Stanford swimmers Lia Neal and Simone Manuel haven’t even competed at the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio and they’re already making history. Early last week, the two women competed in the Olympic trials and secured their place as contenders on the U.S. Olympic 4 X 100 freestyle team — the first time in history that two black women have been on the US swimming team.
Neal took home the bronze medal in the 2012 London Summer Olympics and Manuel is a two-time NCAA champion.
So here’s a little info on these incredible ladies; they are not just Olympic teammates, they are also close friends! Check out this adorable interview they did together:
Lia Neal is a 21-year-old Brooklyn, New York native while Manuel, 19, hails from Sugar Land, Texas. They both attend Stanford University where they compete on the swim team together. In 2015 they made history at the NCAA women’s swimming championships as two of three black women who ‘swept the podium’ for the 100 meter freestyle (Manuel finished first, breaking an American record in the process, Neal finished second.)
First tennis, then gymnastics, now swimming. It is really incredible to see black women dominating in American sports that have traditionally been very exclusionary to them.
Good luck ladies! We are in awe!