What a time to be named Simone. If you have been watching the Rio Olympics, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Hailing all the way from Texas, Simone Biles and Simone Manuel are making history in gymnastics and swimming.
The 19-year-old phenom, Simone Biles, was too young to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, but ever since her debut on the world stage in 2013, she has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. She is the first female gymnast to win 4 consecutive U.S. nationals championship titles. In addition, she is the first woman to ever win the all-around world championship 3 years in a row. From her senior debut in 2013 until the present, she has won a total of 14 world championship medals. Her ten world gold medals give her the record of having the most won by any female gymnast. And she is the first black gymnast to win an all around World title.
This summer at the Olympics, Simone Biles has proven that she is possibly the greatest gymnast of all time. She helped the team win a gold medal in the women’s team all around challenge. She also won gold in the women’s individual all around challenge as well. And she is the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold in the vault. Let’s cheer our little sis on as she strives for gold in the balance beam and floor exercise! For more information about this amazing star click here.
Another athlete that has defied the odds is Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel. This young lady will go down in history as the first black woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. She won the 100m freestyle, while setting a new Olympic record of 52.70 sec in the event. She also received second in the 50m freestyle, which is also an achievement.
At a young age, Simone knew she would be playing a big role in swimming since there were few blacks involved in the sport. She realized that anything she accomplished in the sport would be framed in terms of her race. From a historical standpoint, blacks were never allowed access to swimming pools during segregation. In addition, pools were seldom built in the black community. And it is a proven fact that black children have a higher rate of drowning coupled with not being able to swim at all. So this is a substantial achievement for blacks everywhere especially swimmers. And helped her team win gold in the 4x100m relay and also silver in the 4.100m freestyle relay.
I love the fact that Simone used her platform to talk about police brutality and how it is a major problem that needs a resolution. She made the following quote after her historical win, “This medal is not just for me, it’s for the African-Americans who have come before me and been an inspiration,” Manuel said afterward. “I hope I can be an inspiration to others so this medal is for those who come behind me and get into the sport and hopefully find the love and drive to get to this point.” I believe little girls everywhere will be more than inspired to pursue ventures never thought possible. More information of this historic event can be found here.
Both of these ladies are true definitions of #blackgirlmagic. They continue to make strides for blacks, especially young women everywhere. They are defying the odds put against them and coming out on top. Like Jesse William said, “Just because we are magic does not mean we’re not real”. Let’s continue to support our sisters on their journey!