March 6 – Women’s History Month Profile: Victoria Manalo Draves

Victoria Manalo Draves was the first woman to win two gold medals in diving in the same Olympics, and the first Asian American to win an Olympic medal of any kind. Draves was a Filipino American born in San Francisco; her father was Filipino while her mother was English. In the 1948 London Olympics, she won both the Women’s three-meter springboard and the 10-meter platform competitions. In both competitions, she was the only Asian diver. Even though Draves came from a poor family that could not afford to take swimming lessons until she was ten with the Red Cross, she won five national diving championships before entering the Olympics. Not only did she overcome adversities and early racial discrimination, but she set a paramount example that drew international admirers inspired by her motivation and passion to transcend barriers.