For the most elite athletes, on the field mastery isn’t enough, they have to go just as hard in the business world. Forbes named the year’s top sports figures in its annual 30 Under 30 lists Tuesday, and everyone from Kyrie Irving to Odell Beckham Jr. made the cut in the sports segment, but the women were the real standouts. 

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Olympic gymnast and tiny powerhouse Simone Biles also earned the top honor, following her record-setting competitive performance gold medal wins in Rio this summer.

Powerful women and tech entrepreneurs stood out in a major way on the list. Twenty five-year-old NASCAR driver Julia Landauer started young as the first female Skip Barber Racing Champion when she was 14, and she has gone on to be the highest-finishing female in K&N Pro Series championship history.

Wheelchair marathon athlete Tatyana McFadden won four gold medals at the Rio Paralympic, and at age 27, she holds the world record for the 100, 400, 800, 1,500 and 5,000-meter races.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who turned his on-field performance into off-the-field profits, was another standout of the list. Finessing his six-year, $114.5 million contract with the Broncos officially made him the highest paid defensive player in the league’s history–but he didn’t stop there. Miller has deals with Adidas, EA Sports and Old Spice, and he’s an investor with new headphone company Muzik.

On the tech side, Facebook’s Evan Shugerman and Twitter’s Andrew Barge were behind securing some of the biggest sports broadcasting deals with their respective social media platforms.

Even though all the Under 30 picks are obviously young, the youngest of the honorees shone just as brightly as the older picks.

The youngest of the pack is snowboarder Chloe Kim, the 16-year-old Team USA member who rode her way to victory as the first American woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Biles rounds out the group tied for the second-youngest with 19-year-old boxer Shakur Stevenson. He won silver at the Rio Olympics, appeared in a Powerade commercial and went pro all in 2016.

posted on 01/05/2017 by Anika Reed
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