We’ve come a long way in terms of acknowledging and appreciating female athletes, and it seems like things will continue to improve. From football, to cycling, to swimming, to more extreme sports such as freediving and climbing, women are demonstrating again and again that they can be powerful, agile, strong and quick. The female athletes profiled here have all changed their sports for the better, so read on to learn more about them.
Known around the world for her incredible achievements, the tennis player won a total of 23 Grand Slam women’s singles titles and is the only player to gain a career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. Born in Florida in 1981, Williams went professional in 1995 and retired in 2022. In 2015, she became the first Black female athlete to have a picture by herself on the cover of Vogue – making history in sport and fashion!
A record-breaking gymnast, Biles is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. She has won seven Olympic medals and twenty-five at the World Championships! She has also been praised and regarded as a role model for her openness surrounding her mental health. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Biles withdrew from some of her competitions to allow herself some recovery time. This mix of honesty and undeniable raw talent has earned her many fans around the world, and in 2022 she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Joe Biden.
A world record holder in the women’s 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle, Ledecky has won six individual gold medals at the Olympics and sixteen at the World Championships. She won her first gold, in the 800-meter women’s freestyle, at the London 2012 Olympics at the age of just 15! Since then, she has gone on to make history, and is widely regarded as the greatest female swimmer ever. At the age of just 26, Ledecky has plenty of time to set even more records before she retires.