It’s the Year of Simone, a tagline that in another context might be corny, but here is melting all inclinations towards cynicism (dubious news coverage notwithstanding). These two incredible women have made us proud to be freakin’ American despite it all and will provide lessons about talent, tenaciousness, hard work and good sportspersonship for generations to come. Normally I might be annoyed if a person named their baby some trendy thing based on their birth year—sorry to all future Daeneryses—but if you’re about to pop a kid and decide it should be called “Simone Manuel Biles [Your Last Name],” I salute you. Real-life Simone Biles and Simone Manuel, you rule.
Biles, 19, is considered the best gymnast the world has ever seen, and at Rio won two gold medals—one for Women’s Individual All-Around, and one for Team in the same category. Look at the form! Upside-down!
Manuel, 20, made history by becoming the first black American woman to nab an individual gold medal for swimming; she also won silver in the Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Look at the form! In the water!
Just doin’ some shit over here. A reminder: the balance beam is four inches wide.
For Manuel’s win in the 100m freestyle, she tied with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, both touching the wall at exactly 52.70. After they realized they both won gold, they embraced, ‘cause winners got no time for haters.
They both cried, and so did we. (All of us.)
Bonus: here are Simone Manuel and Simone Biles hanging out. Both are from the Houston area.