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When she was younger, Olympic gold-medal swimmer Simone Manuel found inspiration in Venus and Serena Williams. The beaded, braided tennis phenoms were Black and excellent, inspiring children the world over with their total domination of a sport usually seen as reserved for white people.

Fast forward to now. Kids the world over are still finding inspiration in the Williams sisters. And Manuel.

Said the Olympian: “I think it’s pretty cool that someone else can see me and realize, ‘hey, this is something I can try, this is something I can be good at,’ just to not set limitations on some of the goals they may have.”

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Manuel made history as the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming. In a tie with Penny Oleksiak of Canada, Manuel won that gold and set an Olympic record in the 100-meter freestyle, and she imprinted upon pop culture an indelible image of shock and pure joy as she looked over at the scoreboard.


Arizona Cardinals v Houston Texans

Olympic Gold medal swimmer Simone Manuel on the field before a preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Houston, Texas. The Texans defeated the Cardinals 34-24. Wesley Hitt / Getty Images



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