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Simone Manuel reacts after competing in the Women's 50m freestyle final during the 2021 U.S. Olympic trials on June 20 in Omaha, Nebraska. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel is one of the fastest swimmers in the world, but her journey to Tokyo was not easy.

The big picture: The pandemic forced Manuel to temporarily relocate training to a backyard pool. In late March, she was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome, severely limiting her time in the water before the Olympic trials. There, she failed to qualify for 100m freestyle, crushing her chance at defending her Olympic title.

  • But just days after publicly revealing her battle with burnout and depression, Manuel dived into the pool again, winning the the 50m freestyle at the Olympic trials, and clenching her spot on the team.
  • Manuel, the first Black woman to ever win an individual Olympic gold in swimming, took her first medal of the Tokyo Games earlier this week, winning bronze as the anchor of the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team.
  • But she failed to qualify for the final of the women's 50m freestyle, crushing her shot at an individual Olympic medal at this year's Games.
Tokyo medals:
  • 🥉 - 4x100m freestyle relay
Previous Olympic medals...

2016 Rio Games:

  • 🥇 - 4x100 medley relay
  • 🥇 - 100m freestyle
  • 🥈 - 4x100 freestyle relay
  • 🥈 - 50m freestyle
What she's saying:
  • "I'm a person that doesn't quit ... and I knew that even though the task wasn't easy, I had to finish it," Manuel said after qualifying for the 2021 Olympic team.
  • "I'm proud," she later added in a tweet. "Proud of my fight, grit, and courage to face my fears, but most importantly, proud to walk away with my head held high in victory and defeat."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

U.S. beats China for Paralympics gold in women's sitting volleyball

Team USA's Alexis Shifflett serves the ball during the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball pool match against Rwanda in Chiba, Japan, on Aug. 28. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA won gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball final on Sunday morning local time.

The big picture: The defending champions beat China 3-1 in the final. After the event was added to the Paralympics in 2004, China won the first three golds. The Americans' win took the U.S. Paralympic medals tally to 103, including 36 golds.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of China's previous wins in the event.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
48 mins ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.

How Hertz is fighting to stay relevant

A Hertz car rental counter in the Miami International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In the span of less than a week, Hertz has made three big strategic moves intended to keep the car rental giant from fading into oblivion.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing and other mobility innovations are rapidly changing the way people get from A to B, posing an existential threat to traditional car rental services.