Simone Manuel has made a remarkable achievement this year after becoming the first African-American woman to win an Olympic individual swimming event. What is amazing is that I went to high school with Simone two years ago. She graduated a year before I did. Although I did not personally know her, the fact that a normal teenager from a community I am from was able to reach such great heights, shows that any amount of dedication and perseverance can help you achieve your dreams.
It’s a shame that many undermine her strenuous training and stamina by placing her on a pedestal for being a “black swimmer” who won a gold medal. I mean of course, it is a step in the right direction, just like having our first black president, and maybe someday we may have our first female president. It’s okay to acknowledge it once. But giving her so much attention solely on the fact that she is black, seems like a slap in the face for the work she has done, just like any other competitor.