As a year full of glittering achievements and world records comes to a close, we look ahead to what 2022 will bring.
Forbes has compiled its annual 30 Under 30 list — celebrating the achievements of 30 individuals under the age of 30 who are making an impact within the sports industry.
The list features influential names who have achieved both on and off the sporting field, and earmarks them as ones to watch for next year.
A total of 15 athletes and 15 media personnel made the final cut — here’s a look at the list of sports stars who have been included.
Devin Booker — Basketball
The shooting guard enjoyed the biggest season of his basketball career this year after helping Connecticut Suns clinch their first conference title in 28 years.
He also won his first Olympic medal this summer — a gold with Team USA basketball at the Tokyo Games. His achievements landed him his second consecutive spot in the NBA All-Star event.
Booker currently has investments in a number of startup companies and is involved in running the coconut water brand COCO5.
Kendall Coyne Schofield — Ice hockey
Schofield will be hoping to add to her Olympic medal tally in February at the 2022 Games in Beijing.
The hockey star already has a silver and gold medal to her name in team and individual events respectively.
The forward also became the first ever woman to compete in an NHL All-Star skills competition back in 2019. Additionally, she is a player development coach at Chicago Blackhawks and is President of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.
Alphonso Davies — Football
The Bayern Munich star enjoyed winning his third consecutive league title with the outfit last campaign and was named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season for his efforts.
The left-back was also included in the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men’s World 11 team, after being voted the best in his position by fellow players.
Davies is passionate about providing safety for refugees and encouraging children’s education.
Mikyla Grant-Mentis — Ice hockey
Grant-Mentis made history this year by becoming the first ever Black player to win the National Women’s Hockey League MVP award.
She finished the NWHL season as Toronto Six’s top scorer, with five goals in six games, and was tied as the highest overall scorer in the league.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — Baseball
After being labelled baseball’s best young prospect in 2019, Guerrero Jr. went on to achieve a dream breakthrough season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Regarded as one of MLB’s best hitters, he made the 2021 AL All-Star roster and was voted MVP during the process, becoming the youngest player to achieve the accolade in All-Star history.
Ashleigh Johnson — Water polo
In 2016, Johnson became the first Black woman in history to be called up to the US Olympic water polo team. Since then, she has won back-to-back gold medals at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and is widely regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper within the sport.
Johnson has started up a programme with her sister Chelsea, which teaches under-resourced children to swim.
Jonquel Jones — Basketball
Jones won the 2021 WNBA MVP award by a landslide majority vote after her performances for Connecticut Sun aided them to a league-best 26-6 regular season record.
As well as MVP, Jones was also named Sixth Women of the Year, and WNBA Most Improved Player, becoming the first player to ever win all three.
Nelly Korda — Golf
After her maiden title win at the Women’s PGA Championship, Korda shot up to number one in the world rankings.
She also won gold at the Tokyo Olympics this summer and has a total of seven LPGA Tour tournament wins to her name.
Sunisa Lee — Gymnastics
At just 18, Lee was propelled into the spotlight this summer at the Tokyo Olympics. Taking home a total of three medals, the gymnast won gold in the all-around event, bronze on uneven bars, and silver with USA in the team event.
Lee has since appeared on TV competition series Dancing with the Stars, where she finished fifth.
Simone Manuel — Swimming
Manuel added to her impressive Olympic medal tally this summer by winning bronze in the 4x100m freestyle with Team USA. She previously won two gold and two silver at Rio 2016, where she became the first African American woman to win gold in an individual swimming event.
Manuel is also the co-founder of Togethxr — a women’s media company.
Carl Nassib — American football
Nassib made both the headlines and history this year when he became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
He was drafted to the NFL in 2016, despite struggling with his high school football endeavours. Nassib now plays for the Las Vegas Raiders as a defensive end.
Dak Prescott — American football
Prescott wowed the American football world when he signed a lucrative new four-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys back in March.
The $160 million (£120m) contract included an upfront payment of $66 million (£49.5m), the largest signing bonus in NFL history.
Since winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, Prescott has earned two Pro Bowl selections.
Quinn — Football
This summer, OL Reign star Quinn became the first openly transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games. They helped Canada win a first ever Olympic gold medal after previously finishing third at Rio 2016.
Quinn works alongside Athlete Ally to fight against anti-transgender laws and is also a player representative for the Canadian Soccer Players Association, where they promote gender inclusivity and equality.
Claressa Shields — Boxing & MMA
Since winning back-to-back gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, Shields has turned professional and currently boasts a boxing record of 11-0.
Earlier this year, she broadened her horizons and started her MMA career, where she is currently 1-1 in the Professional Fighters League.
Elizabeth Williams — Basketball
As Atlanta Dream’s longest serving player, Williams is a WNBA icon.
She led her side’s campaign to oust former Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler from the franchise, after the players agreed her values and stances did not match up with that of the WNBA’s.
Williams also encouraged fellow basketball players to get the Covid-19 vaccine.