Vicki Manalo Draves, The First Asian American Female Gold Medalist, Passes Away

Vicki Manalo Draves, a biracial Filipina American diver, who was also the first Asian American female Olympic gold medalist, passed away a week ago. In 1948, nearly 40 years before Greg Louganis, the first male Olympic diver, who won both springboard and platform diving events, Vicki Draves was the first person to win both titles. Check out this article from Hyphen Magazine about her, and this article from SFGate about her experience in the 1948 London Olympics.

A friend who had the pleasure of knowing her as her son coached him in diving mentioned that she was a wonderful woman who was also extremely humble about her experiences. San Francisco also honored her as being a native daughter who did good by naming a park in the South of Market District for her. Oddly enough, it doesn’t have a swimming or a diving pool.

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About Efren

Efren is a 30-something queer Filipino American guy living in San Francisco. In the past, he was a wanna-be academic even teaching in Asian American studies at San Francisco State, a wanna-be queer rights and HIV activist, and he used to "blog" when that meant spewing one's college student angst using a text editor on a terminal screen to write in a BBS or usenet back in the early 90s. For all his railing against the model minority myth, he's realized he's done something only a few people can claim--getting into UCSF twice, once for a PhD program in medical sociology which he left; and then for pharmacy school, where he'll be a member of the class of '13. He apologizes profusely for setting the bar unintentionally high for his cousins. blog twitter
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