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San Jose Merc Headline Taints Stanford Swimmer's Gold Medal Win

STANFORD (CBS SF) -- A Stanford swimmer who has made big splashes for her school made a huge one Thursday night when she won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win an individual medal in swimming, tying for gold with Canada's Penny Oleksiak in the 100-meter freestyle.

Manuel also set an American and Olympic record with a time of 52.70 seconds.

However, her great achievement was slightly tainted after the San Jose Mercury News posted a story with the headline "Michael Phelps shares historic night with African-American."

The paper was immediately taken to task for the headline on social media.

While it may have been that the newspaper carelessly edited the headline for brevity and didn't intentionally mean to be racist, the San Jose Mercury News was quick to acknowledge the insensitivity of the headline, change it and issue an apology.

"The original headline on this story was insensitive and has been updated to acknowledge the historic gold medal wins by both Simone Manuel and Michael Phelps. We apologize for the original headline. The story has also been updated," the newspaper wrote.

Manuel is a seven-time All-America including a pick for the first team in 2015 in the 100-meter freestyle. She's also won three Pacific-12 Conference titles and holds five records at Stanford.

"It means a lot," Manuel said in a statement. "I mean, this medal is not just for me. It's for a whole bunch of people that came before me and have been an inspiration to me. Maritza (Correia), Cullen (Jones), and it's for all the people after me, who believe they can't do it. And I just want to be an inspiration to others that you can do it."

Correia was the first black female swimmer to make the USA's Olympic team. Jones was the first black swimmer to break a long-course world record. Stanford swimmer Katie Ledecky is also making a splash at the Rio Olympics. Incoming freshman Ledecky won her second medal, a gold, Tuesday night in the 200-meter freestyle.

Manuel is among two other athletes in her immediate family, according to Stanford officials. Her father Marc played basketball at Xavier University and her brother plays basketball at Southern Methodist University.

Manuel has earned another medal in her first Olympics, a silver, as a member of the U.S.'s 400-meter freestyle relay team.

Stanford swimmers have earned 10 medals in six days and could bring home more.

Ledecky is scheduled to compete in the 800-meter freestyle. Stanford graduate Maya DiRado is scheduled to swim in the 200-meter backstroke finals on Friday and Kassidy Cook will be competing in diving.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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