Correia, Maritza When she qualified for the United States Olympic swimming squad in 2004, she became the first Puerto Rican of African origin to do so. She was also the first black American swimmer to set both an American and a world record.
She broke two records when she participated at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens: The first one was her own record for the fastest American female swimmer over 1,500 meters (10:00.69), which still stands today. The other one was her country's fifth place overall, which is the best result by an American female swim team.
In 2005, Correia received a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from New York University. She currently works with children with special needs and their families as a swimming instructor and therapist.
Swimming has become one of Puerto Rico's most popular sports. There are more than 100 swimming pools on the island where people can train or play. In addition, many universities have swimming teams that compete throughout the year. In fact, several Puerto Ricans have won gold medals at the Olympics while representing their country in this sport.
Natalie Hinds, the first black swimmer to join this year's Olympic squad, placed fourth in the 100-meter freestyle on Friday night, securing a spot in Tokyo as a relay swimmer. The 23-year-old from California already has two gold medals and one silver from previous games.
Hinds became the first woman ever to win an individual medal in three different swimming events at a single Olympics when she claimed the bronze in the 400-meter freestyle on Wednesday. She also finished fifth in the 200-meter freestyle earlier in the week.
The United States men's team consists of eight swimmers, with only three spots available for competition. The other five members of the squad will serve as support athletes or coaches.
Black Americans have been able to participate in the modern Olympics since 1948, when John Leonard became the first person of color to compete in an official event when he took part in the 100-meter sprint. Since then, no major barrier has prevented blacks from joining their white counterparts on the sports stage.
However, not all parts of the world are created equal. In fact, many countries choose not to include people of color in their Olympic teams because of cultural differences.
She was the first swimmer in history to win back-to-back Olympic and world titles in the same event, the 800-meter freestyle (Olympics: 1988, 1992; world championships: 1991, 1994). Meet the exceptional ladies who dared to raise the subject of gender equality and other concerns.
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Simone Manuel won the 100-meter freestyle in a tie with Penny Oleksiak of Canada, becoming the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming and setting an Olympic and American record...
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