With her performance in the 100-meter freestyle Thursday night, Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
United States' Simone Manuel wins the gold medal setting a new Olympic record in the women's 100-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
The 20-year-old upset world-record holder Cate Campbell of Australia and tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada for first place.
Manuel and Oleksiak shared the top spot on the medal podium, with the U.S. anthem played first followed by the Canadian anthem.
Joint winners United States' Simone Manuel, left, and Canada's Penny Oleksiak celebrate with their gold medals after the women's 100-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Tears rolled down Manuel's cheeks as she sang along.
United States' gold medal winner Simone Manuel cries during the medal ceremony for the women's 100-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Asked about her historic victory soon afterward, an emotional Manuel's first words focused on her faith.
"All I can say is all glory to God, it's definitely been a long journey these last four years," she said before her voice began to break. "And I'm just so blessed to have a gold medal."
And Manuel hopes she can just be a swimmer and a champion without her race being a factor.
"That's something I definitely struggled with a lot," she said. "Just coming into this race I kind of tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders, which is something I carry with me just being in this position. I do hope that kind of goes away."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.