|Full name||Simone Ashley Manuel|
|National team||United States|
|Born||August 2, 1996|
Sugar Land, Texas
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||148 lb (67 kg)|
|College team||Stanford University|
Simone Ashley Manuel (born August 2, 1996) is an American competition swimmer specializing in sprint freestyle. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won two gold and two silver medals: gold in the 100-meter freestyle and the 4x100-meter medley, and silver in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. In winning the 100-meter freestyle, a tie with Penny Oleksiak of Canada, Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming and set an Olympic record and an American record.
Manuel also holds three world records as a member of a relay team, and she is a six-time individual National Collegiate Athletic Association champion, becoming one of the first three African American women to place in the top three spots in the 100-yard freestyle event in any Division I NCAA Swimming Championship. Since 2014, she has attended Stanford University, where she swims for the Stanford Cardinal. She helped Stanford win the NCAA team championship in women's swimming and diving in 2017 and 2018.
Simone Manuel was born in Sugar Land, Texas, on August 2, 1996. She has two older brothers, one of whom played basketball for Southern Methodist University. Her parents encouraged competitive sports in the three children, and Manuel was introduced to swimming through her brothers, who swam summer league competition. She asked to join the swimming team at four, and she was enrolled in swimming lessons. She was swimming with her local club, First Colony Swim Team, by eleven, and there she swam under head coach Alison Beebe, whom Manuel cited as a significant teacher. She graduated from Fort Bend Austin High School in 2014 and started attending Stanford University the same year.
After entering Stanford in 2014, she is a member of the Stanford Cardinal women's swimming team. She broke the school records in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard freestyle in the same year, and in 2014, her freshman year, she also broke the American and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) records for 100-yard freestyle. Manuel is a six-time individual NCAA champion: winning the 50- and 100-yard freestyle in 2015, 2017, and 2018. She redshirted in 2016.
She competed at the 2013 US National Championships, where she finished third in the 100-meter freestyle and second in the 50-meter freestyle events. She qualified for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, and she won a gold medal in the preliminary for the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. She also competed in the 2013 Duel in the Pool, where she won first in the 100-meter freestyle, third in the 50-meter freestyle, second in the 400-meter freestyle relay, and first in the 200-meter mixed medley relay.
At the 2014 US National Championships, she finished first in the 50-meter freestyle, second in the 100-meter freestyle, and seventh in the 200-meter freestyle. She competed in that year's Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, where she won bronze in the 100-meter freestyle, silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle and 4x100 medley relays, and placed fourth in the 50-meter freestyle.
In 2015, Manuel won her first two individual NCAA championships, winning the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, setting an NCAA, American, U.S. Open, Championship, and Pool record in 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.09. She also placed second in the 200-yard freestyle event. She became one of the first three African American women to place in the top three spots in the 100-yard freestyle event in any Division I NCAA Swimming Championship. She competed in the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, placing fourth in the 4x100 medley relay, sixth in the 100-meter freestyle, and eighth in the 50-meter freestyle.
2016 Summer Olympics
|100 m freestyle||52.70 (AR)|
|4×100 m medley||3:53.13|
|4×100 m freestyle relay||3:31.89 (AR)|
|50 m freestyle||24.09|
Manuel swam in the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, placing second in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and seventh in the 200-meter freestyle. Her position in the 50- and 100-meter events qualified her to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
She won a silver medal as part of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay along with Abbey Weitzeil, Dana Vollmer, and Katie Ledecky. She tied with Penny Oleksiak of Canada for the gold medal in the 100 m freestyle, both setting an Olympic record of 52.70. Manuel is the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event and is also said to be the first black woman to achieve this. She later won silver in the 50-meter freestyle event and gold in the 4x100-meter medley relay.
2017 World Championships
|2017 World Championships|
|100 m freestyle||52.27 (AR)|
|4×100 m freestyle||3:31.72 (AR)|
|4×100 m medley||3:51.55 (WR)|
|4×100 m mixed medley||3:38.56 (WR)|
|4×100 m mixed freestyle||3:19.60 (WR)|
|50 m freestyle||23.97 (AR)|
At the 2017 US Nationals, the qualification meet for the World Championships in Budapest, Manuel won the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 24.27 and touched second in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 53.05.
On the first day of the World Championships, Manuel anchored the women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay to a gold medal alongside Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell, and Ledecky. She split a very fast 52.14 to anchor the team to a new American record time of 3:31.72. Manuel picked up her second gold of the meet when she anchored the mixed 4x100-meter medley relay with a split of 52.17. Together with Matt Grevers, Lilly King, and Caeleb Dressel, the team broke the world record in a time of 3:38.56. Manuel's first individual event of the meet was the 100-meter freestyle, where Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström was widely considered the favorite to win since she had broken the world record while leading off the 4x100-meter freestyle relay on the first night of the World Championships. In similar fashion to the previous summer at the Olympics, Manuel upset the favorite by coming from behind to win the 100-meter freestyle with an American record time of 52.27, out touching Sjöström by just four-hundredths of a second. The day after, she won her fourth gold medal in the mixed 4x100-meter freestyle relay, where she split 52.18 on the anchoring leg. Alongside Comerford, Dressel, and Nathan Adrian, they set a world record of 3:19.60. On the last night of the meet, Manuel swam the finals of both the 50-meter freestyle and the women's 4x100-meter medley relay. Touching in a bronze-winning time of 23.97, she set the American record and became the first American woman to break the 24-second barrier in the 50-meter freestyle. Manuel then anchored the women's 4x100-meter medley relay to a winning time of 3:51.55. The team of Kathleen Baker, King, Worrell, and Manuel broke the 2012 world record of 3:52.05 set by Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt.
- As of August 1, 2017
|Long course (50 m pool)|
|50 m freestyle||23.97||Budapest, Hungary||July 30, 2017||NR, AM|||
|100 m freestyle||52.27||Budapest, Hungary||July 28, 2017||NR, AM|||
|50 yd freestyle (SC)||21.17||March 16, 2017|
|100 yd freestyle (SC)||45.56||March 18, 2017||NR, AM|
- NR - National Record
- AM - Americas Record
|4 x 50 m||Mixed medley relay[a]||1:37.17||Glasgow, Scotland||December 21, 2013|||
|4 × 100 m||Mixed freestyle relay[b]||3:23.05||Kazan, Russia||August 8, 2015|||
|4 × 100 m||Women's medley relay (sc)[c]||3:45.20||Indianapolis, Indiana||December 11, 2015|||
|4 × 100 m||Mixed medley relay[d]||3:38.56||Budapest, Hungary||July 27, 2017|||
|4 × 100 m||Mixed freestyle relay[e]||3:19.60||Budapest, Hungary||July 29, 2017|||
|4 × 100 m||Women's medley relay[f]||3:51.55||Budapest, Hungary||July 30, 2017|||
- a with Eugene Godsoe, Kevin Cordes, and Claire Donahue
- b with Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, and Missy Franklin
- c short course record with Courtney Bartholomew, Katie Meili, and Kelsi Worrell
- d with Matt Grevers, Lilly King, and Caeleb Dressel
- e with Caeleb Dressel, Nathan Adrian, and Mallory Comerford
- f with Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, and Kelsi Worrell
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