1. Simone made history this year as the first Black woman to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.

2. The gold medal-winner often wanted to quit swimming because she “always had an issue with not seeing people that looked like me in the sport.”

The gold medal-winner often wanted to quit swimming because she "always had an issue with not seeing people that looked like me in the sport."

3. With returning Olympian and fellow Stanford teammate Lia Neal, Rio was the first time two Black women qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team.

With returning Olympian and fellow Stanford teammate Lia Neal, Rio was the first time two Black women qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team.

4. She started swimming at four-years-old.

She started swimming at four-years-old.

5. Simone’s favorite pastime is cooking.

Simone's favorite pastime is cooking.

6. The 20-year-old will be a sophomore this fall at Stanford University and is looking to major in communications.

The 20-year-old will be a sophomore this fall at Stanford University and is looking to major in communications.

7. As a nod to her effortless abilities once she hits water, her friends named her “Swimone.”

As a nod to her effortless abilities once she hits water, her friends named her "Swimone."

8. Simone took swimming seriously after watching Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Simone took swimming seriously after watching Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

9. Simone has two older brothers, who she calls her best friends. Both were into swimming before her.

Simone has two older brothers, who she calls her best friends. Both were into swimming before her.

10. Simone first tried out for the Olympic team in 2012, but didn’t make the cut until 2016. Timing is key!

Simone first tried out for the Olympic team in 2012, but didn't make the cut until 2016. Timing is key!
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