It was a big night for Team USA.
On Thursday, Simone Biles won gold for the United States in the women’s all-around gymnastics as Ryan Murphy won another first in the 200m backstroke. Michael Phelps also added the 22nd gold of his career with victory in the 200m individual medley.
However, the most significant moment of the night came when Simone Manuel won Olympics gold in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, making history as the first black woman to take home a gold medal in an individual swimming event.
The 20-year-old swimmer finished at 52.70 seconds, touching the wall at the same time as Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, upsetting world-record holder Cate Campbell of Australia.
While it was a victory for both America and the racist history of swimming, NBC did not even bother to air Manuel’s emotional speech and medal ceremony live. Instead, the channel opted to show a seven-hour-old footage of Team Russia doing gymnastics — rather badly, one might add.
“The gold medal wasn’t just for me. It was for people that came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport,” Manuel said of her historical feat. “For people who believe that they can’t do it. I hope I’m an inspiration to others to get out there and try swimming. You might be pretty good at it.”
“Coming into my first Olympics I didn’t think I was going to be getting a gold medal individually. My goal was just to get more experience, swim as fast as I can,” Manuel said, adding she had not expected to win gold. “And after prelims and semi-finals and seeing where I was sitting, when I came in tonight I was like, ‘I want to get on that medal stand’. Just surpassing that goal and getting an American record on top of a gold medal is super exciting for me.”
BBC was the only channel to broadcast the monumental ceremony live. However, once the internet began shaming NBC for not deeming Manuel’s historic win important enough o show on TV, they aired it — almost an hour later.
Thanks, NBC, but I already saw Simone Manuel's ceremony live on BBC— Jessica Nickrand (@jnickrand) August 12, 2016
NBC finally showing Simone Manuel ceremony NBC got caught flat footed, with Simone's win...the BBC footage is much better.— Nelly B (@psddluva4evah) August 12, 2016
Sooooooo, @NBCOlympics couldn't be bothered by showing Simone Manuel's medal ceremony, but BBC did? GTFOH with your mess.— Tiffani (@TiffaniAlia) August 12, 2016
BBC cared more about the First Black American Woman to win a gold medal in swimming in these games than NBC did. https://t.co/EOw4g1VqA3— Ali Babu Che Johnson (@abcjohnson) August 12, 2016