Skip to main content

History Made: Two Black Women Qualify for the 2016 USA Olympic Swimming Team

Avatar • Jul 4, 2016
"A portrait of Stanford swimmers Lia Neal, left, and Simone Manuel who made history at the 2015 NCAA womenÕs swimming and diving championships in Greensboro, N.C., as African-American female swimmers swept the podium in a single event for the first time. Photographed on June 16, 2015 at Stanford University. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)"

Lia Neal, left, and Simone Manuel (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)


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!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
LBell
LBell
4 years ago

I was a grown woman the first time someone informed me that black folks don’t swim. Of course it was a white man…I had to let him know: I learned how to swim as a child and I still swim today as a (relatively) old lady. And I’m an African-AMERICAN, born and raised…Never mind black folks in this country: You gonna fix your mouth to tell me that all those black folks living in the Caribbean and on the African coasts don’t swim? GTFOH with that mess. Where did this notion come from? From the same folks who claimed that black skin… Read more »

Ashawna Love
Ashawna Love
4 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I am soooo glad someone said something about this. I was like, “Am I the only one who heard that woman say ’ ”learning how to swim“ ‘????? Like???

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I’ve also had that comment made to me by a European American, I’ve also heard it from other Europeans. They seem to think we are more suited to athletics and running. Well done to the girls, I’m pretty sure we have a brother from Britain competing too.

Marvellous Marv
Marvellous Marv
4 years ago

Yeah! Yeah!

Dee
Dee
4 years ago

The only thing that separates black people and white people is opportunity!” YES!!!

Ganesh
Ganesh
4 years ago
Reply to  Dee

.

merry
merry
4 years ago

you should post something about nzingha prescod and Ibtihaj Muhammad who are on the u.s. fencing team.

HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
4 years ago

lia neal is half asian, half black. So it’s a biracial and black girl, you racist mixed people hating writer.

Taylor
Taylor
4 years ago

You can be mixed and still identify as a Black person, you moron.

Anywho, congrats to both girls. We’ll be rooting for them at the Olympics.

HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
4 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

yeah if you’re feeding into the white supremacist doctrine. If anyone’s a moron, it’s you. Not to mention you’re a racist, so your opinion means about as dog crap

Sally Sampson
Sally Sampson
4 years ago

You’re the racist.

HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
4 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

yes and you can be white and identify as black but it doesn’t make you so.

HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
HonorWhenNoOnesLooking
4 years ago

1 mixed woman and 1 black woman qualify for olympics

PLC
PLC
4 years ago

Wonderful and hardest congrats.…make us all prouder, I know your parents are already.

Denise Marinela
Denise Marinela
4 years ago

Go girls ??

trackback

[…] athletic accomplishments of young black women like Simone Manuel, like Lia Neal and Ashleigh Johnson (the first black woman to compete in water polo at the Olympics) are vital, […]

Miss.
Miss.
4 years ago

wow and one of them is from my hometown and I had no clue about this!!! I love that they are close! They will need each other for support! This is so wonderful to hear, god bless both of them and I wish them luck at the olympics. I was thinking of boycotting this year (the whole thing is a mess) but I will watch to support these two!!

Picachu1
Picachu1
4 years ago

2 girls who worked hard made the Olympic teAm!
Stop perpetuating race you racist bigots! I wish them well at the olympics and beyond! Quit trying to drag these girls into your own racism; rise above and stop perpetuating racism. Start making allegiances with people based on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

18
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart