Simone Manuel Becomes First Black Woman To Win Gold Medal In Individual Swimming Event

Manuel tied with Penny Oleksiak for the gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle, breaking an Olympic record in the process.

August 11, 2016
Simone Manuel Becomes First Black Woman To Win Gold Medal In Individual Swimming Event Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

On Thursday night, American swimmer Simone Manuel made history with her race in the women's 100 meter freestyle. Manuel becomes the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event, tying with Canadian Penny Oleksiak, and setting an Olympic record time of 52.70.

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The 20-year-old Texas native will also take part in the 4x100-meter medley relay and the 50-meter freestyle on Friday and Saturday.

The historicity of Manuel's win is being celebrated on social media, with users offering praise for the American swimmer and historical context on pools as complex and traumatic spaces for black Americans.

Simone Manuel Becomes First Black Woman To Win Gold Medal In Individual Swimming Event