Forbes released its annual 30 under 30 lists, and less than a year out from the Tokyo Games a third of those recognized in the sports category are from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family.
One certain to be at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is Carissa Moore, a 27-year-old surfer who over the past two days became the first U.S. woman to qualify for the Olympics in her sport and then won her fourth world title. Surfing will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Another honoree who could make Olympic history is 20-year-old skateboarder Tom Schaar. Already an eight-time X Games medalist, Schaar sits seventh in the Olympic skateboarding park rankings points for another sport making its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
The Forbes list includes three Americans coming off world championship seasons.
Julie Ertz, 27, was a force for the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer in France. Figure skating’s quad king Nathan Chen, 20, defended his world title in March in Japan. And weightlifter Kate Nye, also 20, swept the snatch, clean & jerk and total titles for her weight class at September’s world championships in Thailand.
Although hurdler Brianna (Rollins) McNeal, 28, missed out on a world title in 2019, she’s already a 2013 world and 2016 Olympic champion in the 100-meter hurdles.
Soccer star Christian Pulisic, 21, made history last January when Chelsea paid a $73 million transfer fee for his services, making him the most expensive American ever. He’s since gotten off to a hot start for the west London powers, which included a hat trick in a Premier League game against Burnley.
Although Pulisic will be age-eligible for the Tokyo Olympics, which features an under-23 soccer tournament for the men, it’s not yet clear if Chelsea will clear him to play. And, of course, the U.S. team still has to qualify.
Meanwhile, three basketball players round out the list.
Although Breanna Stewart missed the 2019 WNBA season with injury, the 25-year-old has already won four NCAA titles, a WNBA title, a WNBA MVP Award, two world championships and an Olympic gold medal.
Meanwhile, Paul George and Klay Thompson were part of the U.S. men’s team that won the 2016 Olympic gold medal. Thompson, 29, was injured in last year’s NBA Finals and is expected to miss most if not all of this season for the Golden State Warriors. George, also 29, made a high-profile offseason move to the Los Angeles Clippers.
George, Thompson and Pulisic were also highlighted in Forbes’ celebrities category.
Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.