Famous Female Athletes
It's no secret that a majority of popular sports figures
are male. Outside of events like the Olympics, the media doesn't
put as much emphasis on professional women's sports as it
does its male counterparts. However, women have made significant
impacts on the world of sports, in from running and swimming,
to sled dog racing and archery, and everything in between.
Several women have become famous for their contributions to
both woman's athletics and the whole sporting world in general.
Billie Jean King
One of the most well-known of the famous female athletes
is Billie Jean King, who can likely be considered one of the
greatest tennis players in history. She won thirty nine grand
slam titles, and was inducted into the international Tennis
Hall of Fame in 1987. Always an advocate for gender equality,
King challenged tennis star Bobby Riggs to a Battle of the
Sexes tennis match in 1973, when she was only 29 years old.
Possibly one of the most popular women's sports is professional
women's basketball, in which Lisa Leslie is a household name.
A four time Olympic Gold medalist and three-time MVP, Leslie
set an American Olympic scoring record in the semifinals of
the 1996 Olympics, held in Japan. In 2002, Leslie performed
the first slam dunk in a WNBA game, and became the first woman
to score over 3,000 total career points.
The 1976 Summer Olympics changed history, when Romanian gymnast
Nadia Comaneci scored the first perfect score in a gymnastic
event. She is arguably one of the most famous gymnasts worldwide,
and was named one of the athletes of the century in 2000,
by the Laureus World Sports Academy. She has twice received
the Olympic Order, the highest award given by the international
In the world of professional soccer, there is no woman quite
as strong as Mia Hamm. In fact, there's not really any man
either, as she held the record for most international goals
in the sport, for both male and female players, until the
record was broken in 2013 (by another female, Abby Wambach).
The first two times FIFA awarded its World Player of the Year
honor, in 2001 and 2002, the award was given to Hamm. She
has been inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as
well as various state halls.
Anna Kournikova is more than just one of the most popular
search terms in Google history. Aside from being a poster
girl for beauty, she's also a great tennis player. She started
at a very young age, and at only 14, she won the European
Championship and the Italian Open.
While men have baseball, women have softball, and the most
famous softball player in history, according to Time magazine,
is Jennie Finch. Finch led the United States Softball Team
to the gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics, and silver in the
2008 Olympics. Due to her beauty and talent, Finch became
a mainstream icon, and helped debunk the myth that female
athletes can't remain feminine.
And if you're making a list of the most famous female athletes
of all time, then perhaps Babe" Didrikson Zaharias and
the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena would be good candidates