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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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