Simone Manuel ‘at peace’ after missing out on individual medal


American swimmer Simone Manuel tweeted a profound message on Saturday morning after she failed to advance to the 50- meter freestyle final in Tokyo.

“I’m a champion!” she tweeted. “Not because of the medals I’ve won but because of how I’ve consistently fought for what I believe in, my perseverance, and my fiery passion to always be me! I’m proud of Simone the 2X Olympian/5X Olympic medalist, but most importantly I’m proud to just be ME!”

Manuel tied for 11th in the semifinals on Saturday. Only the top eight swimmers move on to Sunday’s final, which included U.S. swimmer Abbey Weitzeil.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Manuel took silver in the event. She also won gold medals in the 100-meter free and the 4x100m medley relay and a silver medal in the 4x100m free relay.

The Texas native has had a trying year after failing to qualify for the 100 free at the Tokyo Olympics — the event in which she was the defending Olympic champion. Manuel was able to rebound and earn a spot in the 50 free for Team USA.

Still, the 24-year-old isn’t leaving Tokyo empty-handed. Manuel swam the anchor leg for the bronze medal-winning 4×100 free relay team, as the Americans finished just behind Canada and Australia.