The Olympics charged forward Thursday evening with several dramatic swimming finals. First Michael Phelps dominated the 200-meter individual medley, and then Simone Manuel tied for gold to win the women’s 100-meter freestyle.
Manuel’s win makes her the first black woman in Olympic history to win a medal for an individual women’s swim event. The cherry on top? Her time of 52.70 seconds (shared with Canadian Penny Oleksiak) set a new Olympic Record for the 100-meter freestyle.
But perhaps the best part about watching Manuel win was her reaction once she had realised what had happened. She turned around, pushed up her goggles, and then her jaw literally dropped.
Manuel was shocked, and immediately overcome with joy. She waded over to her fellow gold medal winner Oleksiak and tearfully embraced her.
After emerging from the pool, NBC broadcasters couldn’t wait to her from Manuel herself. She was overcome with emotion as she stood poolside, finally an Olympic champion.
“It’s a lot, I mean this medal is not just for me,” Manuel told NBC. “It’s for all the people who believe they can’t do it, and I just want to be an inspiration to others.”
Manuel instantly captured the hearts of viewers, despite Phelps’ continued coverage from NBC.
This is Manuel’s first time competing in the Olympic Games, and her win is extremely significant for the world of women’s competitive swimming. Watch the full footage of the exciting race on NBC’s official Olympics website.
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