Manuel tied for gold with Canadian teenager Penny Oleksiak and in doing so became the first African American to win an individual swimming event at the Olympics.

Manuel did not hold back at the press conference following her win, making the most of the opportunity to voice her concerns over an issue gripping America.

“It means a lot, especially with what is going on in the world today, some of the issues of police brutality,” Manuel said.

“This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on. My colour just comes with the territory.”

The 20-year-old said she did feel the pressure of being a genuine medal contender.

“I tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders; it’s something I carry with me being in this position,” she said.

“This medal is not just for me but for the African-Americans who came before me and for the people who come behind me.

“I would like one day for there to be more of us, so that it’s not ‘Simone the black swimmer’ because the title of black swimmer makes it seem like I’m not supposed to be able to win a gold medal, or not supposed to break records. That’s not true. I work just as hard as everybody else and I want to win just like everybody else.”