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Ban on ‘Soul Cap’ spotlights lack of diversity in swimming

Simone Manuel, of United States, leaves the pool after a women's 50-meter freestyle semifinal...
Simone Manuel, of United States, leaves the pool after a women's 50-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)(David Goldman | AP)
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 3:56 PM CDT
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TOKYO (AP) — Alice Dearing is the first Black female swimmer to make Britain’s Olympic team, but the ambassador for a bathing cap for natural hair won’t be able to use the covering in competition.

FINA banned use of the Soul Cap in the Tokyo Games in a decision many decried as yet another example of the lack of diversity in swimming.

FINA has said it will take another look at the cap this fall.

Black swimmers are hopeful it’s a step toward inclusivity for a sport dominated by white athletes.

Those familiar with the situation say the reasons for that shortage of Black swimmers run deep in history.

Simone Manuel, of United States, leaves the pool after a women's 50-meter freestyle semifinal...
Simone Manuel, of United States, leaves the pool after a women's 50-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)(David Goldman | AP)

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