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SI Swimsuit Athlete 2020: Malia Manuel

Get to know SI Swimsuit athlete Malia Manuel!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
I would wish away mosquitos, I would wish for countless sustainable and efficient ways of living for everyone without compromising our environment, and I would wish for all to honor their health.

If you could personally witness any event in history, what would it be?
I’d love to witness Duke Kahanamoku surfing for the first time in Waikiki and when he first introduced surfing outside of Hawaii.


What is something that you have never done that you want to do?
I would love to hike Machu Picchu

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What’s your most embarrassing moment? 

Tough to say. I embarrass myself a lot.

What’s the most regrettable beauty trend you’ve ever tried?
A whipped egg and castor oil mask for my hair.

If you could hear one song performed live by any musician what would it be?
Any song by The Weeknd.

What’s something people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a black-recommended belt in Taekwondo

In a world of influencers, who influences you most?
My close circle of friends and anyone who is living their authentic selves all the time.

What motivates or inspires you?
My environment. Work for me, for the most part, is in nature, in the ocean; I’m constantly motivated and inspired with all that surrounds me in the water, whether that’s other athletes, friends, kids learning to surf for the first time, or just the stillness between waves. I thrive on the moments in between chaos and composure Mother Nature brings in the ocean. Every day is so different in the water, I’m constantly inspired to flow and learn to be present with my surroundings while I surf. On a personal level my friends inspire me— I’m lucky to have such healthy, forward thinking, supportive, confident, adventurous people in my life.


Do you have a self-care ritual or a creative pursuit?
I mediate every morning and have a strict workout regime. I love to sauna as many days of the week as I can. My self-care ritual would be a sauna session, dry brushing, and keeping up on my nightly face regime; I love to lay under my LED light and love using all types of botanical high-quality face products.

What’s the worst holiday gift you ever received?
I haven’t received a terrible holiday gift. Yet.

What’s your guilty pleasure snack?
Dark chocolate covered almonds

Looking back, what advice would you give to your 14-year-old self?
Care less about what everyone thinks about you and know you are enough to those who matter.