[8.7.2016] American swimmers Nathan Adrian, Ryan Held, Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel stand on the podium after winning gold in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay on the second day of the Rio Olympics.
From author: I was inspired by that anon’s one shot, so I thought it would be interesting to write a one-shot about other people’s encounters with Raistafina. Don’t feel like you need to post this (since it is your blog, and I don’t want to take oxygen away from ST and your one shots) but I’m going to send it in pieces as well.
Hey Anon thank you for sending this through! I wish there was an easier way for you guys to send your stories through other than in little pieces, but at the same time I know some of you wish to remain anonymous, so :) Also I love getting and having the privilege of sharing these, so please keep them coming!
The first thought in Giulia Steingruber’s head when she awoke was one of nostalgia. Nostalgia for her hometown of Gossau and its wholesome charm. Nostalgia for her mother’s rosti. Nostalgia for the American swimmer she remembered occupying her bed the night before. Yet as she dressed for a warm-up run around the Athlete’s Village, these thoughts were banished and replaced with a razor-sharp concentration for the vault final in the afternoon.
Nikes on and earbuds plugged in, she started jogging around the Village and began her favorite pre-competition ritual. For as long as Giulia could remember, running had been her best de-stressing tool, and she made a point to run in each city she competed in. In Antwerp, the smell of the freshly fried pommes frites had provided a powerful motivator for after floor finals.
She got lost in Montpellier’s medieval street layout, an incident that worried her coaches to no end but made her feel at home, and after winning the all-around the French city became one of her favorite places in the world. Today, however, the Rio heat was stifling even the idea of a relaxing jog. Giulia eventually found herself sprawled on the grass.
Pulling herself up (which was more of a struggled that she had expected), she felt as if a weight had been lifted off her chest. Yet as she headed back towards her room, Giulia noticed two figures locked in an embrace next to the wall of one of the apartment towers. At first paying it no mind and chalking it up to Olympic shenanigans, the familiar brown hair of the taller girl caught her eye. Aliya Mustafina, she realized. But who was with her?
Her curiosity piqued, she stopped a safe distance away and had to stop herself from loudly gasping once she recognized the familiar face of Aly Raisman.A million different thoughts ran through Giulia’s head. I knew it. There had to be some truth to all those rumors. Larisa wasn’t lying when she said she saw them kissing in London. Do I tell somebody? No, this getting out would never end well. I’ve never been attracted to girls but damn, they couldn’t have done better than each other.
Juicy tidbit witnessed, Giulia headed back to her room, but with the satisfaction of being witness the biggest secret in artistic gymnastics.
When Simone Manuel touched the wall at the end of the 100 m Freestyle race, not only did she break an Olympic Record, but she also became the 1st first Black woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. Her win is a powerful symbol against the racialized history of swimming in this country. Shout out to the many Black American swimmers who came before Manuel (and those to come)!
She was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in five events. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Among other nicknames, the press sometimes called her “Queen of the Waves.” She played herself in movies, and was a large public figure.
She was from Manhattan, New York City, and was hard of hearing since childhood and became almost completely Deaf by the 1940s. She spent some of her time teaching swimming to deaf children.