Every four years the Olympic Games brings out the top athletes in the world which are out to show everyone there unique talents. This year in Rio de Janeiro, there have been a number of stars that have emerged and broken barriers. African-American women have flexed their muscles and overcome many obstacles to provide some legendary performances. From the dominance of Simone Biles to the upsets from Simone Manuel and Michelle Carter provided, black girl magic has rocked the world.
Coming into Rio, Biles had won three straight world championships and was one of the favorites to get a gold medal in multiple gymnastic events. Leading a strong U.S. team, Biles has wowed the crowd with her athleticism and bright smile. She became the first American women to win four gold medals in the Olympics. Even with her bronze medal that she has earned on the balance beam she has a total of five medals which is another record. At just 19 years of age, Biles is already regarded as the best gymnastics has ever seen. The U.S. women’s gymnastics has had control of this event for years and Biles dominance continues to add to the legacy.
Another undisputed champion that has made noise atthe Olympics was U.S. Swimmer Simone Manuel. She recently become the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual swimming event. Manuel won the 100-meter freestyle while setting an Olympic and American record as well. The 20-year-old, who also swims for Stanford, has been no stranger to breaking barriers. She is a four-time NCAA champion and in 2015 she become one of three African-Americans to hold the top three spots on the podium in the 100-yard freestyle. Despite her success on the collegiate level, Manuel came into Rio as an underdog. After her victory in the 100-meter freestyle, she broke down in tears telling every one of the struggles of a black swimmer. “The title ‘black swimmer’ makes it seem like I am not supposed to be able to win a gold medal, I am not supposed to break the Olympic record,” said Manuel.
In the track and field circuit, Michelle Carter proved to the world she could be clutch when it mattered the most. The veteran shot putter was sitting inn second place when she unleashed a huge throw to beat out the reigning Olympic champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand. Her throw of 20.63 meters (67ft 8 in) was an American record in which she became the first American woman to win the shot put at the Olympics. Coming into Rio, Carter had never even medaled at her previous two Olympic competitions.
Throughout all the barriers black women have faced in America, it is good to see black excellence represented and celebrated on the world stage. The Olympic Games is a special platform were unity and sportsmanship are heavily stressed on. These three ladies have displayed nothing but class and grace which should be seen as very good role models to the next generation. Black girl magic is defiantly in the right hands now.