CHECK OUT: Filipino American Olympic Diver Vicki Draves on Google Doodle

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Google honors Filipino American Vicki Manalo Draves, the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic medal, by replacing its homepage logo with her Doodle.

On this day in 1948, during the Summer Olympics in London, Draves won gold medals for both 10-meter platform and 3-meter springboard diving, making her the first woman to win gold in both diving events and the first Asian American woman to win any Olympic medal.

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Vicki Draves in the 1948 Olympics / theolympians.co

Draves was born and raised in the south-of-market district of San Francisco to a Filipino chef musician Teofilo Manalo and an English maid Gertrude Taylor on December 31, 1924. She grew up with her parents, her twin sister Connie, an older sister Frankie, and a younger brother named Sonny, who died as a child.

When she was 10, Draves took summer swimming lessons from the Red Cross, paying five cents to admission to a pool in the Mission district.

Her journey towards the Olympic victory, however, wasn’t easy, having to overcome incredible adversity and racial discrimination. Nevertheless, she still proudly represented the United States in the 1948 Olympics.

Draves was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1969.

Then in 2005, Draves was selected for the year’s Most Outstanding Alumnus of City College of San Francisco. She also received an award and spoke at the commencement ceremonies of City College at the Masonic Auditorium. In the same year, she was acknowledged as one of the Los Angeles Athletics Club’s outstanding athletes.

Moreover, in October 2006, a two-acre park (one acre each per gold medal) in San Francisco was named Victoria Manalo Draves Park in her honor.

Draves died on April 11, 2010, aged 85, from pancreatic cancer aggravated by pneumonia

 

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