Popular Female Athletes Walking The Red Carpet
Athletes are known for their endurance and stamina, their physical strength, and competitive drive. But these popular female athletes are known not only for their incredible skills in sports but also for their beauty and charm. Having earned fame, especially in the world of Hollywood, these female sports stars display their stunning looks and unique personality while walking the red carpet. They have served as an inspiration to the younger women through their platform of different sports; hence, they are frequently invited to many events and programs. Credits to their perfect figures, these athletes could also become excellent supermodels!
Ellen Hoog (field hockey)
The famous field hockey player, Ellen Hoog, was born in Overveen, Netherlands. She began her prosperous run in the sport at a very young age and became a crucial part of the Dutch National Team in 2004. Ellen became a member of the prestigious Amsterdamsche Hockey & Bandy Club as well. Her investment in the sport paid off when she brought home a couple of gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Ellen became the first-ever player to decide a major championship match following a penalty shootout. The same thing happened in 2016 when her team managed to get the second spot in the world of field hockey after she took the winning shot. Even though they only got silver that year at the Olympics, 2016 is a memorable year for Hoog since she’s the one who took the game-winning shot in their game against Germany.
Alex Morgan (soccer)
The American football forward Alex Morgan plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League. Credits to her outstanding skills in the sport, she was dubbed as one of the greatest American forwards of all time. Alex earned an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics and also played in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the United States won their third World Cup.
Reports say that in the same year, in addition to her victory, she also landed many major endorsements, so she was hailed as the top-paid American women’s soccer player by Time magazine. Alex has been the co-captain of the National Women’s Soccer League since 2018, alongside Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. This amazing athlete took a lot of ‘firsts’ in her career as she is also the first soccer player in the women’s division to ever appear on the cover of FIFA video games in 2015.
THE BELLA TWINS (WRESTLING)
Nicole and Brianna Garcia, popularly known as The Bella Twins, were born in San Diego, California, and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. In pursuit of their dream to become actresses and models, they hired for a moving company to Los Angeles and began their T.V. appearance on the show, Meet My Folks. They were also contestants in the “International Body Doubles Twins Search” in 2006. In the same year, they joined the WWE Diva Search but failed to get the top spot in the competition.
A year later, they signed a contract with WWE as a professional wrestling tag team, which led to the creation of the Bella Twins. Since then, they have become Divas Champions, with Nicole winning the title twice – making her the longest-reigning holder of the title. In the 2015 list of Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Female 50, Nicole also ranked No.1. Today, both twins are retired and announced early this year that they will be inducted into the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame class.
Gabby Douglas (gymnastics)
The artistic gymnast Gabby Douglas started training in the sport when she was six years old. That was when her sister convinced their mother to enroll them in a gymnastics class. Gabby became part of history as the first African-American who became the individual all-around champion in the Olympics. She also received credit as the first U.S. gymnast to hold a gold medal in both team and individual competitions in the Olympics.
To be specific, Gabby is the 2012 Olympic all-around champion and the 2015 World all-around silver medalist.
Her accomplishments instantly made her a public figure who many young athletes aspire to be. Her life story became a successful movie in 2014 which was entitled The Gabby Douglas Story. This was quickly followed by a reality television series Douglas Family Gold. She also wrote the book entitled Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. The book expressed her love for her craft and what it takes to be an Olympic gold medalist.
ALLISON STOKKE (POLE VAULT)
The track and field athlete Allison Stokke grew up in a sporty family. Allison may have tried gymnastics to follow her older brother, but she fell in love with pole vaulting during her time at the Newport Harbor High School. She had a championship record of 3.81 meters that gave her the United States title in 2004. Allison later became one of the country’s best young vaulters. Her exceptional skills earned her an athletic scholarship to study a degree in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Allison dated professional golfer Rickie Fowler in 2017, and the couple got married in 2019. Today, she continues to be popular through the sport and as a fitness model for Nike and Athleta, among others. Her other career as a sports model broke out after images of her competing early in 2007 stormed the internet after a notable feature in a sports blog. Since then, photographers have attended her competitions, which made her the perfect advocate for the sport.
HEATHER WATSON (TENNIS)
Tennis player Heather Watson started playing the sport at age seven and trained with tennis coach Nick Bollettieri at the age of 12. Heather began competing on the International Tennis Federation Women’s Circuit in 2009 with a ranking of number 588. She continued to improve in the sport and won the mixed doubles title at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships with Henri Kontinen. She’s also the first British woman to win a WTA singles title since 1988.
Her camp gave a lot of credit to her “amazing footwork,” according to her long-time coach that eventually helped her reached new heights. At the age of 28, she has already won nine titles in the course of her career. Of course, it includes the above-mentioned mixed doubles title from 2016 that made her the first British woman again to win a Wimbledon title (1987) and a Grand Slam title (1991) since Jo Durie. At one point in her career, she has also achieved being No. 3 in the world on the ITF Junior Circuit.
SALLY FITZGIBBONS (SURFING)
Australia-born Sally Fitzgibbons won her first surfing competition, ASP Pro Junior Open, when she was just 14 years old. She also won the Icon All-Girls Open Event Lennox Head when she was 16. Fitzgibbons then made another colossal push in her career and became the youngest surfer to win an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Pro Junior (Under 21s) event. In her junior years, she has also set records by winning Australasian Pro Junior Series in 2007 and 2008.
Aside from her remarkable achievements in the field of surfing, Fitzgibbons is also blessed with great talents in other sports such as touch football and soccer. It is not so surprising, therefore, that she’s also the third cousin of the former goalkeeper of Socceroos, Mark Bosnich. She was also a former runner winning middle distance in the national championships. However, her investment in surfing can’t be matched after earning the number one slot at the Rio Pro last year.
ALANA BLANCHARD (SURFING)
Professional surfer Alana Blanchard joined the ASP World Tour and won first place in shortboard at the T&C Women’s Pipeline Championships in 2005. She has also won numerous championships, including The Rip Curl Girls Festival Junior Pro in Spain, the Volcom Pufferfish Surf Series in Pinetrees in Kauai, and The Roxy Pro Trials in Haleiwa, Hawaii. As a surfer, Alana knew first hand the degree of difficulty they need to face when riding the wave.
In fact, she witnessed Bethany Hamilton suffered grave injuries because of the sport she loves. But Blanchard never wavered and continued to paddle and trained for competitions. As early as nine years old, she has already set herself to compete. Now, through the Alana Blanchard Foundation, she made it her goal to raise and support aspiring women surfers. At present, she is engaged to Australian pro surfer Jack Freestone with whom she shares a son who was born in December 2017.
CHELSEA PEZZOLA (GOLF)
Chelsea Pezzola is a professional golf player who trained in the Missing Link Golf Academy. She was introduced to the sport by her stepfather when she was just five years old. She won her first title at age 14 and has earned the Most Valuable Player title in regional golfing championships in 2006. Chelsea played for the Michigan Wolverines during her college years at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology while studying a degree in Business of Sport.
She has also become an Instagram sensation for posting her amazing golf videos and stunning selfies. As a woman who’s successful in a field where men dominated the sport, Pezzola’s biggest goal is to promote women’s golf. Since it holds great importance in her life, she wishes other women to be given the same opportunity and experience. Besides playing golf and posing for her selfies, she is also featured in sports-related shows and covers magazines not only of sports but in fashion as well.
LOLO JONES (HURDLES)
Lolo Jones is known for her remarkable achievements in the world sports, specifically in the field of hurdles and the winter sport of bobsledding. She specializes in the 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles. Throughout her collegiate athletic career, she grabbed three NCAA titles and 11 All-American honors for LSU. With that, she earned an athletic scholarship that saved her the hustle of getting a student loan while doing her studies.
The odds were in her favor during the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she won the 100-meter hurdles, but she finished seventh in the rankings after she tripped in one of the hurdles in the last leg of the race.
Jones redeemed herself in the 2008 World Athletics Final, where she brought home the gold medal and defeating the Olympic champ. As hard evidence of her 60-meter hurdle mastery, Jones won indoor national titles in 2007 through 2009 and gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010 in the same category.
NANCY LOPEZ (GOLF)
Nancy Lopez is a retired professional golfer who was a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour in 1977. In her entire sports career, she won a total of 45 LPGA Tour events and 3 LPGA major championships. Nancy started playing golf at a young age and slowly build her skills and rose her way to the top of the rankings. Thanks to her extraordinary talent, she easily grabbed her very first win at the New Mexico Women’s Amateur when she was just 12.
Lopez managed to land her name to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987 thanks to her achievements and unparalleled skills. After her retirement, she placed a significant investment in a business and established her company, Nancy Lopez Golf, which produces women’s clubs and golf accessories. As a record holder, Lopez is undeniably one of the greats in women’s golf. She has proven herself to be the sport’s best woman player in the late 1970s through the 1980s.
ANGELA RUCH (RACING)
Angela Ruch may have come from a family of car racing drivers, but she made a name for herself with her own effort. In 2010, Angela and her sister, Amber, were given the credits to be the first twins to compete in the NASCAR series. That day, Angela ranked 26th while driving the No. 6 Dodge. Angela and Amber comprises the third generation of the Cope family to join the world of racing, taking after their uncle Derrike Wayne Cope, an award-winning racer and a team owner.
As a child, she started with Go-Kart racing and has won several races. At age 15, she progressed to racing with late-model race cars. Angela now competes part-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. She currently holds the second-highest female record placed at 8th on her first lead lap finish at the Daytona Truck Series. Indeed, quite a splendid way to end her NASCAR career!
LISA LESLIE (BASKETBALL)
Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball and a legend among legends who played for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player and holds a record of being a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. She is also known as the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. Lisa graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in communications and has finished her master’s degree in business administration.
She was drafted number-seven in the 1997 inaugural WNBA draft and has long since won WNBA All-Star selections eight times and led WNBA championships two times. She is, without a doubt, a valuable team player for her team, Los Angeles Sparks. Now a retired basketball player, she currently takes leadership as the Head Coach for Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league and credits as a studio sports analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports.
MCKAYLA MARONEY (GYMNASTICS)
The famous artistic gymnast, McKayla Maroney, started training in the sport when she was nine years old. According to her, it was her childhood dream to join the Olympics, and she did just that in the latter part of her career. She even brought home a couple of gold chips that marked her legacy in the sport. McKayla was part of the Fierce Five that competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Following her retirement in the competitive scene in 2016, she and her former teammate revealed a huge controversy regarding their team’s doctor.
They hired a team of competent lawyers and filed a lawsuit against the medical practitioner who is now serving his prison sentence. To add to her achievements, although totally outside the sport, Maroney, along with other female victims, was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2018 for boldly coming forward despite their ordeal. She also managed to move past the controversy and go on to conquer another field. On March 7, 2020, Maroney launched her music career and released her first official single, Wake Up Call.
QUEEN HARRISON (TRACK AND FIELD)
This photo displays the beauty that is Queen Harrison, who is famous in the field of sports as a hurdler and sprinter. Queen started competing in track and field events when she attended Hermitage High School. She went on to college at Virginia Tech, where she further honed her skills. Queen was given credit as the first woman to win both the 100m and 400m hurdle titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
In 2013 she made it to the ranks as the 16th best performer on the Track and Field all-time list at her personal best, 12.43.
Her notable competition was at the 2015 Pan American Games, where she won the gold medal. She is married to fellow track and field athlete Will Claye, since 2018. Though not much has been going on since then, the 32-year-old athlete currently sits as a meet director for Virginia’s Best Track and Field Classic – a meet only started in 2017.
KATIE LEDECKY (SWIMMER)
Katie Ledecky started swimming at the age of six. She was influenced by her mother, who swam for the University of New Mexico. Now a competitive swimmer, Katie has garnered five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals. She holds the record for earning the most championship medals in the female swimmer history. In the 2016 Olympic Games, she swept off a total of 34 medals, 28 of which are gold, 5 silvers, and 1 bronze.
Due to her outstanding feats, she was given credit as the Swimming World’s Female Swimmer of the Year for a whopping five times, and 2017 Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Katie was offered by Stanford University an athletic scholarship and joined the Stanford Cardinal women’s swimming team. To top her achievements, she also holds the world record in the women’s 400, 800, and the long course, 1,500-meter freestyle. Furthermore, she also seals the world record as the fastest female swimmer in 500, 1,000, and 1,650-yard freestyle events.
LERYN FRANCO (JAVELIN)
Leryn Franco first played football before playing javelin throw. As displayed in her records, her personal best was 57.77 m at the 2012 Ibero-American Championships in Athletics. It then became a new national record. Leryn competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics for javelin throw. Aside from her sports career, she also entered the world of show business and modeling. She starred as the younger Eliza Lynch in the 2013 Irish film Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay.
For her performance in the film, she was praised for having captured and portrayed beautifully the spirit of the character. Blessed with remarkable beauty and filled with personality, Franco tried her luck in a beauty pageant and grabbed the top spot in Miss Universo Paraguay. Franco not only has the looks and the skills, but she also has the brain as well. In fact, she has a degree in business administration.
ALLISON BAVER (SPEED SKATING)
Allison Baver may hold a master’s degree in business administration, but she is also a master in short track speed skating. She began training with the U.S. winter sports Olympic team and has ranked third overall in the World Rankings in the 2005-2006 season. Allison ranked seventh place in the 2006 Winter Olympics under the category of Women’s 500-meter competition and won her first U.S. National Championship in 2007.
Despite her multiple-fractures in 2009 when she collided with teammate Katherine Reutter, she continued to train for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver. Though there were many hurdles for her, their team still won the bronze medal. Since then, Allison established the Off the Ice Foundation in the year 2010, which educates schools and communities on skating sports. Baver is currently the vice president of the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association, a four-year term office she was elected into in 2016.
ASHLEY WAGNER (FIGURE SKATING)
Ashley Wagner started skating when she was just five years old. She was inspired by figure skater Tara Lipinski when she watched her on the television coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. It was during that time that she dreamed of competing for the Olympics. Ashley is a three-time U.S. national champion, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, and a 2016 World silver medalist. In 2010, she suffered a violent whole-body muscle spasm and sought physical therapy.
After her recovery, she went back to participate in several competitions. It was August 2019 when she announced her retirement from the sport, but with proper investment planning, she’ll not have to face any financial difficulties anytime soon.
Despite her retirement from the sport, Wagner participated as the commentator for the 2020 European Figure Skating Championships held in Graz, Austria. With her looks, she’ll definitely have a place on TV, or she may opt to revisit her modeling athlete career through paid-endorsements. The Boston resident retired athlete has a lot of options for her next career.
DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ (TENNIS)
Slovak tennis player Daniela Hantuchová won her first WTA tournament in 2002 and defeated Martina Hingis. She also landed in the top ten in the power rankings that year thanks to unparalleled performance in the 2002 Wimbledon Championships and U.S. Open. Known for her long legs, she can cover long distances in a short span, which is a big help in her speed. She was given credit as the “Queen of 3-setters”, having played 263 three-set matches and won 181 of them.
Daniela also became world No. 5 in the doubles ranking. In 2017, she announced her retirement from the sport. Since then, she can be seen very active as the sport’s commentator and pundit, in a much bigger and prestigious platform such as in US Open and Wimbledon meets. She is also a Fox Sports commentator and currently produces a web series for Tennis Channel and hosts podcasts related to entertainment and sports. Here’s the enchanting Daniela, flaunting her slim figure on the red carpet.
SLOANE STEPHENS (TENNIS)
The professional tennis player Sloane Stephens is currently ranked in the Women’s Tennis Association’s top 25. Sloane won a total of six WTA singles and garnered a couple of accolades along the way. She reached the peak of her career when she ranked No. 3 in the world after competing in the 2018 Wimbledon, and she was also the 2017 U.S. Open champion. Sloane came from a family of athletes, with her parents having a collegiate swimming and professional American football background.
However, her stepfather, who was a competitive recreational tennis player, was her inspiration for playing the sport. Originally from California, their family hired a moving company to Florida, where she began to train at a tennis academy under coach Nick Saviano. In the 2013 Australian Open, when Stephens was only 19 years old, she rose to prominence in the sport where the semi-final run highlighted Serena Williams No. 3 and her at No.11.
CLAIR BIDEZ (SNOWBOARD)
Clair Bidez holds a degree in Master of Science in Geography from the University of Utah and now works as a research analyst. Aside from that, she’s an acclaimed snowboarder with a world-class talent. She started competing in the sport when she was just ten years old and was greatly influenced by her brother. At age 16, she won 5th place at the U.S. Open at Stratton Mountain and was later offered to join the U.S. Snowboarding team.
Clair became the Halfpipe Junior World Champion and won 4th place in halfpipe competition at the Winter X Games XX. However, in 2009, in the Grand Prix’s final round at Copper Mountain, Clair met an accident and broke her heels. The year after, she was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition as a potential Olympian. Though she made it through every Olympic qualifier, in the end, her ongoing ankle injury became the end of her professional snowboarding athlete career.
HOPE SOLO (SOCCER)
Hope Solo is a famous goalkeeper known for playing for the United States women’s national soccer team from 2000 until 2016. She started playing the sport at a young age, and she gives a huge credit to her father for teaching her the sport. Hope is a World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. She debuted her professional career by playing for the Philadelphia Charge in the Women’s United Soccer Association. Her most recent team was the Seattle Reign F.C. in the National Women’s Soccer League.
She currently holds the record for most career clean sheets in the United States. In 2007, she became the starting goalkeeper for FIFA Women’s World Cup. Because of her outstanding performance, she led the national team to the semifinals by only missing two goals and with her three consecutive shutouts. Due to her remarkable skills in soccer, she is considered to be one of the top female goalkeepers in the world.
CHLOE KIM (SNOWBOARDER)
Chloe Kim began snowboarding at age four and started competing at age six as one of Team Mountain High’s youngest members. She joined the U.S. Snowboarding Team in 2013. Her talent and hard work have resulted in her being hailed as the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics – and she was just 17 years old at that time. She is also a four-time X Games gold medalist and currently holds the record of being the halfpipe champion in World, Youth Olympic, Olympic, and X Games.
In fact, she is the first of all athletes in the sport to win all four titles of the major event. No wonder Chloe was named the 2018 Best Female Olympian by the ESPY Awards and was also included in Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the same year. Her future is looking good, and if this continues, she’ll gain enough fame and fortune where she probably wouldn’t have to worry about going into bankruptcy.
TARAH GIEGER (MOTOCROSS RACER)
Tarah Gieger is a professional motocross racer who has been in the industry since her childhood days. She began riding motorcycles when she was at a young age of 10 and practiced in the mountains of Puerto Rico, where people gather to ride motorcycles. Initially, her family resided in Florida and pursued a service of a moving company back to Puerto Rico, where she built up her skills. It was in 2003 when she debuted her motocross racing career professionally and won prestigious titles in the following years.
One of these is the Loretta Lynn AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship titles in 2004, 2006, and 2007. She also became the first woman to win the X Games XIV supercross the year after. Then in 2009, she took a hiatus after she was struck with a wrist injury. Tarah bounced back strong, and in 2010, it led her to win a silver medal at the women’s supercross in X Games. She was the first female racer ever to compete in the Motocross des Nations back in 2017.
BREANNA STEWART (BASKETBALL)
Basketball star Breanna Stewart currently plays for the Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association. She started playing the sport at an early age, and she started training when she was in fifth grade. Because of her height of six feet four inches, she was always eyed by basketball coaches to be the rebounder and a significant force on the offensive side of her team. Breanna was the youngest in the under-19 U.S. National Team but led the team in points. She was later named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in 2011.
In the 2016 WNBA Draft, she was the first overall pick and also named the WNBA Rookie of the Year in the same year. Her most recent award is the 2019 EuroLeague Women Regular Season MVP. Sports Illustrated also named her as one of their Sportspeople of the Year back in 2020, and recently, she also signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike. With her success on the hardwood, she’ll have more than enough investment money to increase her real estate portfolio and delve into business ventures.
JESSIE GRAFF (MARTIAL ARTIST)
Jessie Graff is a professional stunt woman who is nicknamed as “Tumbleweed.” She is a woman of exceptional talents. She is a Taekwondo black belter, a pole vaulter, and a competitive gymnast. The list goes on, and she also trained in six other disciplines of martial arts, including Kung Fu. She gained prominence when she joined the show American Ninja Warrior in 2016. In her stint in the T.V. competition, she became the first woman to complete Stage 1 of the show’s Las Vegas Finals obstacle course.
The year after, she successfully finished Stage 2 in Las Vegas as part of the USA vs. The World competition and was the only woman to get through the course. Finally, in the Sasuke/Ninja Warrior franchise, she was the only woman to represent the United States and finish Stage 2 of the international course. Jessie started as a stunt woman in 2007 and has since appeared in films such as Bridesmaids, Sons of Anarchy, Knight and Day, and John Carter. She also put up a couple of business investments in establishing her own athletic clothing line.
TORI BOWIE (TRACK AND FIELD)
Track and field athlete Tori Bowie is a three-time Olympic medalist and has a personal record of 6.95 meters for the long jump. She was offered an athletic scholarship from the University of Southern Mississippi, which saved her a couple of bucks for her student loans. Up until today, she’s still considered as one of the best in the collegiate scene and most of her records still stand today.
We recently saw her competed with the best in the World Championships, where she brought home a couple of gold medals in 2017 and in 2019 that was held in Doha, Qatar. Bowie primarily competes in the 100 and 200-meter run. In fact, she championed the 2017 World Championships 100-meter event. For her long-jump performances, back in 2014, she finished as runner up in the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and represented the country in the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
JENNIE FINCH (SOFTBALL)
Jennie Lynn Finch began playing softball at the age of five and pitching at the age of eight with the help of her father as her first pitching coach. The beautiful athlete graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in communication sciences. During that time, Jennie played for the Arizona Wildcats and the U.S. national softball team, which eventually made her an Olympic medalist. She won gold and silver medals in the Olympics in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
Jennie has been vocal about her Christian faith and has turned down several offers to appear in Playboy magazine. After her 2008 pitch in the Olympics, Time magazine considered her the most famous softball player in all the sport’s history. However, in 2010, Finch decided to retire from playing softball to focus on her growing family. Though she’s retired, she worked with ESPN as a color commentator for National Pro Fastpitch and college games.
PAIGE SPIRANAC (GOLF)
This beautiful woman can be easily mistaken as a Hollywood star, and she is no other than the professional golfer, Paige Spiranac. Paige earned an athletic scholarship from the University of Arizona and transferred to San Diego State during her sophomore year. There, she won the All-Mountain West Conference honors during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons. She later made her debut as a professional golfer in 2015, and a monthly column in Golf Magazine gave credit to her achievements.
Being bullied in her youth due to a hair condition, she became the ambassador for Cybersmile, a non-profit organization that provides global support against cyber-bullying.
Aside from her advocacy, Spiranac remains to be an active social media personality as well. She created her social media accounts for her initial purpose of posting trick-shot videos. However, it has now become a sought-after account with two million followers by 2018. In 2020, Spiranac started her podcast she calls Playing-A-Round with Paige Renee, and her premiere episode’s title is Teeing Off, released last February.
CANDACE PARKER (BASKETBALL)
Candace Parker may be the younger sister of former NBA basketball player Anthony Parker, but she made a name for herself in the basketball scene. She started to play basketball at a young age since her family loved the sport so much and were big fans of the Chicago Bulls. Her father coached her and helped her learn the game. Candace began playing in school until she played for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
She was named the WNBA All-Star Game MVP in 2013 and was WNBA Most Valuable Player twice in 2008 and 2013. No wonder she was the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft in 2008! In that year, she also won the Rookie of the Year award. Other than that, she has been selected six-times all-WNBA and five times as an all-star. She also won’t face any debt because of her excellent money management skills.
MEGAN RAPINOE (SOCCER)
Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player who is now the captain of the Reign Football Club in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She plays for the team primarily as a winger and earns the title of Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019. Megan scored three goals, which led to a gold medal win for the U.S. during the 2012 London Olympics. This led her to be the first player to ever score a goal directly from a corner at the Olympics.
The year before that, at the 2011 FIFA Women’s Club Cup, she scored an equalizer goal at the game’s 122nd minute. The last-minute goal, which eventually led to a win for the Americans, was awarded ESPN’s 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year. Internationally, Rapinoe is known for her activism and crafty style of play. Megan is an advocate for the LGBT community and had a business investment in putting up a gender-neutral lifestyle brand.
NASTIA LIUKIN (GYMNASTICS)
Nastia Liukin is an artistic gymnast who rose to prominence after winning the 2008 Olympic all-around championship. She holds the record of being a five-time Olympic medalist for gymnastics. Liukin is also the 2005 world champion on the uneven bars. She also became the world champion on the balance beam within the same year and again in 2007. Nastia enrolled at Southern Methodist University with hopes of earning a degree in international business but withdrew from school in 2008 to pursue gymnastics. In 2012, she retired from the sport.
In her entire career, she represented the United States at one Olympic Game and three World Championships.
She was also a key member of the country’s senior team. After her 2008 Olympics performance, she may have thought of taking a break for a while but decided she isn’t done with gymnastics yet. In 2011, she announced her comeback for the next 2012 Olympics. However, even after qualifying for several trials, she failed to make it through the finals without falling. Anyhow, after her athletics career, it seems like she’s heading straight to acting and entertainment.
ANASTASIA ASHLEY (SURFING)
Born in San Clemente, California, Anastasia Ashley started to surf at a young age of five before her family hired a moving company to Hawaii. As a young surfer, she started competing a year later, where she won her first-ever surfing contest. Anastasia then got her first major national title at the age of sixteen. With her winning streak and her growing name in the world of surfing, she was named the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year in 2003 and cash-in the 2010 Pipeline Women’s Pro.
Anastasia is a vegetarian and was included in PETA’s vegetarian ad campaign in 2006. Outside surfing, it seems like she’s also earning big as a model. In 2014, she was featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, cementing her as sports eye-candy to many. In the same year, she jumpstarted her accessories line, collaborating with OK1984, and came up with the brand name Gypsy Jet Set.
GINA CARANO (MMA)
Gina Carano is a former mixed martial artist who later became a T.V. personality and fitness model. She was fascinated with Muay Thai before competing for MMA. Carano was hailed the “face of women’s MMA” and ranked 5th on the list of the “Top 10 Influential Women” of 2008. Her competitive record includes seven wins, one loss which can be described as an achievement of its own. As an MMA, she was featured in ESPN The Magazine and Maxim.
Because of her growing list of features in magazines, she gained much popularity as a woman in the field. After getting enough money, probably thanks to the smart investments she did in the past, she retired from the sport and shifts career as an actress and television personality. Outside the ring, Carano appeared in American Gladiators as Crush. She also debuted her film acting career in the 2009 film Blood and Bone and followed by Haywire, Fast and Furious 6 and Deadpool.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD (TENNIS)
The Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard was born to Michel Bouchard, an investment banker, and Julie Leclair. At a young age of five, she already started her journey towards a great tennis career and just after a few years, already made her way as one of the members of Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre. In 2012, she won the Wimbledon girls’ title, and a year later, she was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
In 2014, she made huge headlines by setting up an excellent performance in the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, finishing second in the tournament and received the WTA Most Improved Player award. Bouchard reached career-high ranking No.5, making her the first Canadian tennis player in the top 5 singles ranks. She was even dubbed as the “chosen one” by her family because of this remarkable feat. Her favorite tennis player is Roger Federer, whom she already met in 2012, which was easily a highlight of her life.
MARIA SHARAPOVA (TENNIS)
Maria Sharapova is one of the most beautiful faces we’ve seen in the world of sports. Maria is an Olympic medalist, having earned a silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics. As a professional tennis player, Sharapova gained international fame because of her tennis prowess and her matching pleasant personality, especially her dedication towards charity works. She established the Maria Sharapova Foundation, which is committed to helping children around the world achieve their dreams.
An autobiography entitled Unstoppable: My Life So Far was written with her name credit. Despite playing tennis under the banner of Russia, Sharapova lived in the United States since 1994. From 2001 through 2020, she has contended in every WTA tour competition and ranked No. 1 in the world in the women’s match on five separate occasions. Out of ten women who held a career in Grand Slam, she is the only Russian.
BARBARA BLANK (WRESTLING)
Barbara Blank is a woman of many talents. She is a respected actress, a model, and a T.V. personality. However, her claim to fame was her professional wrestling career under the ring name Kelly Kelly. She began her wrestling career in 2006 when she signed into a contract with WWE after training in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Barbara was named as the winner of the WWE Divas Championship in 2011 but left the organization in 2012. Since then, she only appeared there occasionally.
She later pursued an acting career and starred in the reality television show, WAGS, so she can live free from any kind of loan. Since Blank has a background in gymnastics and cheerleading, she worked as a Venus Swimwear and Hawaiian Tropic model. Despite leaving the sport in 2012, she still made it to Raw Reunion in 2019 and pinned Gerald Brisco, making her the first woman wrestler to win the title.
URSZULA RADWANSKA (TENNIS)
Urszula Radwanska is a Polish professional tennis player. She is the younger sister of Agnieszka Radwańska, who is also a former tennis pro. As a junior player, she won the 2007 Wimbledon girls’ singles title and topped it, ranking No. 1 in the world. Urszula became known when she won one doubles title on the WTA Tour. She then reached her career-high singles ranking of No. 29 in October 2012. She enjoyed massive success in her career.
Unfortunately, in 2016, she had an ankle injury, forcing her to pull out from the Australian Open in a match against Anastacia Pavlyuchenkova. Though she tried again in the ITF Circuit in the same year, she was defeated by Dominika Cibulkova when she reached the quarterfinal at the Stockton Challenger tournament. She finally ended her season ranking No. 524. Urszula also made a business investment in the U.R. brand of luxury handbags.
BECKY LYNCH (WRESTLING)
Who would’ve thought that this gorgeous lady right here can throw a punch? Well, she actually can! This woman is a professional wrestler who was born as Rebecca Quin but goes by her ring name Becky Lynch. Becky currently holds the WWE Raw Women’s Championship for more than a year. We all need to give her credit as the active longest championship streak for a women’s title. She started in the field in 2002 in Ireland, and initially teamed with her brother.
She rose to fame and eventually widened her passion for the sport in North America and into the rest of Europe. She was supposed to perform on the Raw brand this year but has been on maternity leave since May 2020. Outside WWE, she also competes in the independent circuit for various promotions. She competed in the Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, and also, in June 2005, she became the inaugural SuperGirls Champion.
MIESHA TATE (MMA)
American mixed martial artist Miesha Tate is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Miesha joined amateur wrestling while attending Franklin Pierce High School and was later fascinated with Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She started her MMA career in 2007 at the one-night HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix. After fighting and winning small events, she joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2013. All of her investments and hard work paid off when she got the Female Fighter of the Year by World MMA Awards in 2011.
Her professional record breakdown as of writing is 18 wins and seven losses. Outside MMA, she also models in numerous publications and blogs, including sports magazines such as ESPN The Magazine and Fitness Gurls. She also pursued an acting career and featured in the film Fight Valley. Of course, for her main craft, she was noted for her fighting style and the key reason why there should also be a women’s division in the UFC.
LAILA ALI (BOXING)
Being a direct blood relative of the legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali is no easy feat. However, Laila Ali made it look so easy and ended up creating a legend herself at the same boxing ring as her father. She is the eighth child of her father’s nine children, and prior to her retirement from the sport in 2007, her boxing record includes 24 wins and no loss. She also holds numerous boxing titles, including WIBA, IWBF, WBC, and IBA female super middleweight title.
Laila earned her business degree at California’s Santa Monica College and, soon after, established her own nail salon before she entered boxing. Her career in the sport started only when she was 18 years old after watching Christy Martin on a match. Finally, in an interview with Diane Sawyer in Good Morning America, she publicly announced her plan to join the sport. Her professional boxing career spanned from the year 1999 through 2007.
SILJE NORENDAL (SNOWBOARDING)
This beauty is no other than the Norwegian snowboarder, Silje Norendal. Silje competes in different snowboard disciplines such as slopestyle, boardercross, and halfpipe. She is under the Norwegian sports club, Kongsberg Idrettforening. In 2013, she won gold in the women’s slopestyle in Winter X Games Europe in Tignes. In 2014 and 2015, she won the women’s slopestyle in Winter X Games held in Aspen, Colorado. Silje held the fourth place in the slopestyle semifinals of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
Silje also competes in Big Air, which means that she also competes in the video game for the sport. She is now engaged to hockey player, Alexander Bonsaksen since 2018, and we wish them a lifetime of love. We bet they will get that precisely since both of them have excellent money management skills. Looking like a fashion model in this photo, we hope she also considers this career path!
ALY RAISMAN (GYMNASTICS)
Aly Raisman is a two-time Olympian gymnast and considered to be one of the most successful athletes in the field of gymnastics. Her mother, who also happened to be a former gymnast, might be the sole influencer for Aly to pursue a career in the sport. The Magnificent Seven also moved her and to become one of the best in the world and served as her inspiration. She’s also part of the group that filed a case, along with their lawyers, that brought to justice about the abuse that happened in the USA Gymnastics team.
Aside from that, Aly became the team captain for the two consecutive years in women’s Olympic gymnastics team and manage to bring home the bacon. She might have spent the majority of her life in training but certainly all of those hard ships were worth it and is one of the reasons why she is the most well-known teenager athlete in the sports industry.
CAMILA GIORGI (TENNIS)
The Italian-born Camila Giorgi does not only made an impact on the carpet, but she rocks the world of tennis as well. Camila first showed interest in artistic gymnastics, but since she assisted in her brother’s tennis training, she also learned to love the sport. She was first trained by her father and was later discovered by tennis coach, Nick Bollettieri, who offered her seven months of training. Camila competed for her first International Tennis Federation title in 2009.
Her remarkable wins include the 2013 U.S. Open, 2014 Aegon International, and 2014 BNP Paribas Open. The earnings she got might be more than enough to get her nowhere near the bankruptcy limit for the next couple of years. But today, Camila Giorgi is preparing herself for future competitions that she will soon participate in. At 29 years old, it’s undeniable that she is unstoppable and could attend more tournaments in the years to come.
RONDA ROUSEY (MMA)
Ronda Rousey is the first American woman to win a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics. A huge credit for her talent and passion, she went on to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. Rousey joined UFC and became the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and still holds the record for most UFC title defenses by a woman. She is the first female mixed martial artist to be instated into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Aside from the sport, she was also offered acting credits and has appeared in the top-grossing films Furious 7 and The Expendables 3. Ronda Rousey is beauty and grit in one! Indisputably, she also has a future in pursuing the acting industry if ever she gets tired in sports. Ronda is not just physically strong but is extremely talented as well.
LINDSEY VONN (SKIING)
Lindsey Vonn made a name for herself as a former World Cup alpine ski racer. She’s also a famed member of the U.S. national team. Throughout her career, she managed to grab four World Cup overall championships. That makes her one of two elite female athletes that grab the prestigious accolade. From then on, she showed a higher level of competitiveness and continues to rack up medals along the way. Last August, the world congratulated her for the news of her engagement with P.K. Subban.
There is still no news whether she would want to continue her journey or decide to take a rest in engaging in any competition. But regardless which career path she would choose, we are sure they will live happily together and won’t face any issue paying the mortgage in the future. However, we genuinely hope that she would continue because losing her in the skiing sports is a big loss.
SIMONE BILES (GYMNASTICS)
American artistic gymnast Simone Biles is a member of the gold-medal-winning team called “Final Five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is a five-time World floor exercise champion, three-time World balance beam champion, and a two-time World vault champion. Overall, Simone Biles acquired a total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals since she decided to walk this path.
Just a few years ago, she made headlines when she forfeited NCAA eligibility and moved towards the professional stage.
In 2018, Simone enrolled at the University of People to pursue a degree in business administration. She also became the university’s brand ambassador. Certainly, at the age of 23, she already managed to have numerous awards and achievements. Therefore, it will be not impossible for her to try new things. Whether she wants to pursue the business world, entertainment, or continue to be a professional gymnast, with her skills and determination, she would surely succeed.
CARMEN JORDA (RACING)
She may be the daughter of motor racing driver Jose Miguel Jorda, but Carmen Jorda also excels in the field just like her father, who introduced her to the sport at a young age. Born in Spain, she started kart racing as a child then proceeded to compete for the Master Junior Formula as a teenager. She later tried her luck in the Spanish Formula 3 as an adult. Carmen is also credited as the eleventh woman in history to be part of the Formula 1 team as the development driver for the Lotus and Renault Sport teams.
She might not have won any international awards yet, but her presence and all her experiences alone are worth more than any golds or trophies. Eventually, when the perfect time comes, her success will even expand further. Today at 32 years old, there is still no update about her future tournaments, but we hope that we see her again next year, when everything goes back to normal.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (TENNIS)
Here’s a photo of the gorgeous Caroline Wozniacki – she looks like a supermodel, right? Well, Caroline is a professional tennis player who has earned a total of 30 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles titles. After a few years since starting her professional career, she finished on top of the rankings in 2010 and 2011. In fact, she was hailed the first woman from the Scandinavian peninsula to hold the top-ranking position in the world of tennis. She gives credit for her success in her tennis career to her husband, the former NBA Champion, David Lee.
Caroline won her first Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the same year, but she was still able to play through the 2018 U.S. Open. Based on her past records and enormous achievements, her future is already prepared. It is safe to assume that Caroline managed to invest some of her money so that she would live a comfortable life, even after retirement.
Danica Patrick (racing)
Danica Patrick started kart racing as a child then slowly moved toward more proper race cars. Since then, her parents knew that she has the potential to be a great racer so they did the best that they could to give her the support that she needs. They supported her all the way. Her father was her crew chief, and her mother kept statistics on her sport. Danica was dubbed as the most successful woman in the world of American open-wheel racing.
It was her win in the 2008 Indy Japan300, however, that garnered her as the only woman winning in an IndyCar Series race. She is also the first to clinch a pole position in the NASCAR Cup Series. Aside from her accomplishments in racing, Danica also has business investments in putting up her brand of wine called Somnium. Her parents must be proud of her achievements over the years.
ANNA KOURNIKOVA (TENNIS)
Anna Kournikova is a worldwide icon known for her athletic prowess in the sport of tennis. She rose to prominence for her skills in playing doubles with Martina Hingis as her partner. The athlete also won the Grand Slam titles in Australia (1999 and 2002). Anna retired from the sport at age 21 due to a medical condition involving her spine. Good thing, her insurance policy got her back, and she managed to recover from her situation after just a few short breaks.
Her fame continued as she dated and married the famous singer, Enrique Iglesias. It was even reported that the couple put up a real estate investment worth $20 million on a private island in Miami, where she and her two kids can enjoy all the time in the world filled with luxury and style. Although there are no recent updates as to whether she would continue to play tennis, we certainly hope to see her on the court once again.
HOLLY HOLM (MIXED MARTIAL ARTS)
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holly Holm grew up playing various sports, such as soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and diving. Her path to boxing and kickboxing began when she attended aerobics classes at age 16. Mike Winkeljohn, her cardio-kickboxing instructor, saw her potential as a fighter and trained her. From there, she began joining amateur competitions and started a professional career in the 2000s.
Her vibrant career led to the title of UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She was also named the best female professional boxer of all time by BoxRec. As of this writing, she landed the number 2 spot in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings. All her hard work and investments are definitely worth celebrating, which is why the mixed martial artist does not hesitate to attend special events. For instance, she got all dressed up on the red carpet for the ESPYs Giant Event.
YANA KUDRYAVTSEVA (GYMNASTICS)
Olympic silver medalist Yana Kudryavtseva was born to Aleksey Kudryavtsev, an elite swimmer who won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. The saying “like father, like daughter” may prove true to them, but the younger Kudryavtseva made a name for herself in the realm of gymnastics. She credits her father for introducing her to the sport and supporting her the entire time.
Kudryavtseva currently holds the record as the youngest rhythmic gymnast winner of the World Championships at age 15. She also became the youngest to garner three World All-around titles at age 17. Unfortunately, she retired in 2017 at age 20 because of the multiple leg injuries she sustained during the 2016 World Cup. The gymnast has achieved so much at a young age, including the prestigious Longines Prize for Elegance at the 33rd Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in 2014.
ANNÍE MIST ÞÓRISDÓTTIR (CROSSFIT)
Maybe some of you haven’t heard of CrossFit yet, but it’s a fitness regimen founded by Greg Glassman in 2000. It’s now a competitive fitness sport that incorporates weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, high-intensity interval training, and other exercises. Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir is one of the few CrossFit athletes who rose to fame after being the first woman to win the CrossFit Games twice in 2011 and 2012. In 2018, she made waves after winning the CrossFit Open Workout 18.5.
To give you a glimpse of the superwoman’s daily regimen, she reportedly trains six days a week and four hours per day. Before joining the world of CrossFit, she also trained as a gymnast for eight years and a pole vaulter and ballet dancer for two years each. Here’s a piece of news, though: she aspires to earn a degree in the medical field.
GABRIELA SOUKALOVÁ (BIATHLON: SKIING AND RIFLE SHOOTING)
Before embarking on a television career, Gabriela Soukalová was known for being an accomplished biathlete. Biathlon is a winter sport that combines rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. The sport originated from Scandinavia’s skiing traditions and is now performed in other countries, such as Germany, Croatia, and Ukraine. Soukalová debuted her biathlon career in 2005 and became a member of the national team two years later.
Among her achievements are two Olympic silver medals at the Sochi Games in 2014 and overall champion at 2015/2016 World Cup season. In 2017, she was hailed the first biathlete to become the Czech Sportsperson of the Year. Sadly, she retired from the sport in 2019 due to a leg injury, and we think that a sports insurance company probably covered her medical expenses. Today, Soukalová works as a television presenter for the Czech channel TV Prima.
JULIANA SILVA (BEACH VOLLEYBALL)
Brazilian Juliana Silva is a female beach volleyball player who collected a handful of achievements and a good credit score in her field. She garnered the silver medal at the 2005 and 2009 Beach Volleyball World Championships held in Berlin, Germany, and Stavanger, Norway. She is notable for partnering with fellow Brazilian Larissa França. Together, they won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Silva actually started playing the sport by accident when she saw it as a way to avoid attending her physical education classes. Thanks to that incident, she is now a world champion. She immediately became part of a championship team in the very first event she played. After her indoor sucess, she chose the field of beach volleyball and honed her skills. She later revealed, “I feel as free as a bird on the beach.”
KIRA WALKENHORST (BEACH VOLLEYBALL)
Hailing from a family of volleyball players, Kira Walkenhorst opted to follow her older brother’s footsteps in beach volleyball. Aside from being Alexander Walkenhorst’s little sister, she is also the older sister of Pia Walkenhorst, another beach volleyball player. She began playing indoor volleyball at age five and then transitioned to beach volleyball in 2005. Among the 30-year-old athlete’s accomplishments are the World Tour Top Rookie and FIVB Most Improved Player titles. Her career took off after she won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics with her teammate Laura Ludwig.
Several years later, she decided to retire from competition due to persistent injuries. Since then, she has focused on her married life and welcomed her triplets. Despite having plenty of time with her growing family, she admitted that she has some gas left in her tank and won’t stay too far away from the sport in the future.
MESERET DEFAR (RUNNING)
Since launching her career in 2003, Meseret Defar has achieved greater heights in the world of long-distance running. She primarily competes in the 3000 meters and 5000 meters running events and holds the title of being the only female athlete to bag two Olympic gold medals in the 5000-meter category. The Ethiopian athlete shared on one occasion that running has always been her dream since she was young. She has become a huge star in her homeland and has inspired new generations of runners. “We run to win,” she added.
In 2014, she took a hiatus from competition in order to start a family. She also said she would return by 2015, although she did not compete in the World Championships in Beijing. Her investments in the sport also led her to be presented with the Inspirational Woman Award by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS).
SVETLANA ROMASHINA (SWIMMING)
Russian competitor Svetlana Romashina is best known for her work in synchronized swimming. She is a 21-time world champion and a five-time Olympic champion. She began learning synchronized swimming when she was six years old. At the time, synchronized swimming wasn’t popular in her country, but her coach helped her try the sport anyway. When she was 10 years old, she had to make a choice between her two passions: ballet dancing and swimming. Romashina chose the latter, and the rest is history.
In an interview with the Olympic Channel, the athlete said, “I think that I have a strong character, and I will do anything to win. I love ‘synchro.’ It’s my life.” The swimmer also added that her investment planning includes retirement from the sport after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, although there’s still a possibility that she might return in the future.
ANGELIQUE KERBER (TENNIS)
German professional tennis player Angelique Kerber began playing the sport at three years old with her left hand, despite being right-handed in most activities. While growing up, she drew inspiration from her tennis idol, Steffi Graf. Kerber now runs her own tennis academy, but she also enjoys different sports, including soccer, handball, and swimming. Her career highlights include winning three Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
According to Kerber, her favorite competition is Indian Wells, while her favorite Grand Slam is the Australian Open. Outside the sport, she has also served as an ambassador for children’s charity UNICEF. She was ranked by Forbes as the world’s second-highest-paid female athlete in 2017 due to her portfolio of endorsements. She has endorsed her shoe and clothing sponsor Adidas, her racquet sponsor Yonex, and the insurance group Generali.
MARIA SHARAPOVA (TENNIS)
Maria Sharapova is a former tennis player who played with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Throughout her career, she ranked number one in the world five different times for a total of 21 weeks. She is also an Olympic medalist and is the only Russian who holds the career Grand Slam. Sharapova has been celebrated for her longevity during her illustrious tennis career.
In addition, she has done modeling gigs and appeared in many advertisements for brands such as Prince, Nike, and Canon. Since turning professional in 2001, Forbes named her the world’s highest-paid female athlete for eleven consecutive years due to her net worth of over $200 million. On February 26, 2020, the tennis player announced her retirement from the sport after playing her 800th match. Since then, she has focused on her other investments, including a program that mentors women entrepreneurs.
GEORGETA DAMIAN (ROWING)
Georgeta Damian is a Romanian rower who amassed five Olympic gold medals throughout her career. With Viorica Susanu, she also won the World Championships in the pairs category in 2001 and 2002. Damian is a member of the Romanian eight that bagged successive World Championship titles in 1997, 1998, and 1999. As part of the octet, she took the bronze in Beijing 2008 behind the Netherlands and the USA.
In 2006, she married fellow rower Valeriu Andruanche. She decided to lay down her oars after competing in Beijing 2008 and took the time to have a second child. She eventually came back ahead of London 2012, where she increased her credit score by winning gold in the coxless pairs with Susanu. Today, she is one of only three rowers to have garnered five Olympic gold medals, the other two being Elisabeta Oleniuc-Lipă and Steven Redgrave.
KIM GEVAERT (SPRINTING)
Former sprint athlete Kim Gevaert was an Olympic champion during her prime. She became the first woman to win the sprint double since the mid-’90s and was the first Belgian gold medalist at the European Championships in 35 years. Gevaert holds five European titles, three indoors and two outdoors. One of her brothers, Marlon, also competed in sprint at the national level before becoming a national sprint coach.
On her 30th birthday, she announced that she would retire from the sport. Gevaert ended her career running and winning the 100 meters at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium, on September 5, 2008. “I want children, and at my age, I’d better not wait too long with it,” said the athlete. In 2010, she married her long-time partner, fellow athlete Djeke Mambo. They now have three kids together, who probably won’t have to worry about student loans when they reach college.
LIDIJA SKOBLIKOWA (SKATING)
Retired Russian speed skater Lidija Skoblikowa represented the USSR team during the Olympic Winter Games in the ’60s. The team garnered a total of six gold medals, which is a still record number for a speed skater. Skoblikowa also bagged 15 gold medals at the USSR National Championships and 25 gold medals at the world championships. She was hailed the most successful athlete at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics, sharing the honor with her compatriot Yevgeny Grishin. During her career, Skoblikowa won 15 national titles in different distances, but never the all-around championships.
After she retired in 1969, she moved to Moscow and worked as a speed skating coach. In the following decade, she earned a degree in pedagogy and a Ph.D. in history. Skoblikowa briefly worked as a professor before returning to the world of skating and becoming the head coach of the Russian team.
MARIT BJØRGEN (SKIING)
Marit Bjørgen is a Norwegian cross-country skier who has been named the greatest female athlete in the sport. She is also the most-decorated Winter Olympian in history— her winning record of 15 medals includes eight golds. A five-time Olympian, Bjørgen has won 114 individual victories, making her number one in the all-time Cross-Country World Cup rankings.
Growing up in Norway, she learned to ski as a child, competing for the first time at seven years old. She debuted in World Cup in 1999 and won her first race in 2002. From there, she captured championships in various competitions held in Italy, Sweden, and Finland, among others. She joined the ranks of Stefania Belmondo and Raisa Smetanina as the most-decorated female Olympians in history. In 2018, the flooring athlete announced her retirement from cross–country skiing, but changed her mind when she returned to competition in 2020.
MINNA KAUPPI (ORIENTEERING)
We’re not sure about you, but it’s the first time we’ve heard of foot orienteering. To those who are unfamiliar with the sport like us, orienteering combines navigational skills and speed. The participants either use a map or compass to navigate from one point to another while moving or running at speed. Anyway, one of the renowned foot orienteers is Minna Kauppi.
Kauppi is a Finnish athlete who anchored her team, Asikkalan Raikas, to victory in the 2007 women’s relay called the Venla Relay. She won nine gold medals from the World Orienteering Championships (WOC), twelve gold medals from the World Cup, and two gold medals from the European Orienteering Championships. Kauppi garnered WOC gold medals each year from 2006 to 2012, except for 2009. Despite the loss, she still gained a degree of respect and notability in the world of foot orienteering.
TINA MAZE (SKI RACING)
Born on May 2, 1983, Tina Maze was awarded the title of Slovenian Sportswoman of the year several times. She is known as the most successful Slovenian ski racer. At the young age of 15, she made her World Cup debut in Slovenia. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Slovenian won the first gold medal for her country and won her second gold while competing in the giant slalom.
When Maze was just starting in her career, she was a giant slalom specialist but later learned all five alpine skiing types. There are only seven female racers in the world who have gotten World Cup credits and she is one of them. She was the world champion in 2015 in the giant slalom and downhill categories. Meanwhile, in 2013, she was the world champion in super-G, and was again the world champion in giant slalom in 2011.
ASTRID KUMBERNUSS (ATHLETICS)
Astrid Kumbernuss is a German shot putter and discus thrower who was active in the sport from 1986 up to 2004. Hailing from East Germany, she was a big name in the sports industry for her excellent track record. She made her home country proud after bagging 11 gold medals throughout her 16-year career.
She started her athletic career at the SC Neubrandenburg Sports Club in Germany. From then on, she gave the needed investment to become a great athlete. Everything paid off because she eventually became one of the most revered Olympians of her time. She received gold medals during the 1999, 1997 and 1995 World Championships for Athletics. In 1996, she also got a gold during the summer Olympics hailed in Atlanta and was recognized as the Athlete of the Year in 1997. She retired from her sports career in 2005.
CLAUDIA PECHSTEIN (SPEED SKATING)
Speed skating is another sport in the Olympics that is mainly dominated by men. One female athlete may inspire you though. Claudia Pechstein hails from Germany and is a champion speed skater. She was born on February 22, 1972 and trained to be a world-class athlete from the moment she learned how to skate. She turned pro at the age of 16.
Throughout her skating career, she has won a total of nine Olympic medals. We all know that’s a tough thing to have! She has five gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. All these credits effectively made her the best skater of all time – men and women included. However, she went through some controversy in 2009 and stayed away from professional competitions for two years. When she finally made her return, she bagged a bronze medal.
DAFNE SCHIPPERS (TRACK AND FIELD)
Bringing pride to your country really makes a difference. Everyone loves you to a certain degree and are very supportive of you in all your endeavors. That’s why the Dutch dedicated an entire bridge to athlete Dafne Schippers. The Dafne Schippersburg or the Dafne Schippers Bridge was opened in 2017 and is located in Utrecht, her hometown.
Schippers was born in June 15, 1992 and is a star in the sport track and field. Her events in the past have mostly been sprints but she has also done heptathlons. She was declared the World Champion in her field in 2015 and in 2017. She also got a silver medal during the Summer Olympics in 2016 for running 200 meters. She is ranked third in the list of the fastest women in history, holding the European record of 21.63 seconds for running 200 meters. Schippers is also one of the holders of the fastest 4x100meters relay.
JENNY THOMPSON (SWIMMING)
Jennifer Beth Thompson, or more widely known as Jenny Thompson, is an American swimmer born on February 26, 1973. She has made herself a part of history as she is one of the Olympians with the most medals so far. She has twelve in total, with eight of them being gold medals. She won these in 2004, 2000, 1996 and 1992.
Thompson was born in Massachusetts, and grew up in Dover, New Hampshire. Her swimming journey started at the age of 7 when she joined Cedardale Country Club in Groveland. When she turned 12, she was already competing and training with the Seacoast Swimming Association. She was only 14 years old when her investments in the sport started to pay off. She started competing internationally in 1987, and her promising wins during that event led to her first World Championship win in 1991.
KELLY CLARK (SNOWBOARDING)
Snowboarder Kelly Clark was born on July 26, 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was exposed to the sport early by her parents. Even back then, they were already thinking of a good investment planning strategy for her future. She started snowboarding at the age of 7 and started competing in 1999. She was invited to become a part of the snowboard team of the United States the following year.
She won first place in several events including the 2010 Winter X Games, the 2009 Winter Dew Tour, the 2009 Chevy Grand Pix, the 2007 New Zealand Open, the 2006, US Grand Prix, the 2006 Burton New Zealand Open, and the 2005 FIS World Cup. After her long and fruitful career, she made a big announcement during the Winter X Games and said she was retiring at the age of 35.
LUDMILLA TOURISCHEVA (GYMNASTICS)
Olympian Ludmilla Ivanovna Tourischeva is a decorated gymnast who, soon after her retirement, became a gymnastics coach herself. She won a total of nine Olympic medals for the Soviet Union. The Russian athlete started training when she was 13 years old. After two years, she was already competing for her country. In 1968, she competed in her first Olympics and won a gold medal.
Tourischeva led the team to several victories. She was winning left and right between 1970 and 1974. She got gold medals in the 1971 and 1973 European Championships, the 1970 and the 1974 World Championships, and the 1975 World Cup. The degree of calmness, elegance, and grace that she exuded during her whole athletic journey had become her trademark. The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee also held the record for being the only woman to win four gold medals at a single World Championships competition until American gymnast Simone Biles joined her.
MARIANNE VOS (CYCLING)
Hailed as the greatest cyclist of her time, Marianne Vos was born on May 13, 1987. She is a Dutch athlete who specializes in the different disciplines of cycling. Presently, she is affiliated with the UCI Women’s Continental Team Team Jumbo-Visma. The cyclist really showed the electricity flowing in her sport when she not only won the World Championships in cyclo-cross racing but also in road racing by the time she turned 19 years old.
In fact, in her whole career so far, she has won the World Road Race Championships three times in 2006, in 2012, and in 2013. On top of this, she has also won the World Cyclo-cross Championships seven times between 2006 and 2014. Her other noteworthy wins were the Summer Olympics in 2008 and in 2012, where she got a gold medal in both events.
MIKAELA SHIFFRIN (ALPINE SKIING)
American Olympian Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin is known as a great alpine skier and has won two Olympic gold medals so far in her athletic career. She takes credit for being the youngest slalom athlete in Olympic alpine skiing history to have won the championship at 18 years old. On top of these highlights, she also won the overall World Cup three times.
Only five Americans in history have ever won the overall World Cup title and she is one of them. In the World Championships, she has won a total of 11 medals all in all. Six of these medals are gold wins. She is also very skilled in all the disciplines in skiing as she is the only athlete ever among both men and women to have won in all six of them in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
JENNIE FINCH (SOFTBALL)
Born in La Mirada, California, Jennie Lynn Finch started playing softball as a child when she was in kindergarten. She grew up playing various sports in high school, including basketball, softball, and volleyball. She ultimately chose softball, which freed her from worrying about student loans as it got her a full ride to college. She represented the University of Arizona and winning the Honda Sports Award twice. Finch was also named an All-American pitcher three times. She went on to bag the gold at the 2004 Olympics and lead the US Softball team to two victories. Time magazine hailed Finch as the most popular softball player in history.
Since the Olympic committee removed softball from the Olympic sports, she also retired from the sport. Finch currently works as a commentator and has other ventures, including co-authoring a book of life lessons with Ann Killion. She also competed in season 26 of Dancing with the Stars.
REBECCA ADLINGTON (SWIMMING)
British swimmer Rebecca Adlington was born on February 17, 1989 and is the first British swimmer to have won two gold medals in the Olympics since 1908. She also gets credit for being the first British champion in the Olympics since 1988. Adlington’s specialty is freestyle in her international meets. In fact, she won the 400-meter freestyle and the 800-meter freestyle events in the Summer Olympics in 2008. By doing this, she broke the record of Janet Evans in the 800-meter event. She got more medals, though no longer gold thereafter.
She got bronze medals at the same events during the Summer Olympics in 2012. She retired from swimming in 2013 and started working as a swimming pundit in BBC TV. She was only 23 years old back then, but she already knew what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.
ANNA FENNINGER (ALPINE SKIING)
Anna Fenninger was born on June 18, 1989 in Hallein, Salzburg in Austria. She started competing in the global scene in 2006 when she was just 17 years old. She was already in the World Cup at such a young age. An alpine ski racer, Fenninger was the overall World Cup champion in 2015 and 2014. She was also a gold medalist in the Olympics.
Training in five out of six alpine disciplines, Fenninger did not compete in slalom. The first time she won was in the Winter Olympics in 2014 held in Sochi, Russia in the super-G event. Her first huge breakthrough was when she got a gold in the super combined event in 2011. She achieved this much without winning in the World Cup before. At this rate, she was definitely earning enough as an athlete to pay for whatever she wanted without needing any personal loans.
PAIGE SPIRANAC (GOLF)
Paige Spiranac is an American retired professional golfer turned social media personality, all thanks to her incredible beauty and impressive athletic skills. She first played professionally in 2015, and the following year, she joined the developmental Cactus Tour, winning at Scottsdale’s Orange Tree Country Club. That same year, she decided to retire from the sport after only playing for a short period of time.
Spiranac, however, became even more famous after posting trick-shot videos on her Instagram, garnering more than 2 million followers now. Since 2018, she receives writing credits for a monthly column in Golf Magazine. She was featured in other notable publications as well, including Golf Digest and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. In February 2020, the 27-year-old started a podcast titled Playing-A-Round with fellow pro golfer Paige Renee. Since 2018, Spiranac has been married to baseball player Steven Tinoco.
KARI TRAA (SKIING)
Norwegian freestyle skier Kari Traa was born on January 28, 1974, in Voss, Norway. She won the title in the Winter Olympics 2002 moguls event and was the second placer in the 2006 games. She was also the third placer in the 1998 games. She was a World Champion four times in the moguls and the parallel moguls’ event in 2001 and 2003. Likewise, she earned three silver medals in the same games in 1999 and 2005. As a total, she has 37 wins in the World Cup.
Certainly, she is covered by the best insurance companies as her health and fitness play a vital part in her performance in the games and her life and career. Other than sports, she also ventured into modeling and launcher her career in a 2001 issue of Ultrasport. Nowadays, the Norwegian skier busies herself with her self-named brand in Europe.
KRISTIN OTTO (SWIMMING)
Kristin Otto is a German swimmer born on February 7, 1966, in Leipzig, East Germany. She is known to be skilled in swimming strokes like the butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke. She takes credit for being the first lady to have ever won a total of six gold medals in one Olympics Games. She got her wins during the Seoul Olympics in 1988. She is the world titleholder of the 100-meter and the 200-meter freestyle events. At the same time, Otto became known for being the fastest swimmer of the backstroke – finishing 100 meters in less than a minute.
Otto started swimming at 11 years old and joined her first global competition at 16 in the World Aquatics Championships in 1982. The swimmer then went on to win a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke on her first world meet and two more golds for relays with her team. In 1984, she was recognized as the Female World Swimmer of the Year by the Swimming World Magazine. She got the same title in 1986 and 1988.
LISA NORDEN (TRIATHLON)
The Swedish triathlete is among the most decorated in her field. As an Olympian, she has won multiple medals over the years. Norden is also the winner of the 2012 Triathlon Series. Of course, getting to this degree of success takes a lot of work, and the athlete never takes her training lightly. When she’s not doing triathlons, she also participates in domestic competitions such as the Swedish National Cycling Time Trial Championships and the Swedish National Road Cycling Championships. She has won both in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Currently, the athlete resides in Stockholm and is also the representative for the Terrible Tuesdays Triathlon Club. She maintains a training base in Stockholm, though she stayed in Canberra, Australia, prior to moving back home in 2012. At only 36 years old, she certainly has plenty more years of competing before retirement.
MARIA MUTOLA (TRACK AND FIELD)
She may be retired now, but insiders and fans still regard this former track and field athlete as the greatest female runners of all time. While she did not break any records, she had always been consistent and produced good results during major championships. She was able to compete at the highest level for two decades before retiring in 2008. It’s also worth noting that Mutola also holds an extraordinary distinction. She is the only athlete to have won the World Indoor, World, Continental Games, Commonwealth Games, Olympic, and Continental Championships titles in the same event.
She may have made sacrifices along the way, but her investments into her chosen field have all paid off. Mutola knows how to give back, however. Besides advocating for youth athletes, she also coached Caster Semenya, a South African runner who took home silver during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
MARJA-LIISA KIRVESNIEMI (CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING)
During the 80s, Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi was one of the most famous figures in Cross-Country Skiing. During the 1984 Olympics, held in Sarajevo, she was able to win all of the individual events. She also took home the bronze medal for her home country of Finland during the relay competition. That then made her one of the most successful athletes to have competed that year and further boosted her sports reputation.
After she got married, Kirvesniemi continued her sporting career. In fact, together with her husband, they won the Holmenkollen medal in 1989. They were the third married pair that received this honor. Not to mention the fact that they are the only husband-and-wife pair to have competed in six Olympics during their career! We’re sure these two will never need loans, considering the fame and fortune they have received over the years.
STEPHANIE GILMORE (SURFING)
Surfing might seem like an easy sport to outsiders, but those who enjoy this activity know that it requires a great degree of athleticism to pull off. At present, Stephanie Gilmore is one of the biggest names in the sport, and with good reason. She is a seven-time world champion who started her career at age 17. Gilmore began surfing at an even younger age. At just ten years old, the Australian-born athlete was already practicing her moves on a bodyboard.
Some years later, she began to enter competitions as a wild card, which proved to be the right career starting point. In 2005, she won the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and, in the following season, continued to win the events she was part of. As a member of the ROXY Surf Team, she is currently at the top of their roster.
ANASTASIA DAVYDOVA (SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING)
The truly impressive thing about synchronized swimmers is how they manage to maintain their composure while doing gymnastics in deep water. This sport requires training and plenty of endurance, so it isn’t too surprising that many consider it one of the most difficult. Among the top athletes in this field is Anastasia Davydova. The Russian synchronized swimmer is a five-time Olympic gold medalist. The mere fact that she has won gold that many times is a testament to her skill and dedication. That isn’t something you can learn through online classes, after all!
During the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in Athens, she won gold medals alongside her duet partner Anastasiya Yermakova. She was also part of the Russian team when they took home gold in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics. Currently, she has retired from the sport and has taken up coaching the new generation instead.
ASTRID BENOHR (ENDURANCE ATHLETE)
If you’ve ever met someone who has questioned the strength of a woman, introduce them to our next athlete. Astrid Benohr is a German athlete who currently holds the women’s world records for the triple, quintuple, and quadruple competitions for Ironman. The endurance athlete has also secured world championships in the double, quintuple, and deca in Ultra-Triathlon. If you’ve ever watched one of these competitions and saw how difficult it could be, then you know the kind of training each of the athletes have to go through just to qualify.
Well, Benohr made her investments in the sport early on. She began running during her twenties to quit smoking. That led to her falling in love with the activity, and by 1987, she was collecting titles left and right. Now that she’s retired, Benohr enjoys a much quieter life with her husband and three kids.
BLANKA VLASIC (TRACK AND FIELD)
Our next athlete is a former track and field star from Croatia. Blanka Vlasic is a double Olympic medalist and a two-time world champion. She also ranked second on the list of highest female jumper of all time. In Croatia, she is the current record holder in the high jump category. Her success as an athlete is with credit to her innate skill. After all, she is the daughter of Josko Vlasic, who is a decathlon record holder.
In 2000, at only sixteen years old, she participated in her first Olympic Games, held in Sydney, Australia. Vlasic would have joined the Athens Olympics but was hindered from doing so as she had been recuperating from surgery. In 2017, she withdrew from the World Championships in London but assured fans she wasn’t retiring yet. However, in February of 2021, Vlasic formally announced her retirement after years of competing.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (TENNIS)
Women have certainly been setting the bar high for other athletes, and Caroline Wozniacki is among those who contributed a lot. She is the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top rank in the Open Era. Wozniacki was also the year-end top scorer for both 2010 and 2011, a position she was able to keep for a total of 71 weeks. That also translated to quite a significant payday, earning her $35 million in investment money.
Back when she was still active, Wozniacki was best known for her defensive abilities and unrivaled footwork. That is why many fans of the sport were saddened after she announced her retirement back in 2020. Her final tournament was the Australian Open. While she lost to Ons Jabeur, there’s no doubt that she is one athlete who will be difficult to forget for both insiders and fellow competitors alike.
EMMA JOHANSSON (CYCLING)
Another retired but admired athlete on our list is champion cyclist Emma Johansson. She had been given the nickname “Silver Emma” by both fans and insiders due to her agility and multiple wins. In 2013, she ended her “second place” streak after getting the gold on the UCI Women’s World Ranking. Aside from competing on the world stage, she has also won the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen a total of three times.
At only 37 years old, the amount of accolades she has won is undoubtedly impressive. Her retirement must have been a blow to the sport she loved so much, but she did it for a good reason. She got married in 2011 and is now happily raising two children. With her net worth, her children can most definitely expect a future free of student loans. Who knows, her kids might even follow in her footsteps one day.
KATRIN WAGNER (CANOE SPRINT)
Katrin Wagner is a German sprint canoer who has been competing in the sport since the late 90s. To those unfamiliar with it, canoe sprint used to be known as “flatwater racing,” a sport that allows athletes to race in their kayaks or canoes on calm water. If you think it sounds easy, then you are mistaken. These athletes have to cover quite a distance within a short amount of time, which adds intensity to the popular sport.
Over the course of her career, Wagner has participated in both canoe and kayak competitions. She has four Olympic titles to her credit, which she won in 2000, 2004, and 2008 respectively. In 2004 when Katrin married Lars Augustin, her teammate, and together they have one daughter. She is currently working as a physician assistant and employed at the German Bundeswehr as a sports soldier.
LARISA LATYNINA (ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS)
Larisa Latynina is a retired artistic gymnast from the Soviet Union. She competed from 1956 to 1964 and managed to bag 14 individual Olympic medals. Together with the Soviet team, they were also able to take home a total of four gold medals throughout their careers. Aside from representing her country on the world stage, she is also the record holder for having the most Olympic gold medals for both male and female gymnasts.
Given her achievements, no wonder her country sees her as a force to be reckoned with. She helped build it from the ground up! Upon her retirement, Latynina moved on to coaching the national gymnastics team. She was at the helm until 1977 and led the team to numerous victories. These days, she enjoys the fruits of her investment planning and lives comfortably in an estate near Semenovskoye.
MAGDALENA NEUNER (BIATHLON)
Many professional athletes often start out at a young age. Biathlete Magdalena Neuner is no different. She began joining biathlons at the age of nine, and from the beginning, she was able to collect junior world championship titles. A total of five, in fact, from the years 2004 to 2006, when she debuted in the World Cup and won her first race in the event a year later. Her achievements were followed by three gold medals from the Biathlon World Championships—her first time joining that event.
Neuner had won the Overall World Cup title three times throughout her career, from 2007 to 2008, 2009 to 2010, and right before she retired in 2011 to 2012. As for throwing in the towel early, Neuner wanted a normal life (one without a mortgage, we assume) and cited that she no longer had the same motivation that she used to.
MARINA LOBATCH (RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS)
She has retired since, but Marina Lobatch remains one of the foremost figures in the Soviet Union when it comes to rhythmic gymnastics. That is with credit to all that she has achieved during her time as an athlete. She was the champion during the 1988 Olympics, which is a feat in itself. Lobatch had also won gold twice during the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, for the years 1987 and 1988, respectively.
She started training at the age of seven and later became one of the leading Soviet gymnasts alongside Dalia Kutkaite, Galina Beloglazova, and Tatiana Druchinina. Her most significant achievement — receiving perfect tens during her routine at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Her performance helped cement her place as one of the greatest gymnasts in history. However, she lives a quiet life in Minsk with her husband and their two daughters at present.
MIA HAMM (SOCCER)
Some might argue that soccer is a man’s sport, but athletes like Mia Hamm prove that to be false. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is hailed by many as a soccer icon and was beloved by fans, as well as insiders, during her time playing for the US women’s national soccer team. She stayed on from 1987 to 2004 and, during that time, led the team to victory in two FIFA Women’s World Cup championships. When she retired from the game, she had one of the best records in the sport, including her 158 international goals.
These days, however, she focuses her investments on her family and supporting different philanthropic causes. The Mia Hamm Foundation helps raise funds for the UNC Health Care and the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. She is also a staunch advocate of empowering women through sports.
MISTY MAY-TREANOR (VOLLEYBALL)
Misty May-Treanor retired from competitive volleyball back in 2012, but the legacy she left still inspires the new generation of athletes. It goes without saying that she has contributed much to the sport and the United States team. Not only is she a three-time Olympic gold medalist, but Treanor is also among the most successful female players in the sports. Her record is 112 individual championship wins for both international and domestic competitions. In 2016, she officially got inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. A recognition that she certainly deserves.
Besides competing, she was also a former coach for the women’s volleyball team at Irvine Valley College back in 2001. At present, she owns Dream in Gold, a beach volleyball club, which also serves as a training ground for a new generation of players. Her endeavors seem like a natural progression, given the degree of passion she has for the sport.
MONICA SELES (TENNIS PLAYER)
Monica Seles is a Hungarian tennis player born in December 1973 in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. After practicing vigorously for years, she became the No. 1 ranked junior tennis player in the country at only 13 years old. Monica continued to gain acclaim in tennis and became the youngest person to win at the French Open at 16 and took over the world’s No. 1 ranking the following year.
Monica won 33 out of the 34 tournaments she entered throughout her career, including six Grand Slam titles. Unfortunately, Monica had to go on a two-year hiatus following a traumatic event when she was 19 years old. She came back but officially retired in 2008. Since retiring, Mica has been teaching tennis and writing books. She has also gotten involved in some philanthropic endeavors, spending her investment money on charitable causes.
SARAH SJOSTROM (SWIMMER)
Sarah Sjostrom is an undeniable prodigy at swimming and has the accolades to back it up. Born in 1993 in Sweden, she is a versatile and exceptionally good swimmer, skilled in butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle. Sarah is a worldwide darling in swimming and has many honors attached to her name, like the Newcomer of the Year at the Sports Gala 2008, the 2009 Year’s Performance at the Sport’s Gala, and Best Female Swimmer in 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2016, she won a gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the Rio Olympics, setting an Olympic and World Record with a time of 55.48.
As you can tell, her career investments have been well worth it. Unlike most athletes who tend to lose spark after Olympic success, Sarah continued her streak by becoming the reigning FINA World Swimmer of the Year in Tokyo 2020. She doesn’t only dive into waters but also fashion. We can see her elegance at the Swedish Sports Awards Gala wearing a sleek and long dress that complements her curves.
DANA VOLLMER (SWIMMER)
Dana Vollmer was born in November 1987 in Syracuse, New York. Her mother, Cathy, was a swimming coach and had greatly influenced her at the sport. Upon starting her swimming career, Dana quickly became an elite swimmer and an expert at the butterfly. She was the youngest swimmer at the 2000 U.S Olympic Trials at just 12 years old and competed and won in the 100m butterfly. A year after that, she became the youngest member of the Goodwill Games team.
However, after undergoing surgery and using her insurance to correct a quickened heart rate in 2003 and getting diagnosed with a serious condition, things began to slow down for Dana. Vollmer’s state ultimately motivated her to become an active ambassador for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Despite Vollmer having excellent swimming skills, she certainly doesn’t disappoint us with her sense of style. She strides in many events like the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival, but nothing can beat her cute purple outfit in the Fourth Annual Golden Goggle’s Awards back in 2007.
KATARINA WITT (FIGURE SKATER)
Katarina Witt started skating when she was just five years old and immediately enrolled in the intensive program at the Karl-Marx-Stadt Sports Club and School. She then became an understudy for the renowned skating instructor Jutta Muller, who taught Witt how to infuse creativity in her performances to her wide variety of personalities. Katarina has grown to become a figure-skating champion and became her country’s image during the Cold War.
Katarina won six European Championships, four world champions, and two Olympic gold medals throughout her career. At the start of the 1990s, Witt pursued acting starring her first film in the HBO telefilm Carmen on Ice, which won a primetime Emmy Award. She graced the cover of many magazines publishing. She graced countless red carpets ranging from skating to TV and film awards shows. Most notably, in awards shows like Grammys, German Sporting Press Ball, and the Laureus World Sports Ceremony, we see her truly in her element. Her degree of fame has indeed progressed beyond figure skating.
KERRI WALSH JENNINGS (VOLLEYBALL PLAYER)
Kerri Walsh-Jennings was born in Santa Clara, California, in August 1978. Paired up with Misty May-Treanor, they won Olympic gold in beach volleyball back in 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Jennings grew up in a very athletic family. Her father played baseball while her mother was also a volleyball player. The duo of Jennings and May finished with the number five ranking in the world before reaching the top place in 2002. They continued the streak in 2003 when they won 90 straight matches and all eight tournaments, including the world championships.
In February 2018, the volleyball star opened up to CNN, exposing the degree of double standards women faced and how it was hard for during her pregnancy, from the loss of sponsors and endorsements to physical complications. Despite the challenges she faced, Kerri persevered and was even invited to several red carpet events, showcasing her fashion sense.
LAURA LUDWIG (VOLLEYBALL PLAYER)
Laura Ludwig, born in East Berlin, East Germany, is a professional beach volleyball player known for playing the defender. Her first partner in the game was Jana Kohler, who won together with Ludwig in the U18 European championship and later in the U18 World Championship in Thailand. Unfortunately, Laura suffered a medical condition, which broke up her alliance with Kohler, but she bounced back stronger with Sara Goller. They won the 2006 German Champions, U23 European championships and earned other acclaimed titles together.
In 2013, Ludwig formed a beach partnership with Kira Walkenhorst and finished with gold medals at the 2015 and 2016 Beach ECH. They were honored with the “Most outstanding” and” Team of the Year” titles as the Women’s FIVB World tour in 2016. Given all the recognitions and triumphs she accomplished, it would be safe to say that her investments have been all worth it.
LENA SCHONEBORN (PENTATHLETE)
Lena Schoneborn is a German athlete who started her athletic journey at such a young age. Schoneborn is a very talented pentathlete who won many medals and trophies. At the 2008 Olympics, she beat many renowned and gifted competitors, most notably Kara Grant, which instantly made her a dark horse in the batch of upcoming talents. Aside from intense training and rigorous exercise, she also has an interest and studying marketing. As an athlete, Lena is getting coached by three heavyweights, including Peter Deutsch, Bernd Uhlig, and Gerhard Schroter.
Her career spotlight was when she won gold at the Women’s Final of the Modern Pentathlon European Championships in 2011 held in Medway. She’s been very present in German media and appeared in the red carpets of fashion brands, movie premieres, and car shows such as Mercedes Benz and Honda. It’s safe to say that this athlete probably has a very handsome credit score to go along with her impressive pentathlete record.
MARIANA PAJON (CYCLIST)
Mariana Pajon is a Colombian cyclist and BMX champion who has won dozens of awards over the course of her career. Pajon was born in October 1991in Medellin. She started breaking records at the tender age of five and had a world title by nine years old. Overall, she is the winner of 14 World Championships, two national championships in the United States, nine Latin American Championships, and ten pan American Championships. Her most notable victories include the gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2013 UCI BMX World Championships.
She is the first Colombian to win two Olympic gold medals, and due to the degree of Pajon’s enormous awards and titles, she got dubbed as the “Queen of BMX.” Mariana also has a knack for fashion and would often grace the red carpets dressed in some of the most sophisticated couture pieces.
ROSA MOTA (MARATHON RUNNER)
Mota has raced in over 21 marathons, and 14 of them have been victorious, leading to her fame as an athlete. She was also the first female athlete to obtain an Olympic gold medal for her native country, Portugal. Although Rosa had health issues and needed medical insurance as a child, she became the first woman to win multiple Olympic marathon medals and the only one to simultaneously reign as the European, Olympic, and World champion.
Mota had to withdraw from the Tokyo World Championships, and after failing to complete the 1992 London marathon, she considered retiring. Rosa received the Abebe Bikila Award in 1998 for contributions to the advancement of long-distance race training after retirement. She was also one of the athletes who brought the Olympic Flame across Athens’ streets for Greece’s 2004 Summer Olympics. Last 2016, Rosa attended the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races’ 30th Anniversary Gala, where she received the award for the greatest female marathon runner of all time.
ANNI FRIESINGER-POSTMA (SPEED SKATER)
Anni Friesinger-Postma is a retired German speed skater. During her athletic heydays, she won five Olympic medals: gold in the 1500 meters run in the 2002 Winter Olympics, bronze in the 3000 meters in the 1998 Winter Olympics, and bronze in the 1000 meters in the 2006 Winter Olympics. She is also the fifth skater in history to win both the Allround and Sprint World Championships.
When Friesinger’s right knee joint suffered extensive cartilage damage, she retired from competitive sports in July 2010. She walked the red carpet at the Kurhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany, on behalf of the German Sports Personality of the Year award. Besides her athletic career, Friesinger has dabbled in modeling and has gotten featured in several media outlets as a swimsuit model. She also got married to her long-term boyfriend, former Dutch skater Ids Postma, in August of 2009. The couple probably has several shared investments by now.
CHARLOTTE KALLA (CROSS-COUNTRY SKIER)
Charlotte Kalla has prospered with her career in Sweden as a female cross-country skier. After contending internationally at a junior level, Kalla made her World Cup breakthrough in 2007 in Sapporo, Japan. Additionally, she won the 2008 FIS Tour de Ski crown in 2008, the Nordic Opening, a 2011 World Team Spring Crown with Ida Ingemarsdotter in Oslo, and a 2015 World 10km Freestyle Gold won on home snow in Falun.
She is already 30 years old and has not yet thought about the end of her career. She may even represent her country at the Beijing Games in 2022. Charlotte was also honored by the Lulea University of Technology with an Honorary Doctor of Technology award for the year 2020. In 2011, she also received the Female Athlete of the Year Award at the Idrottsgalan or Swedish Sports Awards. Her athletic investments have indeed paid off.
FABIANA MURER (POLE VAULTER)
Fabiana Murer is the South American record holder in the pole-vaulting competition and is the eighth all-time pole-vaulting record holder. At the 2010 Ibero-American Championships in San Fernando, Spain, Fabiana took credit for outdoing her personal record of 4.85 meters. Thanks to that milestone, she became the first Diamond League winner of the women’s pole vault with a vault of 4.81 meters at the Weltklasse Zurich meeting.
Murer won the Diamond League’s second circuit in 2014, winning four of the seven diamond races. However, in July of 2016, the athlete found out that she had cervical spinal disc herniation. Fabiana had to undergo extensive physical therapy at home, but she failed to clear 4.55 meters in her first attempt at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Brazilian athlete has officially retired after nearly two decades in the pole vaulting industry.
HANNA MELNYCHENKO (HEPTATHLETE)
Hanna Melnychenko is a heptathlete from Ukraine. Hanna was named Sensation of the Year at the 2013 All-Ukrainian Heroes of Sports Year and won the Decastar competition in France that same year. She competed in major events such as the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2016 Olympic Games. She also placed second on the 2009 Hypo-Meeting’s Heptathlon and third place on both the 2007 Universiade in Bangkok and the 2013 European Indoor Championship in the Gothenburg Pentathlon category.
Hanna also competed for degrees for the pentathlon events such as the European U23 Championships, the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2010 European Championships, and the 2014 World Indoor Championships. Since 2014, she has been married to Oleksiy Kasyanov, a fellow Ukrainian decathlete. However, before that, she first got married to Italian decathlete William Frullani. Considering her impressive track record, we can honestly say that her career investments were all well worth it.
KAJSA BERGQVIST (HIGH JUMPER)
Kajsa Bergqv is a high jumper who won one Olympic medal, one World Championship medal, and two World and one European Championship medals. She started to take an interest in the sport when she was six but could not maintain it for long. Through the years, she has been given credit for having the number one high jumper in the world in 2006.
She declared her retirement on January 7, 2008, when she got married to director Måns Herngren. Kajsa explained that she realized that she had entered a new period of her life, which was why she no longer wanted to compete. In December 2011, Bergqv admitted that she was in a relationship with a woman and confirmed her sexuality as a lesbian. Bergqvist has been to numerous red carpets for various Sports ceremonies, including the Idrottsgalan in 2019 and the Sweden Sports Gala in 2017.
KRISZTINA EGERSZEGI (SWIMMER)
Krisztina Egersztina is the youngest athlete ever to win an Olympic gold medal and among the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era. She was honored with the Female World Swimmer of the Year titles in 1991 and 1992. Between 1988 and 1996, she took credit for five individual gold medals, the world’s record for individual gold medals by then.
Although Phelps has already surpassed this feat, Egerszegi still holds the record of 5 individual gold medals for any female swimmer in sports history. At 22 years old, Krisztina announced that she would be retiring from the sport. However, she did get inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 20. She was also appointed Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year on seven occasions. Egerszegi has also gotten awarded the Women’s World Swimmer of the Year thrice. She was named the Best Swimmer of the Year nine times and the Best Women’s Athlete of the Year seven times.
MARTINA SÁBLÍKOVÁ (SPEED SKATING)
Martina Sáblíková is a well-loved speed skater from the Czech Republic. She specializes in long-track speed skating, which led her to win various medals. For one, Sáblíková became an Olympic gold medalist and an all-around champion in competitions in Europe. That ultimately paved the way for her to become the first native Czech native to own gold medals from the Olympics and one from the Winter Games in 2010. Her pure talent in skating also earned her a spot among the world’s most successful skaters in the last decade.
Now at 33, Sáblíková is a force to be reckoned with not only in the athletic department but also in red carpet events. The athlete often attends charity events and other gatherings. With a successful career in skating, Sáblíková surely has all the time in the world to attend the events she gets invited to. She can even get a pinch from her investment money or savings if she wanted to make a party of her own.
NADINE BROERSEN (TRACK AND FIELD)
Nadine Broersen is one of the many pretty faces of the track and field arena. A Dutch athlete who has made thousands of fans worldwide for her beauty and impressive athletic prowess, Broersen has been a renowned track and field champion since 2009. For more than a decade, Broersen has been amassing several recognitions under her name. She currently holds a national record of 1.94 meters jump. Broersen is also a 2014 pentathlon champion for the 2014 World Indoor.
From 2017 and 2018, Broersen had to stay away from the limelight to recover from her injuries. The track star sustained an ankle and hamstring injury following a long jump competition. Broerson also had to suffer from a torn ligament in the knee, resulting in a lengthy rehabilitation treatment. Good thing Broerson’s huge income and medical insurance covered this period. She made a comeback in 2019 and landed sixth place in 2019 for the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
SHELLY-ANN FRASER (TRACK AND FIELD)
Shelly-Ann Fraser is known as the fastest woman in Jamaica. Although the Jamaican track champion grew up in Waterhouse, a poor community in Kingston, she became one of her country’s greatest athletic pride. Fraser also became the first from her family to have a college degree. She then became a track and field sprinter in the late 2000s and was dubbed as one of the world’s fastest sprinters after holding and breaking records in the 60-, 100-, and 200-meters categories. Throughout her career, Shelly won Olympic golds, each in these categories.
In 2019, Fraser became the oldest sprinter at 34, all while being a new mom to son Zoyn. Now with a whopping wealth worth of $4 million and a sprinting superstar status, Fraser has definitely etched her name in the sports industry. As someone looked up to by many, Fraser inspires women from across the planet to reach for their dreams and not let age and race become a gap in achieving them.
TIRUNESH DIBABA (TRACK AND FIELD)
Our next athlete is another astounding runner. Tirunesh Dibaba is known for her sweet looks but deadly running style. The Ethiopian athlete has made a name for herself as a track and field superstar in the long-distance category, holding the 5,000 meters world record. Dibaba already won three Olympic golds and nine world titles since she started her running career in the early 2000s, paving the way for her to reach superstar status in the track and field arena.
She first gained the attention of many running fanatics after she became the youngest World Champion at age 18 in 2003. As an athlete with an active career up to this day, Dibaba’s career has spanned more than a decade. In 2020, Dibaba got named as Athletics Weekly’s The Greatest together with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. The athlete’s distinct silk-like running style and laudable professionalism in the field surely deserve credit for her success.
CHRIS EVERT (TENNIS)
Chris Evert is one of the world’s leading tennis players with a long list of achievements under her belt. She is also the youngest semifinalist in US Open history at age 16. Since the early 70s, Evert has already gained media attention for her record-breaking tennis performances. She was the world’s No. 1 singles player from 1974 to 1981, one of the longest-running streaks an athlete achieved in their career.
In 1995, Evert’s recognitions reached their peak after getting inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Evert finally retired from her tennis career and ventured into sports analysis, joining ESPN in 2011. Now 66 years old, Evert is surely savoring her retirement years with all the accolades and fortunes she has gained since her heydays. Evert may have even allotted a significant portion of her cash as investment money for businesses, just like other celebrities do.
DENISA ROSOLOVÁ (TRACK AND FIELD)
Fans know Denisa Rosolova Helceletová not only for her beauty but also for her fast and strong running performances. As an expert in long jump and heptathlon, Rosolová has collected numerous medals from European Championships and European Indoor Championships. Aside from her high-flying career in running, the Czech Republic-born athlete’s personal life is also many people envy. Her fame allowed her to earn fat bank accounts. With a net worth of over $1-5 Million, Denisa might want to hire a financial advisor to manage her finances.
Helceletová had also reached ultimate happiness when she started her own family. The athlete is also a doting mother and a happy wife to equally-successful athlete Adam Helcelet. Before marrying her equally-famous decathlon Olympian husband in 2019, Helceletová already announced two years before that she is finally retiring to embrace motherhood. We’re just glad that the athlete is happy with the new chapter of her life.
INGE DE BRUIJN (SWIMMING)
One of the best women swimmers in the world is four-time Olympic champion Inga de Bruijn. The Dutch athlete is considered legendary thanks to Bruijn’s impressive portfolio of world records and gold medals in single sports events. During the peak of her swimming career, Bruijn clinched three gold medals from three individuals’ events at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
However, it was not easy for the lady athlete. She had a challenging start to a career in 1992 due to multiple losses, injuries, and rejections before finally starting a streak of wins. Later on, she managed to get up from a rocky start and finished off with gold medals a decade later. The lady swimmer is now reaping the rewards of her sports achievements, building investments, and enjoying a retired life while remaining to be on top of the swimming arena as one of the best in swimming history.
KATINKA HOSSZÚ (SWIMMING)
Versatility and a distinct swimming technique are what Katinka Hosszú is best known for. As one of the world’s best individual medley events athlete, the Hungarian swimmer already had an array of titles under her belt. She is an Olympian who achieved world records as a three-time champion and nine-time long-course world champion. Dubbed as the Iron Lady, Hosszú made a successful comeback in 2013 after a streak of losses in the past years. Once again, she earned the Hungarian Female Athlete of the Year and later grabbed the Female European Swimmer of the Year in 2014.
As a successful swimmer, Italian swimwear company Arena has set aside huge investment money for Hosszú. They saw a potential in the swimmer’s brand of identity, which can boost their sales. She inked a partnership for the Iron Lady brand, giving her even more massive fame in the sports industry and pushing her fortune higher.
Inside the CrossFit world, Katrin Davidsdottir is a big name. She is known by many CrossFit enthusiasts around the world as a woman role model, especially for those who are still starting in their professional journey. The Icelandic athlete reached the pinnacle of her career during the 2015 and 2016 CrossFit Games, where she emerged as the Women’s Champion. She is also one of the few CrossFit personalities who has earned the title Fittest on Earth more than once.
In 2020, 27 years old Davíðsdóttir announced that she would not be playing CrossFit Games following a controversy involving its founder and former CEO Greg Glassman. After losing investment money from major sponsors backing out, the athlete decided to forego joining the elusive competition. However, Davíðsdóttir is back on her feet once again to compete for this 2021. At such a young age where she has achieved many feats already, she is not planning to retire anytime soon.
Laura Dahlmeier may have already rested her jersey as a biathlete, but the world remembers her legacy as an accomplished sportswoman. The German athlete gained huge fame in the sports industry after her 2012 world cup races. She then participated in the Sochi Winter Olympics. In 2017, Dahlmeier brought home a whopping five gold medals at the World Championships. Indeed, she knows cross-country skiing, rifle shooting, and sprint with all her heart. She has been a figure in the world of biathletes and has inspired many to follow in her footsteps.
However, it seemed like fame and recognition have escaped the young athlete. At the young age of 25, Dahlmeier formally retired and announced that she no longer has the knack to compete professionally. She did not elaborate on her reason for falling out of love from competing at the professional level. Still, the athlete is open to competing at the local and amateur levels.
MARGARET COURT (TENNIS)
Margaret Court is an Australian tennis player who has long been retired. She is the former world’s no. 1 in tennis and a recipient of a total of 64 Grand Slam titles, all under singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles. Because of that, she gained a degree of stardom in the 70s. To this day, experts still regard her as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to tennis. Even tennis superstar Serena Williams’ achievements still fall short by Court’s high-flying days as a tennis star.
In 1977, Court decided to retire and focus on her other calling permanently. She wanted to pursue another career which she had loved even before she went into playing tennis. She was ordained a Pentecostal minister in 1991 and has been a senior pastor since. Margaret was able to find the Victory Life Centre church in Perth in 1995. Now that she is no longer playing, Court still makes a few headlines for her controversial opinions and beliefs. Despite this, Court still maintains her legacy of being a tennis superstar.
NICOLA SPIRIG (TRIATHLON)
Nicola Spirig had bagged several awards as a European athlete. The Swiss triathlete reached the Olympics in 2012 and brought home gold. She came back to Rio Olympics in 2016 and finished second to Gwen Jorgensen, giving her the title as one of the most highly awarded and successful Olympics triathletes in the women’s division.
However, the sports are not only her achievements. Even when she has reached a point where fame and fortune from her athletic career have put her at a higher level, Spirig found more happiness with her family. Spirig takes pride in holding her titles while being a doting mother to three kids with husband Reto Hug. She also found the time to juggle her sports career and schooling. Spirig also finished education and was able to pass the bar exams for lawyers. Nicola is truly an inspiring woman.
SANDRA GAL (GOLF)
In the world of women golfers, Sandra Gal is definitely at the top list. Her love for the sport started when she was still young, playing during family outings in Europe. She would then cultivate her passion for the sport and join competitions while earning her degree in college. Gal graduated with a degree in advertising, but instead of taking this path, she pursued her goal of being a professional golfer in 2008.
At 35, Gal still has a long way to go in the industry. However, with a net worth of $12 million, she can basically retire anytime she wants. She can either make effective investment planning strategies for a business or focus on having her own family. She can even use her advertising background to set up her new ventures in the future. However, Gal does not have any plans of retiring. Instead, she is currently playing on the United States–based LPGA Tour.
YELENA SLESARENKO (HIGH JUMP)
Yelena Slesarenko is one of Russia’s pride when it comes to sports. The athlete is known for her record-breaking 2.06 m high jump for the 2004 Olympics. She went home with gold medals which were followed by World Indoor Championship titles in 2006. This earned her praise as one of the fastest women runners in Russia. Slesarenko turned a new chapter in her life when she gave birth to her first child in 2012. She had to focus on being a mother for a while and halted some competition offers that came her way.
Sadly, the former Olympian was not able to make a comeback quickly as she suffered from a knee injury. In 2016, Slesarenko announced that she is officially retiring. Whether she wanted to venture into investments and businesses or solely focus on her family, Slesarenko surely did not leave the sports industry altogether. Even when she is no longer joining competitions, Slesarenko’s heart is still with sports. She is now a director at a winter sports academy in Volgograd.
DANIJELA RUNDQVIST (ICE HOCKEY)
Danijela Rundqvist is an ice hockey player and one of the richest athletes from Sweden. In 2006, Rundqvist made headlines after she won a silver medal from the Winter Olympics, which boosted her profile as a high-paying athlete. Nothing much is released regarding the player’s personal information as well as her relationships. On the other hand, many are more familiar with her professional background, which she highly excels in.
Now at 37, Rundqvist is not thinking of retirement from the sport anytime soon. She is still active in ice hockey and is even eyeing record-breaking competitions. Her professional hockey-playing career has given her a whopping amount of up to $4 million. This covers her playing salaries and endorsement deals with brands. It was not clear if Rundqvist also made investments on the side, but she surely allotted a large amount of savings from her career. As a multi-millionaire, one can only surmise what Rundqvist has already bought for herself during the peak of her career.
DERARTU TULU (TRACK AND FIELD)
Derartu Tulu brought pride and honor to her homeland of Ethiopia as a two-time Olympic gold-medalist track runner. At nineteen years old, she made a breakthrough in her athletic career when she bagged a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. She earned it after finishing first in the 10,000-meter event. Her second Olympic gold medal was given to her in Australia last 2000, after winning the same event. When she has had her share of long-distance running, Tulu moved on to marathons.
It was as if winning is in the athlete’s genes, as she won two marathons in the same year. In 2001, the runner was credited for gaining victories in both Tokyo and London marathons. At the age of thirty-seven, Tulu notably bagged another win in 2009 when she finished first in the New York City Marathon. The now 49-year-old athlete retired from running after her last marathon in 2011.
INGRID KRISTIANSEN (TRACK AND FIELD)
Ingrid Kristiansen made quite a name for herself in the world of long-distance running. In fact, the Norwegian athlete was credited as one of the best athletes of the ’80s. She dominated various track and field divisions but initially began her career by running in marathons. Kristiansen went on to set hard-to-beat records during her first runs. The first among her long list of accolades is a first-place finish in the 1980 Stockholm Marathon.
One astounding proof of her resilience as an athlete was in 1983 when she won the Houston Marathon without knowing that she was two months pregnant. She also finished first in the World’s Championships Women’s 10,000 m even with a leg injury. Kristiansen set a sixteen-year-long record of 10,000 m distance run under 30 minutes and 13 seconds, subsequently breaking her 1984 record by forty-six seconds. The now sixty-four-year-old former athlete has since retired from the sport in 1993 after a bountiful career.
KATIE LEDECKY (SWIMMING)
Katie Ledecky was only fifteen years old when she first tested the waters of the Olympics. She was credited as the youngest member of Team USA during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The young Ledecky bagged a gold medal after finishing first in the 800 m freestyle event. Because of her record-setting feat, she snagged a Golden Goggle Award for Breakout Performer of the Year and Best Female Performance of the Year. Ledecky banked on her athletic skills and went on to bag more gold medals in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Some of her world records came from meets such as the 2013 World Championships, 2014 National Championships, and 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series, among others. The now twenty-three-year-old professional swimmer has recently bagged four titles at the TYR Pro Swim Series held from March 3-6, 2021. During the four-day meet, Ledecky dominated in the 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1,500m freestyle events.
LAUREN JACKSON (BASKETBALL)
Standing at a towering height of over six feet, Australian athlete Lauren Jackson began her dominating streak in the world of basketball at the early age of four years old. She was gifted with the sporty gene from both her parents, Maree and Gary, who were also professional basketball players during their prime years. Jackson dribbled her way to high school basketball and was eyed to be part of Australia’s national team after winning the championship at fourteen years old.
In 1998, Jackson played with her team, the Opals, to snag a bronze medal at the World Championships. Jackson moved out of her native Australia and transitioned to the Women’s National Basketball Association at the age of twenty. Eventually, she was drafted by the Seattle Storm and was later credited for leading the team to win two WNBA championships. The pro player stayed with the Storm until her retirement in 2016.
SALLY MCLELLAN (HURDLES)
Hailing from the Land Down Under, Sally McLellan has made her mark in the history of track and field sport. She began her athletics career in 2001 at the young age of fourteen after winning the national championship for under 20. Two years later, she traveled to Canada and snagged a gold medal in 100 m hurdles during the 2003 World Youth Championships. In 2008, McLellan achieved her childhood dreams of being in the grand stage of the Olympics. The then twenty-two-year-old athlete competed in the 100 m hurdles and finished the race with a silver medal in hand.
In the following London Summer Olympics in 2012, McLellan imprinted her name on the history of the Games and went home with the 100 m hurdles gold medal. She is considered to be one of the best athletes of the hurdles event, to a certain degree. After sixteen long years of her competitive athletics career, the now thirty-four-year-old McLellan has decided to retire from the sport in 2019.
SANDRA IZBAȘA (ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS)
Sandra Izbașa was born on June 18, 1990, in Bucharest, Romania. She is best referred to as a Romanian artistic gymnast. In case you’re wondering, the athlete’s greatest achievements would be her gold medals for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Aside from her Olympic wins, the athlete has proven her prowess in many other ways and championships. She has seven gold medals to her credit for the European Championships. Furthermore, she has also garnered a good number of silver and bronze medals.
This comes as no surprise with Izbașa’s astounding routines and stupefying presence. The crowd has their eyes glued to her, holding their breath with every routine execution. Cheers erupted every time she does her signature pose at the end. Unfortunately, she has retired last 2014. Aside from the awards, she has also definitely gotten the admiration of many. Izbasa has been and will continue to be an inspiration for a new generation of artistic gymnasts.
ZUZANA TOMČÍKOVÁ (ICE HOCKEY)
Zuzana Tomčíková was born on April 23, 1988. She is best referred to as a member of the Slovakia women’s national ice hockey team. Over the years, the athlete has bagged multiple awards and honors to her and her team’s credit. An example would include being awarded the Most Valuable Player in the 2011 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Another would be being the 2013 Ball Hockey World Championship All-Star Team. This is not surprising at all, given Tomčíková’s passion and devotion to the sport.
Back in the day, when she went to Caronport High School, Tomčíková and the team were already winning competitions. They won the Regina League, Provincials, as well as the Western Shield. Interestingly, she also played for the boys’ Tier II team in the South Central minor hockey league. Her ice hockey journey then continued at Bemidji State. Here, she became the first player named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for three straight points. Determination and perseverance surely do go a long way!
EDNA KIPLAGAT (LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING)
Edna Kiplagat was born on September 15, 1979. She is best referred to as a Kenyan long-distance runner who holds multiple awards to her credit. However, Kiplagat’s most notable achievement would be her gold medals in 2011 and 2013 in the IAAF World Championship marathon. Aside from this, she has also garnered numerous gold medals in World Marathon Majors.
When she’s not on the field or in front of a cheering crowd, she’s working as a policewoman being a role model. The athlete has also helped with the less fortunate, as well as empowered and mentored girls. For example, she started the Edna Kiplagat Foundation, an organization aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer. Kiplagat also deeply cares about the environment. She volunteers to create awareness for garbage management toward keeping a clean environment. Truly, she is an inspiration through and through whether she’s on or off the field.
HAYLEY WICKENHEISER (ICE HOCKEY)
Hayley Wickenheiser was born on August 12, 1978, in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is best referred to as a former Canadian ice hockey player. The star athlete is widely known as the greatest female ice hockey player of all time. She, along with her team, has won multiple gold medals— four in the Olympic Games, seven in the World Championships. She has been a member of the Canada women’s national ice hockey team for 23 years, from 1994 until her retirement in 2017.
To her own credit, Wickenheiser has been the team’s career points leader with 168 goals and 211 assists in 276 games. She has also been named the tournament MVP twice in the Olympics. Aside from her life on ice, on February 20, 2014, Wickenheiser was elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission. Currently, she is the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
JANICA KOSTELIĆ (ALPINE SKIING)
Janica Kostelić is a former World Cup alpine ski racer who was born on January 5, 1982, in Yugoslavia. Kostelić has achieved global renown as the greatest female ski racer of all time. This is entirely not surprising at all if you would take a look at the athlete’s records. She has accumulated four gold medals in the Olympic Games to her credit. Aside from that, she has garnered five gold medals in the World Championships. Furthermore, she has placed first at least 30 times in different World Cup race podiums.
Are you curious as to how the racer has achieved such lengths? As it turns out, she had an early beginning. Kostelić started skiing at the age of three and started training at the age of nine. At the age of sixteen, her professional career started when she was selected for the Croatian team for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. It’s like Kostelić was really born to play the sport!
SANDRA PERKOVIC (DISCUS THROW)
Sandra Perković is a two-time Olympic and World champion and a five-time European champion. On top of that, she is a six-time Diamond League overall winner and the only person who managed to win five gold medals at the European Athletics Championships in one event. Perković finished her junior career with flying colors by winning gold at the 2009 European Junior Championships with a new national record. She eventually made it to the World Championships final as the youngest discus thrower in the field.
Adding to her impressive credit is becoming a member of the Croatian Parliament in the 2015 general election. The thrower returned to sports in 2016 at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where she successfully defended her Olympic title by winning a second consecutive gold medal in discus throwing, successfully equaling Evelin Jahl’s record since the 1980 Summer Olympics.
VALERIE ADAMS (SHOT PUT)
Valerie Adams is “New Zealand’s Golden Girl”, a celebrated shot putter, a four-time World champion, and one of the only nine athletes to win the World Championships at the youth, junior and senior level of an athletic event. She is also the proud owner of two Olympic Gold medals and a three-time Commonwealth champion.
As a young girl, Adams had hopes of making her big as an athlete and trained tirelessly to prepare for her potential career. She met former javelin pitcher Kirsten Hellier who became her mentor for the next 11 years, helping her refine her technique and leading her to her first major World Youth Championship win in 2001. From there, Valerie went from success to success, clinching a few gold and silver medals on her way. She made her country proud of her brilliant accomplishments as an athlete and, to her credit, became the first Kiwi to be elected World Athlete of the Year in Monaco in 2014.
SABINE LISICKI (TENNIS)
Sabine Lisicki entered the sports headlines in 2009 when she reached the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon Championships. Any tennis fan is well aware of the record she made as to the fastest serve in 2014. The serve had hit 210.8 km/h, making a record that could not be exceeded for four years. She also kept a record for the most aces in a singles match for almost a year. The pro tennis player was ranked 12th in WTA singles, which came in May 2012.
Lisicki has won four titles in the Women’s Tennis Association tournaments. However, at least as of now, she has not lifted a single Grand Slam trophy— but it doesn’t change her credit, as she’s had a thrilling run in those competitions. Lisicki played a final at Wimbledon and a quarter-final at the US Open. Besides, in doubles, she’s seen herself in 35th place in the world.