Manuel, 20, tied with Canadian Penny Oleksiak while competing in the 100m freestyle competition. The athletes both earned gold medals and came in at a world record time of 52.70.
Manuel broke down in tears and covered her face when she realized what she had achieved. She then hugged Oleksiak, 16, in the water.
Manuel opened up about the historic moment in an interview with NBC. “It means a lot. This medal is not just for me, it’s for a whole bunch of people who have came before me and been an inspiration to me,” she said. “It’s for all the people who come after me who believe they can’t do it. And I just want to be inspiration to others that you can do it.”
“I definitely wanna go out there and swim fast for Team USA, and having everybody swim fast makes me wanna swim fast,” she continued. “It’s really great to be on such an amazing team.”
Manuel had earned a silver medal after competing in the 4×100-meter freestyle with teammates Katie Ledecky, Abbey Weitzeil and Dana Vollmer on Saturday.
“All Glory to God!! Super blessed by this awesome experience,” Manuel captioned an Instagram pic of the team on August 7. “Thanks to these three women for making this a moment that I will never forget. USA still has some work to do!”
Watch Manuel make history in the video above!