If you've been following swimming for a while, you will probably know who Simone Manuel is. Dubbed the 'sprint queen' of American swimming, the young Texas-born swimmer has been part of the US Olympic swimming team since the 2016 Rio Games.
The 24-year-old swimmer, who first made an appearance at the US Olympic Swimming Trials in 2012, will be hoping to make it to the US Olympic team heading to Tokyo in the summer. Simone Manuel is a favorite to dominate the 50 and 100 free - her go-to events in swimming.
Simone Manuel is the defending Olympic champion in 100 free, and also the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event. At the Rio Olympics, she also won silver in the 50 freestyle event and gold in the 4x100 medley relay.
Who is Simone Manuel?
Simone Manuel isn't just a top-class swimmer. At 20, she became one of the youngest gold medallists in Olympic history, but the swimmer is a cultural icon in the United States, where black swimmers are still a rarity due to the effects of years of racism.
Like Cullen Jones, who holds the world record in the 4×100 freestyle relay, she has been an inspiration to an upcoming batch of young, black swimmers across the country, who now realize the sport is open to all.
Simone Manuel, a Stanford University product, is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of TOGETHXR - a media and commerce company founded to empower women.
Simone Manuel's strongest races in the pool are the shorter sprints. She dominates the 50 and 100 freestyle, though she is likely to try and nail a spot in the 200 free at the Tokyo Olympics as well.
Simone Manuel's performances have only improved since her heroics at the Rio Olympics. She had success at multiple World Championships in 100 free, while also consistently challenging for gold medals in 50 free events.
Simone Manuel's events at US Olympic Swimming Trials 2021
As per multiple reports, Simone Manuel is also set to enter the 200 free at the US Olympic Swimming Trials. She enters as the 3rd seed, with her best of 1:56.09, behind swimming stars Katie Ledecky and Allison Schmitt.
Simone Manuel also holds American records for 50 free and 100 free events. She goes into the tournament as a favorite, but the US Olympic Trials has a history of coughing up surprises.
When to watch Simone Manuel
The sprint queen's events will be spread out evenly over the US Olympic Swimming Trials, which should help her secure those valuable places at the Tokyo Olympics. Her first major final will be the 200 free, which will take place on Wednesday (16th June). The women's 100 free final is scheduled to take place on Friday (18th June), while the 50 free final will be on Sunday (20th June).
Streaming: The matches can be watched live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App
TV: NBC and NBCSN channels (in US)