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Lia Neal, 21, and Simone Manuel, 19, are changing the face of swimming as the two young Black women recently made history and the Olympic team. 

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Over the weekend, the Stanford teammates and good friends, both qualified to compete in the 4 x 100 freestyle team in Rio, making it the first time two Black women will compete on the U.S. swim team at the same time, Madame Noire noted


In addition to the 4 x 100 freestyle, Manuel will also be competing in the 50 meter freestyle, telling NBC Sports how exciting she is to be going to Rio. 

“I was pretty nervous for most of my races. Just making the team in itself is a great accomplishment. Just getting to Rio, all the nerves will be gone and I think I’ll be able to swim a little bit faster,” she said. 

Neal, who won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympics in London, took to Twitter to express her excitement and gratitude. 

Between Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, these two amazing young women, the Williams sisters and the countless other Black and Latino athletes, Rio is about to be LIT during these Summer Olympics.


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Two African-American Swimmers Make History, Head To Olympics In Rio  was originally published on