I like so many people was just so excited and happy for USA swimmer Simone Manuel. I agreed with the media explosion. The pride African-Americans felt at the first individual Black female to win a Gold Medal in the pool. Why was this so important to African-Americans? segregation. Yep that old devil racism. The United States like Australia had apartheid. African-Americans were not allowed in the pools. So to have a short history of involvement with the sport was wonderful.
I didn’t think of Australia and its similar history until sitting in the hospital today, talking to the lady in the bed next to me. She said “We were robbed of our chance to celebrate our first Black female swimmer”. She is right. We as a people didn’t know about Sam Riley and her history until after she had blitzed the pool
Samantha Riley won three Olympic medals during her stellar career: a silver medal in the women’s 4x100m medley relay in Atlanta in 1996, and consecutive bronze medals in the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1992 and 1996. A dual individual world champion and a successful Commonwealth Games competitor, Riley was one of the most popular swimmers of her era. She competed in three events at both Games she participated in: the women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke and 4x100m medley relay. In 2001 Riley discovered her indigenous heritage after determined research by her mother Lin, who was given up for adoption as a newborn. Her heritage means Riley is the first Australian Indigenous athlete to win an Olympic medal. Australian Olympic Committee.
Sam found About her Aboriginality after she had won for us. She and her mother have embraced their heritage and Sam Riley is involved with swimming for Indigenous kids.
But the lady in the next bed had a point. We were robbed. First Sam and her mother, being robbed of their heritage, her mum is part of the Stolen Generation. But then we couldn’t celebrate a wonderful milestone for Indigenous people.
We need all those moments of pride to help us face the hate from the rest of Australia. It helps our kids hold their heads up a little higher to point out Indigenous people who are slaying it. Kids oh hell even old people like me, love to support our own. We like to find that connection and we want our mob to do well. It doesn’t make up for all the times we are told we can’t do it, that we are not worth it. But it helps us get through it all.
Canadian Aboriginals and Native Americans tend to get overlooked like us, but they have been representing their countries and people’s for a lot of years.
There are too many for me to list, so follow the link to find out. Yes even in the current Olympics they are doing their mobs proud.
Yep I agree we were robbed of our moment. But good on you African-Americans. Go out and Celebrate every achievement.