US Olympic swimmer Simone Manuel released a statement on Saturday saying she “gave it all” after failing to advance to the women’s 50-meter freestyle final by finishing tied for 11th in the semi-finals.
“Without a doubt, I will remember this moment in my career forever. Not the fact that I didn’t reach the Olympic final or come home with an individual medal, but the fact that I gave it my all, ”Manuel said on Twitter.
“I am a champion! Not because of the medals I won, but because of the way I have always fought for what I believe in, my persistence and my burning passion to always be me! I’m proud of Simone, the 2X Olympian / 5X Olympic medalist, but more importantly, I’m proud to be just ME, ”the statement added.
Manuel won two gold and two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics: gold in the 100-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter medley, and silver in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter relay free.
She was the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming.
In June, ahead of the Tokyo Games, she released a statement revealing that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and extreme fatigue. She has also openly battled depression and insomnia, which she says has caused her to take a step back from her normal workout routine.
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