What a time to be a Black girl. Between several gold medals and a few broken world records, Black women revealed their magic as they dominated the 2016 Rio Olympics. Even though the Olympics are over, we’re still reveling in the moment. Here are five women who completely stole the show:
- Simone Manuel. It’s only fitting that she tops the list. 20-year-old Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming, earning herself a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle. Her second gold medal comes from a two-second win in the women’s 4×100 medley relay. It is imperative that we remember Dorothy Dandridge’s story while celebrating Simone Manuel’s victory of becoming the first Black woman to ever win an Olympic medal in swimming.
- Michelle Carter. Everyone may not be a shot-put fan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t celebrate our fellow sister. Like Manuel, Carter also broke some records, as she became the first of a few things. The “Shot Diva” became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the event since 1960, but she is the first ever U.S. Olympics’ shot put gold medalist. An African American woman has just put the United States back on the shot put map after becoming the first woman to win gold, how can you not rejoice?
- Gabby Douglas. Years later, we’re still in complete awe of Gabby Douglas. How could we not be? Douglas first came into the spotlight as a member of the United States women’s national gymnastics team, commonly known as the Fierce Five. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in the individual all-around and team competitions. Four years later, now a veteran, Gabby is still taking home gold, as she won a gold medal for the women’s team all-around.
- Almaz Ayana. She’s the only woman on the list that doesn’t represent the United States, but again, that doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t celebrate our sister. Representing Ethiopia, the track and field star came in first place for the women’s 10,000m race, earning her a gold medal. What calls for a celebration though, beyond her goal medal, is the fact that she set a new world record; crushing the previous world record by 14 seconds. Ayana has ALL of our support!
- Simone Biles. This superstar may be the youngest on the list, but she’s definitely the most decorated. The gymnast won gold in women’s vault, women’s team all-around, women’s floor exercise and women’s individual all-around, tying the women’s record for most gymnastics gold medals in a single Summer Games. Biles also took a home a bronze medal in women’s beam, winning five medals for her first Olympic appearance.
Written by: Aria J. Goolsby, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic