-- Delicate new hardware such as two Olympic gold medals requires top-notch storage to protect the precious cargo from getting scratched. But for four-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel, that storage spot is quite simple: socks.
“These are pretty cool things and to have more than one is exciting,” Manuel, 20, told “Good Morning America” today of her two gold and two silver medals hanging from her neck.
She explained how her life has changed in the past week.
“It’s been pretty crazy. I mean I’m on ‘Good Morning America’ so that’s really exciting,” she said. “Just getting a chance to tell my story and that’s really exciting.”
“This week has gone the best way I could write the script,” he explained. “Coming into this meet, if you told me I was going to come out on top in three different events, be on that last few with Michael [Phelps], I would have told you you were crazy. This week’s gone better than I could have ever imagined."
Murphy, now 21, was only 9 when Phelps was winning gold medals in Athens. Sharing the podium alongside him this year in Rio was an overwhelming feeling, he noted.
“He’s still an idol,” Murphy said of Phelps. “I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a little bit more adrenaline in that last relay and that was because of him."
He continued: “He started winning gold medals in 2004 and I was 9 at the time watching him in Athens, and I was one of the little kids jumping up and down on the couch rooting him on. So to be a part of that with him was really special for me.”
Manuel said she hopes to encourage the African American community to “get into the water.”
“Hopefully [I’m] bringing some awareness to the sport to diversify it,” she said of being the first African-American female swimmer to ever win an individual gold medal. “I also swim for myself so there’s two sides to the coin. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself but I do realize it is a huge deal for swimming and hopefully moving forward.”
Manuel and Murphy are both heading back to school in fall. Manuel is going back to Stanford University and Murphy is going “just across the bay” to U.C. Berkeley.