Lists

30 Elite Female Athletes Who Are Truly Powerful

Darren - October 10, 2019
Lists

30 Elite Female Athletes Who Are Truly Powerful

Darren - October 10, 2019
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

19. Alex Morgan

Morgan was the first woman to be featured on the front of FIFA’s incredibly successful video game series. The USWNT member is one of the most successful soccer stars on the planet. She won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Furthermore, she helped the US to Olympic gold. Morgan is one of the key reasons behind Team USA’s international success.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Pride forward is one of the USWNT’s three team captains. One of her greatest achievements was helping French side Lyon to a continental European treble, including a UEFA Women’s Champion’s League. Morgan is also the top-paid female soccer star in the world. She’s worth every dollar.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

18. Candace Parker

Parker has been an absolute powerhouse for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. She’s one of the best female basketball players ever and was the first overall draft pick in 2008. Eight years later, Parker helped the Sparks to their first WNBA Finals title since 2002. As a result, she won the WNBA Finals MVP award.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The basketball star is a two-time WBNA All-Star. She’s also an Olympic gold medalist, helping the US beat France back in 2012. The veteran is one of the biggest names in women’s basketball. She’s even a studio analyst for the CBS coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

17. Michelle Jenneke

Jenneke first achieved world recognition when a video of her pre-race warmup went viral. The Australian’s dance moves caught the attention of millions of people around the world. They were even featured on “The Tonight Show” in the US. Since then, Jenneke has gone from strength to strength and has even been featured in Sports Illustrated.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

She has two silver medals from the Youth Olympic Games and competed in Rio De Janeiro. Now, she’s looking to maximize her potential and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Jenneke has the hearts of her fans pulsing around the world. Let’s hope she makes it.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. Nicola Adams

Adams is a boxing phenom. She’s the first female double-Olympic gold medalist after becoming the flyweight champion at back-to-back Games. ‘Babyface’ has won every amateur accolade available, including the Olympic, Commonwealth and European Games, as well as the World, European, and European Union titles.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Then, she turned professional and has since taken the game by storm. Adams is currently the WBO flyweight champion. Openly bisexual, she’s an inspiration to young LGBT men and women in the UK. Adams was the first openly LGBT Olympic champion and was Britain’s Most Influential LGBT personality.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

15. Alison Stokke

Stokke burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old. The pole vaulter became an internet phenomenon because of her good looks. In short, she achieved unsought sex symbol status and was the subject of a national and international debate on the sexualization of young female athletes. Somehow, she emerged from this stronger than ever.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The internet star is by no means just a beauty. She’s a very talented athlete and continues to compete at a national level. Despite failing to make the Olympic team, Stokke remains active in her sport. Stokke is in a relationship with professional golfer Rickie Fowler. She’s also a highly successful sportswear model.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

14. Mikaela Shiffrin

It seems like Shiffrin is the heir-apparent to Lindsey Vonn. The 24-year-old is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She’s also the youngest slalom champion in Olympic history after obtaining gold at the age of 18. Furthermore, she’s one of just five Americans to win the World Cup title overall. This woman means business.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Shiffrin is the only female athlete to win 15 races in a calendar year. Then, in 2019, Shiffrin went even further. She became the first athlete, male or female, to win 17 races in a calendar year. To sum it up, the Colorado native is a truly exceptional talent. She has been the subject of multiple documentaries. You can expect more from her soon as well.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

13. Simone Biles

The most decorated US gymnast of all-time, Biles has won an unprecedented 25 Olympic and World Championship medals. She’s also the first American gymnast to win a World medal in every event. Many believe that the 22-year-old is the greatest gymnast of all-time. She’s going to Tokyo 2020 hoping to cement her legacy as the best ever.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Biles’s senior debut came alongside Youtube sensation Katelyn Ohashi back in 2013. The Texan is worth an estimated $4 million. That’s not bad for an amateur athlete. Biles was also a recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award after the horrific Larry Nasser sexual abuse scandal.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Weili Zhang

When Zhang knocked out Jessica Andrade at UFC Shenzen, you could see the dollar signs shining in Dana White’s eyes. The UFC finally had a Chinese champion after debuting their all-new UFC Performance Institute in the country. Zhang demolished the former flyweight champ in front of her home crowd. It couldn’t have worked out any better for the promotion or for Zhang.

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez for USA TODAY Sports

The 30-year-old has won 20 fights in a row. Zhang is like a cyclone of violence. She possesses devastating knockout power and dynamic striking. Nobody wanted to fight her before she won the title, but now they’ve no choice if they want the belt. Zhang is here to stay. 2020 is going to be even bigger for China’s first-ever UFC champion.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

11. Lindsey Vonn

The former alpine ski racer is a legend of the sport. Vonn won four World Cup overall championships, one of just two women to do so. She helped expose the sport to a wider audience and won the US Olympic Committee’s sportswoman of the year award in 2010.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Vonn has also won praise for her stances on politics. She insists she represents the people and not the president. Vonn has refused to visit the White House for that reason. The Minnesota native is the most successful US skier in history. After a highly distinguished career, she retired in 2019.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Katie Ledecky

Can you believe Ledecky is still just 22? Her achievements are quite simply mind-boggling. Ledecky doesn’t look like she’s going to stop setting records either. Back in 2012, she broke onto the scene as a 15-year-old, winning Olympic gold in her first attempt. In that regard, Michael Phelps has nothing on her.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Ledecky holds the records for the women’s 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle events. She holds a total of 34 medals across the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships. The Washington DC native has managed to break 14 world records in the process. As of now, she looks unstoppable.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Katarina Johnson-Thompson

It looks like it might finally be Johnson-Thompson’s time. The Liverpudlian won the 2019 heptathlon world championships in a stunning performance. Although it feels like she’s been around forever, Johnson-Thompson is still just 26. However, she has finally matured as an athlete, and just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Scouser has had to live in the shadow of gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill for too long. Now she looks set to take over her fellow Brit’s mantle and pursue gold in Japan. Hopefully, now she can deal with the pressure and expectation that she’ll carry on her shoulders as a leading light of Team Great Britain.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Marta

Brazilian striker Marta is one of the most accomplished players in the history of women’s soccer. With 17 goals, she has the record for most goals scored at FIFA World Cups. Her consistency saw her win the FIFA World Player of the Year award six times. Five of those accolades were successive. She’s quite simply a force of nature.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Marta is also the first player – male or female – to score at five World Cups. Her flair, quick feet, and exceptional skill on the ball have won her many admirers. Many regard her as the greatest female soccer player of all-time despite never winning the World Cup. She’s currently playing for the Orlando Pride.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Danica Patrick

Technically she just retired, but Patrick’s influence is such that she can’t be left off of this list. No other woman has been as important to NASCAR as the recently-departed legend. She first started racing go-karts as a 10-year-old back home in Wisconsin. Patrick fell in love with motorsports and became the first woman to win an Indycar race.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Patrick holds the record for most top 10 finishes by a woman in the Sprint Cup Series. She also became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole position at the 2013 Daytona 500. In a sport overwhelmingly dominated by men, Patrick has always been an outlier.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Lexi Thompson

Thompson is just extraordinarily talented. She qualified for her first US Women’s Open when she was 12 years old. Then, at the age of 15, she turned professional. Most of us are still in high school then. However, Thompson isn’t most people. She won her first LPGA tournament when she was 16. That’s how good she is.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The golfer went on to win her first major at the age of 19, claiming the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Thompson has won 11 tournaments in her professional career so far. Now 24, the future looks bright for Thompson as she matures into a consistent world-class talent. She’s estimated to be worth about $13 million.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Amanda Nunes

The Brazilian MMA fighter is quite simply a powerhouse. Nunes is a two-weight UFC champion. First of all, she beat Miesha Tate to win the bantamweight title before brutally defending it against Ronda Rousey. Few, if any, women can stand in front of her and withstand her fearsome power. She’s a true knockout artist.

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez via USA TODAY Sports

Then she solidified her legacy as the greatest female MMA fighter on the planet with a sensational first-round knockout win over former champion Cris Cyborg. This was a truly stunning victory. Consequently, ‘The Lioness’ is the most feared female fighter in the world. She’s also an LGBT icon as the UFC’s first openly gay champion.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Katie Taylor

If you listened to Taylor speak, you’d never guess what she does for a living. The undisputed lightweight champion of the world is incredibly softspoken despite the fact she’s brutal in the ring. Forget about Conor McGregor, Taylor is the combat sports star who has the most respect in her native Ireland. That’s a fact.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Taylor won gold at the London Olympics. She turned pro after a disappointing showing in Rio De Janeiro. After resolving issues in her private life, she made it her mission to become the unified lightweight champion. Taylor finally achieved that in 2019 with a hard-fought victory over Belgium’s Delfine Persoons. She has singlehandedly made people care about women’s boxing in her home country.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Megan Rapinoe

What a year it’s been for Rapinoe. She captained the USWMNT to back-to-back World Cup wins in 2015 and 2019. Not only that, but she also managed to finish as the top scorer in the most recent edition of the tournament. FIFA recognized her remarkable 2019 by giving her the Player of the Year award.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Rapinoe is also one of the most vocal female athletes in the world today. Activism is very important to her, as can be seen from her confrontations with President Trump. She’s taken the knee on multiple occasions and has also been very vocal in support of LGBT rights. Consequently, the Reign FC captain is one of the most important sports stars on the planet today.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Naomi Osaka

Move over Serena, there’s a new girl in town. Osaka took the world by storm in 2018 and looks to be the natural successor to Williams as tennis’s biggest superstar. The Japanese-Haitian tennis player has won two Grand Slams, most notably beating Williams in the US Open.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Despite not speaking Japanese, Osaka is a massive star in her mother’s home country. In short, she looks set to benefit from that financially and be one of the icons of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Furthermore, Osaka’s mixed-race heritage is emblematic of an evolving Japan, and her star power is set to soar as a result.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Serena Williams

Williams remains the most marketable female athlete in the world today. The most successful female tennis player of all-time, there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe her career. She has won 23 major singles titles. In short, that’s more than any other player, male or female. Williams has also won 14 doubles titles, all with her sister Venus.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The tennis superstar’s net worth is an estimated $180 million. Williams has won awards for her activism directed towards black communities. She’s held up as an inspiration for young girls around the world and is one of the most influential female athletes of all-time.

Advertisement