Kate Douglass, Maddie Musselman, Victoria Arlen Named Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 11

November 29th, 2023 ACC, College, News

Forbes Magazine has released its annual 30 under 30 lists for North American in 2024, and two swimmers and a water polo player made the cut.

Swimmer Kate Douglass, water polo star Maddie Musselman, and retired Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen were among the 30 athletes on the 2024 list.

Doulgass, 22, won six medals at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships for Team USA, taking gold in the 200 IM and on the 400 medley relay. She also wrapped up an NCAA season that was one of the best in the history of the sport, winning three individual titles, four relay titles, a team championship, and breaking records in the 100 IM, 100 fly, and 200 breaststroke.

Musselman, 25, was nominated in a year that was arguably Team USA water polo’s worst in a generation, failing to medal at the World Championships for the first time since 2013 and breaking a streak of four consecutive World titles. Musselman led Team USA in scoring, though, with 12 goals.

The third is not on the list as a result of her finishes in the water, but ESPN anchor Victoria Arlen got her start as a Paralympic swimmer for Team USA. Swimming at the 2012 Paralympics, Arlen won gold in the S6 100 free, silver in the S6 400 free, silver in the S6 50 free, and silver as part of the American 34 points 400 free relay.

After those 2013 Paralympics, she was desclassified from the Paralympic Games after officials ruled that she did not provide significant proof that she had a permanent disability, a requirement for Paralympic competition, and after more than a decade paralyzed from the waist down, she learned to walk again.

In 2015, at only 21, she became one of ESPN’s youngest-ever talents, including work on the Snapchat platform. In 2017, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. She is now a host of the network’s flagship SportsCenter program.

Among past honorees on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for sports are Katie Ledecky (2016) and Simone Manuel (2022). Manuel appeared last year with Ashleigh Johnson, the world’s best water polo goalie.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports list includes both athletes and those who have made an impact on the back-end of sports. The 2024 list includes a significant focus on women’s sports, which have been a focus of a ton of growth in the sports market this year, though there are no entrants on the list from volleyball or softball – two sports that have demonstrated spectacular growth in ticket sales and television ratings this year.

18 out of 30 on the 2024 list are women, which is much higher than the 42% representation of women on all of the lists (a record for Forbes’ program).

Forbes describes those named to the sports list as “winning on and off the field,” and the judges were Devin Booker, Sal Galatioto, Carolyn Kindle and Renee Montgomery. Booker and Montgomery are basketball players, while Kindle is a soccer executive and Galatioto leads a massive sports finance and advisory firm.

These lists are more valuable as a holistic representation of a movement in sports, because the individual selections sometimes don’t make total sense. The 2024 list emphasizes the contributions of women to the industry of sport (both on and off the field of play), the upcoming Olympic year, social engagement data science, and the growth of a younger demographic taking the lead on sports marketing (and especially athletes taking ownership of their own marketing).

Full List of 2024 Sports 30 Under 30

  • Jessica Pegula, 29, Tennis Player (WTA Tour)
  • Napheesa Collier, 27, Basketball Player (Minnesota Lynx)
  • Ronald Acuña Jr, Baseball Player (Atlanta Braves)
  • Victoria Arlen, 29, Television Host (ESPN)
  • Austin Barone, 29, Cofounder (Just Play Sports Solutions)
  • Robyn Brown, 28, Senior Manager of Brand and Content Strategy (Phoenix Mercury, WNBA)
  • Kate Douglass, 22, Swimmer (Team USA)
  • Olivia Dunne, 21, Gymnast/Social Media Personality (LSU)
  • Anthony Edwards, 22, Basketball Player (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Lauren Esrig, 29, Director of Strategy and Development (Voice in Sport Foundation)
  • Austin Ekeler, 28, Football Player (Los Angeles Chargers)
  • Matt Howard, 29, Sports Tech Investment Fund Manager (KB Partners)
  • Diana Flores, 26, Football Player (Mexico Women’s National Flag Football Team)
  • Stasia Foster, 27, Brand Consulting Executive (CAA)
  • Lamar Jackson, 26, Football Player (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Tyshawn Jones, 24, Professional Skateboarder
  • Kyle Kuzma, 28, Basketball Player (Washington Wizards)
  • Darcy McFarlane, 28, Global Consumer Direct Marketing Lead for Women’s Running (Nike)
  • Maddie Musselman, 25, Water Polo Player (Team USA)
  • Alison Reed, 28, Director of Program Operations (Women in Sports Tech)
  • Patrick Harrel, 29, Basketball Data Science and Scheduling Lead (NBA)
  • Natalie White, 25, Founder (Moolah Kicks)
  • Angel Reese, 21, College Basketball Player (LSU)
  • Shannon Rhodes, 29, Connected Engineering Lead (NBA)
  • Sha’Carri Richardson, 23, Sprinter (Team USA)
  • Kelly Sherman, 28, Agent (WME Sports)
  • Sophia Smith, Soccer Player (US Women’s National Soccer Team)
  • Jason Spector, 29, Lead Data Scientist (CBS Sports)
  • Isaiah Turner, 29, Agent (WME Sports)
  • Tom Weingarten, 29, Chief Growth Officer (Overtime)

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JVW
3 months ago

What’s the significance of Kate holding a lamb along with her trophy in that picture? Is there some sort of UVa tradition regarding lambs?

RMS
3 months ago

Coco Gauff needs to be on this list.

Swimmer
Reply to  RMS
3 months ago

Yes!

Sub13
Reply to  RMS
3 months ago

It’s quite surprising that she isn’t tbh

bevo’s horns
3 months ago

Small note, Sha’Carri Richardson (not Richards)

Pieter H
3 months ago

Isn’t Ledecky still under 30? Why is she not on the list?

And how did Manuel make the list last year when she’s been way off her peak since 2019? She should have been on the list 2017 or 2019.

Forbes’ lists is always hilarious.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Pieter H
3 months ago

it’s based on marketability. see jessica pegula over coco gauff

Pieter H
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
3 months ago

Is Kate Douglas more popular than Katie Ledecky?

Noah
3 months ago

I’ll die when she retires after Paris

Chris D
Reply to  Noah
3 months ago

depending on how well she does, she could go another year. Ya never know.

ecoach
Reply to  Noah
3 months ago

She won’t retire if she has a good Olympics which all indications are she will. Not with a home Olympics coming up.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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