The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio is less than a month away and already women of color on the U.S. teams are making history.
Let’s start with the swim team:
Meet 21-year-old Brooklyn, NY native Lia Neal, and 19-year-old Texan, Simone Manuel. The two good friends attend Stanford University and compete together on the swim team. Last week it was announced that these queens secured their spots as contenders on the U.S. Olympic 4 x 100 freestyle team. This is the first time in history that two Black women are on the team, however this isn’t the first time these women have made history. In 2015, they were two of the three black women to take the top three spots for the NCAA 100 meter freestyle championship. Manuel finished first, breaking an American record in the process, Neal in second and swimmer Natalie Hinds came in third.
Now the gymnastics team:
The U.S. gymnastics team made headlines as they announced the 2016 Olympic contenders and women of color rejoiced. The team is majority minority. The world is familiar with the all-around Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and three time world champion Simone Biles, both on the U.S. team, but meet 16-year-old Laurie Hernandez. She is the first Latina athlete, Puerto Rican to be exact, to make the U.S. gymnastics team since Tracee Talavera in 1984. She became a crowd favorite with her floor routine as she wowed judges during Olympic trials. She’s already expected win big this year.
It’s amazing to see women of color dominating in American sports that they have so long been excluded from. These are the positive images we need! We’ll definitely be cheering them on.