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After Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming during the 2016 Rio Olympics, she made it her mission to inspire others who look like her to learn to swim.
Her journey to do so continued on Friday when she dropped by LeBron James’ I Promise School in Akron, Ohio to talk to the students about water safety and why it’s important to learn how to swim. Turning pro in 2018, Manuel is an ambassador of the USA Swimming Foundation and is very “vocal about her desire to lower the high drowning rate within the Black population through her work with the foundation, which provides swim lessons to communities nationwide – regardless of students’ ability to pay,” Swim Swam reports.
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HAPPY FRIYAY!! My heart ❤️ is happy and filled with joy! So honored to visit IPromise school to share my experience and talk about water safety and the importance of learning to swim! Many thanks to @usaswimming foundation and @akronareaymca for partnering with me to provide swim lessons at a week long camp in June 2019 for every student! Working to change the statistic and give the life saving gift of swimming. #wearefamily #striveforgreatness
Through her partnership with the foundation and Akron Area YMCA, every student at the Ohio school is set to receive swim lessons this summer.
“Many thanks to @usaswimming foundation and @akronareaymca for partnering with me to provide swim lessons at a week-long camp in June 2019 for every student!,” Manuel wrote in an Instagram post. “Working to change the statistic and give the lifesaving gift of swimming.”
James said this in 2016 abut Simone Manuel and Simone Biles after they both won Gold medals at the 2016 Olympics – and it still rings true today: “Truly inspiring for so many, especially young Black girls.”
Thank you all for using your platform to be an inspiration.