Simone Manuel First Black Female Swimmer To Win Olympic Gold Medal

By Briasia Russ

This past Friday, Simone Manuel won the 100 freestyle swimming relay. Despite suffering from anxiety and depression, Simone Manuel made it to the Tokyo Games.  

The Olympic gold medalist recently announced that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome. As a result, Manuel missed three weeks of training prior to the Olympic trials.  

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According to USA Today, Manuel felt relieved to announce her diagnosis.  

“I definitely think sharing that information allowed me to swim more free,” Manuel said. “My goal was to make the Olympic team. I’m just happy to accomplish part of my goal.” 

According to USA Today, her competitor Abby Weitzeil, 2016 gold and silver Olympic medalist, will continue to support Manuel as she competes in the Tokyo Games.  

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“I’m going to be cheering my head off for her in the 50 as I’m swimming,” Weitzeil said. “I want her to do so well. I really want her with us on the team. She is an awesome person and teammate and leader and competitor.” 

Not only did Manuel accomplish her goal, but she made history by becoming the first Black female swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.  

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