Swimmer Simone Manuel achieved two victories during her 100-meter freestyle on Thursday: She took home her first gold medal, and in doing so, became the first black woman to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event. The 20-year old tied with Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak, boasting an incredible time of 52.70 seconds. Though NBC strangely didn't air the footage of her medal ceremony until an hour after it took place, these photos of Manuel on the night she made history perfectly capture just how monumental the night was.
Manuel knew just how significant this win was, too. In a sport filled with years of grueling training, celebrating personal victories is certainly understandable. But the swimmer was happy to share her gold medal moment, particularly with young black girls who may have questioned their chances at succeeding in the sport. Manuel said of her victory in a statement to press following her race: "Hopefully it will get them inspired. The gold medal wasn’t just for me. It was for people who came before me and inspired me to stay in this sport, and for people who believe that they can’t do it..."
Given the overwhelming happiness and pride that Manuel exuded both in the pool and on the podium, she will likely inspire plenty of people to jump in the water along with her.
Image: Brit Phillips/Bustle (1)