USA gold medal hero Simone Manuel speaks on racial label (video)

Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Team USA’s Simone Manuel made history, but she’s looking forward to the time where noting the color of a swimmer’s skin is unimportant.

Manuel, 20, became the first African American female swimmer to win an individual swim medal.

That will certainly be an inspiration for all athletes, just as African American swimmers Cullen Jones and Maritza Correa served as role models for Manuel.

Yet she’s hoping it becomes commonplace.


“That’s something I’ve struggled with a lot. Just coming into this race a lot, I tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something I carry with me just being in this position. I do hope that it kinda goes away. I’m super glad that I can be an inspiration for others, and help diversify the sport but at the same time I would like there to be a day where there are more of us and it’s not ‘Simone the Black Swimmer’. The title ‘Black Swimmer’ makes it seem like I’m not supposed to be able to win gold medals or break a record.  That’s not true, and I just want to win like everybody else.”