did just that. During her race in the women’s 100 meter freestyle, Manuel not only set a record time when she tied for first place with her 52.70-second swim, but she also became the first African American woman to ever win a gold medal in an individual swimming event.
A fellow collegiette, Manuel attends Stanford University and learned to swim at the age of five in Sugar Land, Texas.
After her victory, the 20-year-old said that the win was not just for her.
"This is for all who... will come after who believe they can't do it."
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 12, 2016
According to the New York Times, Manuel was “pretty shocked” by her accomplishment. “My goal coming in was to get on the medal stand after seeing how I swam in prelims and semifinals,” she said. “But getting a gold medal in my first Olympics, I still can’t describe it but I’m really excited about it.”
So is the rest of the world. Congratulations, Simone!