Simone Manuel announces big life changes with new training group, engagement

Simone Manuel adjusts her swim cap
Simone Manuel adjusts her swim cap

Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Simone Manuel announced via Instagram that she is moving to Arizona to train under Arizona State University (ASU) coaches Bob Bowman and Herbie Behm.

“After a long and much needed break, I have made major changes,” Manuel wrote. “… New opportunities. New location. Same destination!”

Bowman, the career-long coach of Michael Phelps, has been ASU’s head coach since 2015. Manuel will join a decorated — and growing — pro training group that includes Regan Smith, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland, Sierra Schmidt, Olivia Smoliga, and Allison Schmitt.

After graduating from Stanford in 2019, Manuel continued training at the university under coach Greg Meehan. Since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, it was unclear if/when she planned to return to swimming competition.

At U.S. Olympic Trials in June 2021, the Texas native announced that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and had dealt with depression, anxiety, and insomnia throughout the spring. She still qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, where she helped the U.S. win bronze in the women’s 4x100m free relay and competed in the individual 50m free. She then took time off and didn’t compete this summer.

“It’s been nice to kind of take a break from swimming and just enjoy my family and my friends and my support system,” Manuel told On Her Turf last month. “Not having to sacrifice, you know, spending time away from them for swimming. That’s been really rejuvenating for me.”

In a second Instagram post on Monday, Manuel announced another major life change: her engagement to boyfriend Denzel Franklin.

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

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Simone Manuel announces big life changes with new training group, engagement originally appeared on NBCSports.com