If the name "Simone Manuel" is familiar to you, that's because the swimmer made history during the 2016 Summer Olympics. When she was only 20 years old, she was awarded with gold for her 100-meter freestyle. She's notably the first Black woman to win the gold medal in an individual swimming event.
“I definitely think it raises some awareness and will get them inspired. I mean, the gold medal wasn’t just for me; it was for people that came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport," she said, per the New York Times.
And now, Simone is back in the spotlight as fans are following the Olympic Swimming Trials. The Olympian has demonstrated her skill as a really talented 200 freestyler (even though her coach, Greg Meehan, stated that she had never planned on competing the 200 free).
However, according to Swimming World Magazine, "he was still considering Manuel for a spot on the 800 free relay at the Olympics," and "she has shown enough both based on her career accomplishments and in practice informal racing" for recognition.
Her coach, Greg Meehan, stated, "We had done a couple of pretty good 200s back home, so I feel like we’ve checked that box. It’s not an event that, even in the grandest of plans, we were never going to swim all the way through because if things go well the back half of the week, she just has too many races to then add. If she were to have an amazing 200 free and make it individually, it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t help her, and it doesn’t help Team USA medal contention.”
“Coming out of April and May, we’re getting focused in on the 100 and 50 and letting it roll there,” he added.
Where is Simone Manuel from?
Simone Manuel was born in Sugar Land, Texas. She's not only an Olympic medal winner, but the now 24-year-old graduated from Stanford University in 2018 with a communications degree. She first swam competitively at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials and placed 20th in the 50-meter freestyle and 17th in the 100-meter freestyle event. And in 2014, after being accepted in Stanford, she joined the Stanford Cardinal women's swimming team and broke the school's 50-, 100- and 200-yard free style records.
Who are Simone Manuel parents?
We can't even imagine how proud Simone Manuel's parents must be. Simone's mother is Sharron, who's a pharmacist, and her father, Marc, is a business analyst for Shell oil company. We got to know Sharron a little bit more back in 2016 when she shared her favorite Cajun shrimp pasta dish that reminds her of home (Sharron is originally from New Orleans, although she and Marc raised their children in Texas).
On her Instagram, Simone has made shoutouts to both her mother and father. "Kissing, hugging, and loving you from afar. Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mother. You do it all with so much strength, grace, and love!" Simone wrote on Mother's Day last year.
And in 2019, she shared a photo of her family (she also has two brothers, Chris and Ryan) at their parents' 30th wedding anniversary. "I’m a day late, but Happy 30th Anniversary to my parents! I know it’s not always easy, but y’all sure make it look good. Thank you for building a wonderful life for our family! I love y’all!!!" she wrote in the caption.
What's Simone Manuel net worth?
It's estimated that Simone Manuel is worth $3 million. It's likely that the super athlete has been able to leverage her success and work with other brands as an influencer. Most recently, she posted an ad for Tide, and this isn't the only sponsored piece of content Simone has shared. It's unclear if the $3 million stems from her sports success, branded deals, or both. But it's clear that she's going places.
Keep following for more information and updates on Simone Manuel! We're cheering for you!