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In much of the media coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics, it appears as though there are only two types of athletes competing in Rio: Michael Phelps and not-Michael Phelps. If an athlete falls into the latter category, don't bother confusing readers with names. Just find some other distinguishing character characteristic to reduce them to.

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This was how the San Jose Mercury-News decided to share the news to Twitter that Simone Manuel had made history Thursday night.  The Team USA Olympic swimmer tied an Olympic record for the women’s 100-meter freestyle and was the first black American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming. It was a deeply resonant moment, considering the historical connection between swimming pools and racism in the United States.


But according to the Mercury-News, Manuel was just an African-American who happened to also be present at the same athletic competition with Michael Phelps.

Twitter was not pleased.

The tweet has since been deleted, and the Mercury-News posted an apology where it managed to learn the African-American swimmers' name.

At least it managed to show photos of Manuel receiving her gold medals. NBC didn't think the medal ceremony itself was very newsworthy, cutting away to pre-recorded gymnastics footage. Later on, after midnight, the network managed to air the long-over ceremony.

Is it really too much to ask that media covering the Games a) learn the names of non-white athletes and b) show them when they make history? Apparently so.