Five-time Olympic medalist Simone Manuel has been recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2022 in the sports category, a list created annually to identify young, prominent figures across 20 different industries.
Forbes describes the 2022 list as having significantly changed from when it was first created in 2012.
“All of the honorees in the Forbes Under 30 Class of 2022 have defied the odds: navigating a global pandemic, supply chain crunches and isolation to build ventures that are resilient and destined to change the world,” Forbes says.
Manuel, 25, won an Olympic bronze medal this summer at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the women’s 400 freestyle relay, and also placed 11th in the 50 free.
After a relatively disappointing Olympic Trials performance that included her failing to earn an opportunity to defend her 2016 Olympic title in the women’s 100 free, Manuel revealed that she had been dealing with overtraining syndrome in the lead-up.
Five years ago in Rio, she became the first African American woman to win an individual Olympic swimming gold, tying with Canadian Penny Oleksiak in the women’s 100 free. Manuel won a total of four medals in 2016, adding a gold in the 400 medley relay and a pair of silvers in the 50 free and 400 free relay.
Manuel’s Forbes profile also mentions her women’s media company, Togethxr, and the “inclusion rider” in her contract with TYR, which was the first of its kind in pro sports. The inclusion rider was put in place in order to ensure the company extends “meaningful opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups and that diversity be reflected in the created efforts (Simone) pursues with the brand.”
Simone Manuel has won five Olympic medals, including a relay bronze in Tokyo. In 2016 in Rio, she became the first African American woman to win gold in an individual swimming event. She is one of the four athlete founders of Togethxr, a women’s media company, and has been outspoken on issues of race and inclusion, even including an “inclusion rider” in her TYR endorsement contract.
Another aquatics athlete named to the list was water polo player Ashleigh Johnson, who was the first black woman to make the U.S. Olympic water polo team.
I feel extremely privileged to be recognized as one of @forbes 30 under 30 and I’m honored and proud to be among such inspiring athletes and people. Congrats to all!
Johnson has won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in women’s water polo, and, in 2016, the Miami native was the only non-Californian to make the team.
Ashleigh Johnson, the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic water polo team, has won two straight Olympic gold medals and is widely considered the world’s best goalie. Dedicated to making the sport more inclusive, Johnson and her sister, Chelsea, have created a learn-to-swim course for under-resourced middle-school students in the Miami area.
You can find the full list of Forbes 30 Under 30 Sports Class of 2022 list here.