Groundbreaking Olympian Manuel dies at 90 in Tampa

Theresa Manuel, the first black woman from Florida to compete at the Olympics and broke through other barriers in her life, died Monday in Tampa at the age of 90.

Our news partners at The Tampa Bay Times report Manuel, who was also a teacher and coach at Middleton and Hillsborough high schools, had been hospitalized last week, was discharged on Saturday, but stopped eating on Sunday and declined rapidly.

 At the 1948 Olympics in London, she competed in the hurdles, the relay and javelin throw. 

"Competing in the Olympics in 1948 may have paved the way for other blacks," Manuel told The Times. "There was segregation back then. To ride a streetcar, you had to get in the back. For them to say you can't do this or you can do that, that made me feel pretty bad. But when I competed in sports, that was a good feeling. I felt like the best girl out there."

For more, read The Times story.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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