Athletics & Sports

United StatesDiverDiving

Martha Herb

Martha Herb is a trailblazing figure in the United States Navy, known for her exceptional leadership, perseverance, and pioneering achievements. With a career spanning an impressive thirty-nine years, she has left an indelible mark on the Navy and society as a whole.

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AustraliaDancer

Marilyn Jones

Marilyn Fay Jones OBE, born on 17th February 1940, is an acclaimed Australian dancer and teacher of dance. Regarded as “the greatest classical dancer Australia has produced,” Marilyn Jones has left an indelible mark on the world of ballet and has been instrumental in shaping the development of classical dance in Australia.

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BelgiumTennis

Justine Henin

Justine Henin, a Belgian former world No. 1 tennis player, was known for her all-court style of play and exceptional mental toughness. She won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open titles, and a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. Despite injuries forcing her retirement in 2011, Henin’s impact on the sport cannot be overstated. She was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis” by Time magazine and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016.

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NorwayDeafDisabled

Trude Raad

Trude Raad, born on April 27, 1990, is a deaf Norwegian track and field athlete who has left an indelible mark on the sport. Known for her exceptional skills in the discus throw and hammer throw events, Trude has consistently represented Norway at various international competitions throughout her career.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanWater Polo

Ashleigh Johnson

Ashleigh Elizabeth Johnson, one of the best water polo goalkeepers in the world, has achieved numerous accomplishments and groundbreaking achievements. Raised in a water polo-loving family, Johnson’s interest in becoming a goalie was sparked by her sister. She excelled at Ransom Everglades School and went on to play water polo at Princeton University. Her breakthrough on the international stage came in 2015 when she helped secure a gold medal for the United States at the World Aquatics Championships. In 2016, Johnson became the first African-American woman to earn a spot on the US Olympic water polo team and played a vital role in securing a gold medal at the Summer Olympics. She continues to make strides in her career and has become an inspiration to young women and aspiring water polo players.

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United StatesMotorsportsNascar

Vicki Wood

Victoria Rose Wood, the “fastest woman in racing,” made history as one of the first women to compete in NASCAR. With her achievements in auto racing, she broke barriers and challenged gender stereotypes. Wood’s legacy lives on as a fearless and determined pioneer in the world of racing.

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United StatesSprinterTrack & Field

Sanya Richards-Ross

Sanya Richards-Ross, an Olympic champion and world-class track and field athlete, began her journey in athletics at a young age. After moving to the United States for better opportunities, she excelled in high school and college, leaving a lasting impact on women’s athletics. With numerous accolades and records in the 400-meter sprint, Richards-Ross’s dominance in the sport is unparalleled. Her contributions to relay events and her continued influence as a track and field analyst have solidified her place in women’s history.

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RussiaUkraineGymnast

Ludmilla Tourischeva

Ludmilla Ivanovna Tourischeva was a former Russian and Ukrainian gymnast who left an indelible mark on the sport. Born on October 7, 1952, in the Soviet Union, Tourischeva began her journey in gymnastics at the age of 13 in 1965.

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United StatesSwimmerWriter

Lynne Cox

Lynne Cox is an American long-distance open-water swimmer, writer, and speaker. Born on January 2, 1957, she has made remarkable achievements throughout her career that have not only pushed the boundaries of human endurance but also had a significant impact on international relations.

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United StatesBasketballSportscaster

Anne Meyers-Drysdale

Ann Meyers Drysdale is an American former basketball player and sportscaster who made a significant impact on women’s basketball. From her outstanding career in high school, college, and the professional levels, to her contributions as a sportscaster and executive, Meyers has been a trailblazer and role model for generations of female athletes.

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CanadaRowing

Kathleen Heddle

Kathleen Joan Heddle, a Canadian Olympic rower, made history by winning three Olympic gold medals at the Summer Games. Alongside her partner Marnie McBean, they defied expectations and challenged gender norms in their sport. Heddle’s remarkable journey and success inspired future generations of female athletes to pursue their dreams.

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United StatesGymnastPole Vaulter

Jessie Graff

Jessie Graff, an exceptional American professional stuntwoman and television personality, has established herself as a remarkable figure through her outstanding achievements in various disciplines. From martial arts to gymnastics and pole vaulting, Graff’s unique talents and unwavering determination have propelled her to become a trailblazer in the world of obstacle course shows, notably American Ninja Warrior.

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IsraelGymnastJewish

Ágnes Keleti

Ágnes Keleti, the oldest living Olympic champion and medalist in history, was a Hungarian-Israeli gymnast and coach. She dominated the Hungarian gymnastics scene, winning the Championships ten times. Despite facing challenges during World War II, Keleti’s fighting spirit remained unbroken, and she went on to win numerous medals at the Summer Olympics. Her legacy in gymnastics is unparalleled, and she continues to inspire generations with her perseverance and determination.

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United StatesGolfer

Opal Hill

Opal S. Trout Hill, born in 1892 in Newport, Nebraska, was a remarkable American golfer who left a lasting impact on the world of women’s golf. Despite starting late in life, Opal quickly rose through the ranks, winning numerous amateur tournaments. She went on to become a two-time winner of the Women’s Western Open and was one of the 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in 1950. Opal’s legacy continues to inspire aspiring women golfers today.

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RomaniaGymnast

Aurelia Dobre

Aurelia Dobre, born on November 16, 1972, is a former artistic gymnast who became a legendary figure in the world of gymnastics. Her noteworthy achievements include being crowned the 1987 world all-around champion, a feat that solidified her status as one of the sport’s most exceptional athletes.

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United StatesBasketball

Beth Bass

Beth Bass is a prominent figure in the world of women’s basketball and a pioneer in promoting and advancing the sport. Born in the United States, she dedicated her career to elevating women’s basketball to new heights and empowering female athletes.

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AustraliaBowling

Cara Honeychurch

Cara Honeychurch, the female world champion tenpin bowler from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, had a stellar career that spanned 35 years. Known for her left-handed bowling style, she was admired for her skill and finesse. Honeychurch’s achievements included winning the AMF Bowling World Cup in 1996, being named Bowler of the Year, and dominating both domestic and international tournaments. Her remarkable success and dedication left an indelible mark on the sport of tenpin bowling.

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PolandJewishSprinter

Irena Szewińska

Irena Szewińska was a trailblazing Polish sprinter who left an indelible mark in the world of athletics. With an impressive career spanning nearly two decades, she held world records in the 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m, a feat unmatched by any other athlete. Szewińska’s versatility, dominance, and determination continue to inspire future generations of female athletes.

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CanadaMartial Artist

Christa Deguchi

Christa Deguchi is a Canadian judoka who made the decision to switch her national representation from Japan to Canada. She achieved remarkable success in her career, winning a bronze medal at the 2018 World Judo Championships and a gold medal at the 2019 world championship. In 2021, she seized the gold medal at the Judo Grand Slam Antalya, further establishing her exceptional skills. She continued her winning streak by earning a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Judo Grand Slam Baku. Christa Deguchi has undoubtedly become a role model for aspiring athletes with her dedication and unwavering commitment to judo.

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NorwayHandball

Katrine Lunde

Katrine Lunde is a Norwegian professional handball goalkeeper who has achieved great success in her career. With numerous titles and awards, she has established herself as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Lunde’s dedication and passion for the sport have made her an inspiration to aspiring handball players and a prominent figure in women’s handball history.

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SpainDancer

Eva Yerbabuena

Eva Yerbabuena, born Eva María Garrido García, is a Spanish flamenco dancer who has left a lasting impact on the world of dance. Her talent and dedication have earned her widespread recognition, including Spain’s National Dance Award in 2001. She has collaborated with renowned artists and established her own dance company, showcasing her unique artistic vision. Yerbabuena’s performances captivate audiences worldwide, showcasing the powerful emotions and rich cultural heritage of flamenco.

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United StatesVolleyball

Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings, born in 1978 in Santa Clara, California, is an American professional beach volleyball player who has become a legend in the sport. With numerous awards and achievements, she is considered one of the greatest players in the history of beach volleyball. Her talent, dedication, and impact on women’s sports have made her an inspiration to athletes around the world.

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AustriaSkier

Andrea Fischbacher

Andrea Fischbacher is an Austrian former alpine skier who achieved remarkable success in the fast disciplines of super-G and downhill. She became an Olympic champion and earned multiple accolades in World Cup and European Cup competitions. Fischbacher’s career exemplifies determination, skill, and perseverance, leaving an indelible mark on the sport and inspiring aspiring athletes.

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SpainBadminton

Carolina Marin

Carolina María Marín Martín, born on June 15, 1993, is a Spanish professional badminton player who has achieved remarkable success in her sport. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest female athletes in women’s singles badminton and has left an indelible mark on the sport.

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CanadaSwimmer

Peg Seller

Peg Seller, a remarkable pioneer in synchronized swimming, dedicated her life to developing and promoting this elegant and artistic sport both within Canada and at an international level.

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United StatesVolleyball

Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor, a retired American professional beach volleyball player, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and the most successful female beach volleyball player of all time. She won 112 tournaments in domestic and international competition and formed one of the most dominant partnerships in the sport with Kerri Walsh Jennings. May-Treanor’s contributions to beach volleyball have earned her a place in the Volleyball Hall of Fame and continue to inspire athletes worldwide.

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United StatesMartial Artist

Esther Kim

Esther Kim was a remarkable U.S. taekwondo athlete who made a selfless decision that defined her legacy. Born in Houston, Texas, she trained under her father’s guidance and became an exceptional athlete. In a moment of great sacrifice, Kim forfeited her spot in the Olympic Trials finals to allow her injured friend to compete in the Sydney Olympic Games. Her act of selflessness garnered worldwide attention and continues to inspire athletes today. Tragically, she passed away at the age of 40 due to severe health complications.

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United StatesBowling

Lisa Wagner

Lisa Wagner (born May 19, 1961) is a retired professional ten-pin bowler who competed on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour from 1980 through 2001. She is the all-time leader in officially recognized PWBA titles with 32. Among these titles are major championships at the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open and 1996 WIBC Queens. Wagner is a member of the PWBA Hall of Fame (inducted in 1996).

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FranceMartial Artist

Brigitte Deydier

Brigitte Deydier, born on November 12, 1958, in Meknes, Morocco, is a renowned French judoka who has left an indelible mark on the world of women’s judo.

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FinlandCanoeing

Sylvi Saimo

Sylvi Riitta Saimo was a Finnish athlete and politician who defied societal expectations. She excelled in cross-country skiing, athletics, and orienteering. Saimo became the first-ever female Finnish Olympic Champion in canoeing at the 1952 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in the K-1 500 m event. She also achieved success in the 1950 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, winning two gold medals. Saimo’s impact went beyond sports as she served in the Finnish Parliament and advocated for the rights of her constituents.

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CanadaIce Hockey

Marie-Philip Poulin

Marie-Philip Poulin is a Canadian ice hockey forward known for her clutch performances in Olympic gold medal games. She scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal games in the 2010, 2014, and 2022 Olympics, earning her the nickname “Captain Clutch.” Poulin is widely considered the best women’s hockey star of all time and has had a significant impact on the sport both internationally and professionally. Her legacy as a leader, advocate, and inspiring athlete continues to inspire future generations.

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IndonesiaActivistFigure Skater

Cut Nyak Dhien

Cut Nyak Dhien, a prominent figure in Indonesian history, was a remarkable leader who courageously fought against the Dutch for 25 years during the Aceh War. Her resilience and determination made her a symbol of resistance, inspiring generations of Indonesians.

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United StatesSwimmer

Claire Galligan

Claire Agnes Galligan, born in 1895 in New York, was a trailblazing American freestyle swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport during the early 20th century. Despite her career being cut short, Galligan’s achievements, including being the first female AAU champion and setting a world record, paved the way for future generations of female athletes. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970.

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PolandWeight Lifting

Agata Wróbel

Agata Wróbel, born in Żywiec in 1981, is a renowned Polish weightlifter who became captivated by the sport after watching the men compete in the 1996 Summer Olympics. She went on to become a world record-breaker and an inspiration to many. With an impressive list of accomplishments, including multiple victories in Junior and World Championships and two Olympic medals, Wróbel has left a lasting legacy in the world of weightlifting.

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ItalyCyclist

Fabiana Luperini

Fabiana Luperini, born on January 14, 1974, in Pontedera, Italy, is an Italian professional cyclist who has achieved great success in her career. Luperini’s dedication to the sport and her exceptional talent have made her one of the most prominent cyclists in history. She has won the prestigious Giro d’Italia Femminile a record five times and excelled in other races, showcasing her unparalleled endurance and determination. Luperini’s remarkable career and numerous victories have solidified her place as one of the greatest female cyclists of all time.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBasketball

Ora Washington

Ora Belle Washington was an American athlete from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who excelled in both tennis and basketball. She was a trailblazer in both sports, earning the nicknames “Queen Ora” and the “Queen of Two Courts” from black newspapers. Her remarkable talent and achievements in sports resulted in her induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Ora Washington defied racial and gender barriers, leaving a lasting impact on the history of athletics.

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Great BritainRowing

Rebecca Chin

Rebecca Chin (born 11 December 1991) is a retired British rower and former Paralympic discus and shot put thrower. Throughout her career, she displayed remarkable determination and resilience, overcoming numerous challenges to achieve great success in both sports.

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GermanyBobsledder

Sandra Kiriasis

Sandra Kiriasis (née Prokoff; born 4 January 1975 in Dresden) is a German former bobsledder who has made a significant impact on the sport throughout her career. Known for her exceptional skills and determination, Kiriasis has achieved numerous successes and has left a lasting legacy in women’s bobsleigh.

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United StatesMotorsportsNascar

Sara Christian

Sara Williams Christian was a trailblazer in NASCAR history, defying societal expectations to become the first woman driver in the sport. Her passion for racing developed at a young age, inspired by her father. Despite facing gender barriers, Christian made a name for herself at Looper Speedway and later competed in NASCAR’s first-ever race in 1949. Throughout her career, she challenged gender stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of female drivers.

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ArmeniaWeight Lifting

Nazik Avdalyan

Nazik Avdalyan, an Armenian weightlifter, has made significant contributions to the sport and has had a profound impact on women’s history. From winning a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships to becoming the first Armenian woman to secure a world championship title, Avdalyan is a trailblazer in women’s athletics. Despite facing a setback due to a car accident, she made a triumphant comeback and continues to inspire others.

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BrazilSoccer

Marta

Marta Vieira da Silva, known as Marta, born on February 19, 1986, in Dois Riachos, Brazil, displayed exceptional talent and a deep passion for football from a young age. She became a prodigious talent in her local community and was mentored by Brazilian female coach Helena Pacheco. Marta’s skills led her to a successful professional career, where she became one of the best footballers in the world. Her impact extended beyond the field, inspiring and empowering women and girls everywhere. Marta’s achievements and legacy continue to inspire generations of footballers.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Louise Rice, OAM, is an Australian former competitive swimmer who made a significant impact on the world stage. With her outstanding achievements and groundbreaking performances, she left an indelible mark on the sport.

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United StatesMountaineer

Miriam O’Brien Underhill

Miriam O’Brien Underhill was an American mountaineer, environmentalist, and feminist, known for organizing all-women’s ascents of challenging climbs in the Alps. She achieved various significant first ascents and broke down barriers for women in the male-dominated world of mountaineering. Miriam’s accomplishments, determination, and trailblazing spirit continue to inspire climbers and feminists today.

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RomaniaFencer

Laura Badea

Laura Badea, born in Bucharest, Romania in 1970, has made a significant impact on the sport of fencing. With numerous achievements to her name, she is considered one of Romania’s most successful athletes in fencing. Her dedication, skill, and passion for the sport have solidified her place in history and serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes around the world.

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United StatesGolfer

Betsy Rawls

Elizabeth Earle “Betsy” Rawls was a dominant figure in women’s golf, winning numerous major championships and leaving a lasting impact on the sport. Known for her exceptional skill and mental toughness, she inspired generations of female athletes to pursue their dreams and break down gender barriers. Rawls’ incredible career and unwavering determination continue to inspire individuals both on and off the golf course.

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United StatesBoxer

Shelley Williams

Shelley Williams, a trailblazer in the world of boxing, discovered her passion for the sport while watching fights with her father. After a successful career as a paralegal, she founded Laced Leather Boxing Management, representing numerous champions and making her mark in the male-dominated industry. Williams’s dedication and contributions to boxing led to her induction into both the National Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame.

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RussiaSpeed Skater

Lidiya Skoblikova

Lidiya Pavlovna Skoblikova, born on March 8, 1939, in Zlatoust, Soviet Union, was a highly accomplished Russian speed skater and coach. She represented the USSR Olympic team in three Winter Games, winning a total of six gold medals. Skoblikova’s impressive performance on the ice makes her one of the most successful Winter Olympic athletes in history.

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United StatesRodeo

Florence Youree

Florence Youree, born in 1933 in Duncan, Oklahoma, became a prominent figure in the world of rodeo as a ProRodeo Hall of Fame cowgirl. Alongside her sister Sherry Johnson Combs, Youree excelled in barrel racing and played a vital role in promoting and standardizing the sport. Her dedication and contributions earned Youree numerous honors, including inductions into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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UkraineWeight Lifting

Nataliya Skakun

Nataliya Skakun, born in 1981 in Altai Kray, Ukraine, is a renowned Ukrainian weightlifter who has made a significant impact in the sport, particularly in the women’s 63 kg weight class. From becoming the world champion in 2003 to securing a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Skakun’s remarkable strength and determination have inspired a generation of athletes and broken down gender barriers in sports.

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GermanyLong JumperTrack & Field

Malaika Mihambo

Malaika Mihambo is a German athlete and the current Olympic and world champion in long jump. She has achieved numerous milestones throughout her career, including winning multiple gold medals at the World Championships and European Championships. With her incredible talent and dedication, she has become a dominant force in the long jump event.

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SpainDancer

Blanca del Rey

Blanca del Rey, born Blanca Ávila Moreno, was a renowned flamenco dancer from Córdoba, Spain. Starting her career at a young age, she quickly gained recognition for her talent and performed at prestigious venues. After a period of retirement, she made a comeback and became known for her unique choreography, particularly the shawl soleá. Blanca del Rey’s contributions to flamenco have been widely recognized, earning her numerous awards and honors.

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United StatesLGBTQIATrack & Field

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Marie Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, was born on October 28, 1949, in Mount Kisco, New York. Her parents, Esther Ruth (née McGuire) and William Hugh Jenner, raised her alongside her younger brother, Burt. Jenner’s father, originally from New Brunswick, Canada, worked as an arborist. With a diverse ancestry including English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, and Welsh roots, Jenner grew up in a loving and supportive household.

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United StatesBoxer

Valerie Mahfood

Valerie Rebecca Mahfood, born in 1974, is a renowned female boxer known as “The Big Bad Wolfe.” With her distinctive purple mohawk and aggressive brawling style, Mahfood became a force to be reckoned with in the ring. She claimed the world Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titles and had an unforgettable match against Laila Ali, marking the first female world title fight headlined on ESPN’s Friday night fights series. Mahfood’s determination and skill firmly established her as an influential figure in women’s boxing.

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HungaryFencer

Emese Szász

Emese Judit Szász, born in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary, is a renowned Hungarian fencer known for her exceptional skills and dedication to the sport. From a young age, Szász displayed a passion for sports, eventually finding her calling in fencing at the age of 10. She has achieved numerous accomplishments throughout her career, including silver and bronze medals at Junior European Championships, a third-place finish at World Championships, and impressive performances at various international competitions. Szász’s talent and hard work have brought honor and acclaim to both herself and her country.

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UkraineGymnast

Polina Astakhova

Polina Ghrighorievna Astakhova, a Soviet and Ukrainian artistic gymnast, captivated audiences with her exceptional grace and stunning performances. She won ten Olympic medals and was a trailblazer in the sport. Known for her elegance and poise, she left an indelible mark on gymnastics and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2002.

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ColombiaWeight Lifting

Leydi Solís

Leydi Yesenia Solís Arboleda, a Colombian weightlifter, achieved remarkable success in her career. She became a prominent figure in the world of weightlifting, representing Colombia at various international competitions. Solís’ determination and dedication have made her one of Colombia’s most celebrated athletes, inspiring others to pursue their goals relentlessly.

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United StatesGolfer

Sally Sessions

Sally Sessions was an American golfer who played a pivotal role in the establishment of the LPGA. Known for her skill and determination, she achieved remarkable success in her career, including a tie for second place in the U.S. Women’s Open in 1947. Despite her professional career being cut short due to leukemia, she continued to make contributions to the world of golf and inspire athletes as an athletic director in the Detroit school system.

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United StatesVenezuelaSwimmer

Carrie Steinseifer

Carrie Steinseifer, born Carolyn Lynne Steinseifer on February 12, 1968, is a former American competition swimmer and Olympic champion. Known for her remarkable achievements in the pool, she left an indelible mark on the sport during the 1980s. Steinseifer’s dedication, talent, and unwavering commitment to excellence propelled her to the top of the swimming world.

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New ZealandMountaineer

Lydia Bradey

Lydia Pounamu Bradey ONZM is a New Zealand mountaineer who made history in 1988 by becoming the first woman to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. She has since gone on to summit the mountain five more times.

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ItalyFencer

Irene Camber

Irene Camber, born on 12 February 1926, is an Italian former fencer who left an indelible mark on the sport. Daughter of the poet-soldier Giulio Camber Barni, Irene grew up surrounded by art and literature. However, it was the world of fencing that would become her true passion and place her among the most accomplished athletes in Italian history.

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EnglandScotlandRugby

Alice D. Cooper

Alice D. Cooper is a pioneer of women’s rugby union, in England and internationally. She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and her passion for the sport began in 1986 when she met two members of the Richmond Women’s rugby team during a night out.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Gail Neal

Gail Neall, an Australian former medley swimmer, made a name for herself in the 1970s. Winning a gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the 1972 Summer Olympics in world record time, Neall’s victory inspired young female athletes both in Australia and around the world. Her legacy extends beyond her athletic achievements as she became an advocate for women’s sports, pushing for equal opportunities and recognition.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Lucia Cormani

Lucia Cormani was a 19th and early 20th-century Italian ballet dancer and one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Dance. Although her life is not well-documented, she made significant contributions to the world of ballet and left a lasting impact on the art form.

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United StatesSwimmer

Mary Meagher

Mary Terstegge Meagher Plant is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and world record-holder. She is considered one of the greatest female swimmers in history, known particularly for her dominance in the butterfly stroke. Meagher set numerous world records and received several accolades throughout her career, becoming a trailblazer for future generations of female swimmers. Her contributions to the sport and her legacy as one of the greatest butterfly swimmers of all time continue to be celebrated.

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EnglandCricketer

Enid Bakewell

Enid Bakewell MBE (née Turton; born 16 December 1940) is an English cricket player who made a significant impact on the game during her career. She played for the English women’s cricket team in 12 Tests between 1968 and 1979, as well as in 23 one-day international matches. Touted as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the English women’s game, Bakewell’s performances showcased her exceptional skills both with the bat and ball.

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NorwaySoccer

Hege Riise

Hege Riise is a Norwegian football coach and former midfield player known for her exceptional talent. From winning titles with her club and country to being named the best female Norwegian footballer ever, she has left a lasting impact on the sport. Riise’s dedication, skill, and passion for football have made her an inspiration to future generations of female footballers.

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ItalyWater Polo

Giulia Gorlero

Giulia Gorlero, born on 26 September 1990 in Imperia, Italy, is a prominent figure in the world of water polo, known for her exceptional goalkeeping skills. With a career marked by impressive achievements and a deep impact on the sport, Gorlero’s journey is one defined by dedication, perseverance, and a passion for excellence.

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AustraliaPoliticianSwimmer

Dawn Fraser

Dawn Fraser AC MBE is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer and former politician. She is one of only four swimmers to have won the same Olympic individual event three times – in her case the women’s 100-metre freestyle. Fraser’s swimming career was extraordinary, winning multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medals. Despite controversy and tragedy, she remained determined and became an influential figure in both sports and politics, inspiring many.

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Great BritainCricketer

Sarah Taylor

Sarah Jane Taylor, born on May 20, 1989, is an English cricketer and cricket coach. She had an illustrious career, appearing in 10 Test matches, 126 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 90 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for England. Known for her free-flowing stroke play, Taylor was a wicket-keeper-batter who opened the batting in limited-overs matches and batted in the middle order in Test cricket.

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United StatesSwimmer

Jill Savery

Jill Savery, an American competitor in synchronized swimming and Olympic champion, made history by winning synchronized swimming’s first-ever gold medal in the team event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Her impact on the sport extends beyond her own achievements, inspiring future generations of synchronized swimmers and contributing to the growth and development of the sport worldwide.

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United StatesBoxer

Wendy Rodriguez

Wendy Rodriguez’s legacy as a professional boxer is one of determination and perseverance. Known for her smooth moves and elusive style, Wendy faced off against some of the best female boxers in the world, accumulating multiple world titles as a junior flyweight. Beyond her success in the ring, Wendy broke barriers for women in boxing and continues to inspire young women to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

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United StatesSkateboarder

Cindy Whitehead

Cindy Whitehead (born June 15, 1962) is an American professional skateboarder and activist. She is widely recognized as a pioneer of vertical skateboarding and has made significant contributions to the sport. In 2016, Whitehead was rightfully inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, solidifying her status as an influential figure in skateboarding history.

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United StatesFigure Skater

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan is a retired competitive figure skater and diplomat, known for her exceptional consistency and expressive artistry on the ice. She is a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time World champion, and nine-time U.S. champion, establishing herself as one of the most decorated figure skaters in U.S. history. After her retirement from skating, Kwan became involved in politics and was nominated by President Joe Biden to be the U.S. Ambassador to Belize in January 2022.

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GreecePole VaulterTrack & Field

Katerina Stefanidi

Katerina Stefanidi, the Greek pole vaulter, has become renowned in the world of athletics due to her exceptional talent and determination. Her parents, both international athletes themselves, played a pivotal role in her success. Stefanidi has achieved numerous accolades throughout her career, including a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the title of World champion in 2017. Her remarkable achievements and influence have made her an inspiration to aspiring athletes worldwide.

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United StatesWrestler

Rita Marie Chatterton

Rita Marie Chatterton, also known as “Rita Marie,” was a trailblazing figure in professional wrestling. Born in Orlando, Florida in 1953, she became the first female referee in the history of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in the early 1980s. Despite facing controversy and legal battles, Chatterton’s presence and dedication paved the way for women in the wrestling industry. Her impact and contributions to women’s wrestling history continue to be celebrated.

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United StatesBoxer

Eva Jones-Young

Eva Jones-Young, a former American professional boxer, had a remarkable career in women’s boxing. From victories against Deirdre Rodriguez and Anissa Zamarron to claiming the IWBF and WIBF Bantamweight titles, Jones-Young’s indomitable spirit and skill left a lasting legacy in the sport. Her achievements continue to inspire aspiring athletes today.

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United StatesGolfer

Patty Berg

Patricia Jane Berg was an American professional golfer and a trailblazer in women’s golf. From an early age, she expressed an interest in football but ultimately found her passion in golf. Berg’s talent and dedication to the sport propelled her to become one of the most successful female golfers in history, winning numerous championships and inspiring future generations of athletes.

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RomaniaDiscus ThrowerTrack & Field

Lia Manoliu

Lia Manoliu was a Romanian discus thrower who won one gold and two bronze Olympic medals. She became the first track and field athlete to compete at six Olympics. Her legacy endures as she shattered barriers and paved the way for future female athletes.

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United StatesBasketball

Michelle Edwards

Michelle Edwards (born March 6, 1966) is an American retired professional women’s basketball player. She was a member of the United States women’s national basketball team that claimed the bronze medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. Edwards was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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AustraliaSwimmer

Beverly Whitfield

Beverly Joy Whitfield was an Australian breaststroke swimmer who achieved great success in the 1970s. She became a prominent figure in the world of swimming, leaving a lasting impact on the sport. Whitfield’s remarkable journey to becoming an Olympic gold medalist spanned over many years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

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United StatesBasketball

Lurlyne Greer Rogers

Lurlyne Ann Greer was an influential American basketball player who made her mark on the sport during the pre-professional era of women’s basketball in the mid-1940s to mid-1950s. Known for her exceptional skills and determination on the court, Greer received numerous accolades and led her teams to victory. Her legacy lives on as a pioneer and a celebrated figure in women’s basketball history.

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United StatesActivistSkier

Andrea Mead Lawrence

Andrea Mead Lawrence was an American alpine ski racer and environmentalist who won two Olympic gold medals. She was born into an alpine skiing family and made the national team at age 14. Mead Lawrence went on to compete in three Winter Olympics and was the captain of the U.S. women’s team at age 19. After retiring from competition, she fought against development and served as a Mono County supervisor. Mead Lawrence also founded a non-profit organization committed to conservation.

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FranceChoreographerDancer

Jeanne Chasles

Jeanne Chasles, a French dancer and choreographer, was a prominent figure in the world of dance during the Belle Époque period. Known for her talent and versatility, Chasles performed in various theaters and collaborated with renowned dancers. She also held important administrative positions, became a respected choreographer, and dedicated her life to preserving the history of dance. Her contributions were recognized with honors, and her legacy continues to inspire dancers and choreographers today.

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RussiaFigure Skater

Anna Shcherbakova

Anna Stanislavovna Shcherbakova is a Russian figure skater and television presenter who has made a significant impact on the sport with her technical prowess and groundbreaking achievements. Starting her skating journey at the age of three, she overcame setbacks and became a rising star in the junior ranks. In the senior level, she made history by landing a quad Lutz and two quad Lutz jumps in a single program, pushing the boundaries of women’s figure skating. Shcherbakova’s consistency and dominance have earned her numerous titles, including the 2021 World Championships and 2022 Olympic champion.

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South KoreaWeight Lifting

Jang Mi-ran

Jang Mi-ran, a South Korean Olympic weightlifter born in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, has made a lasting impact on the world of sports. Her exceptional journey from a young weightlifter to a global champion is a testament to her unwavering dedication, resilience, and remarkable abilities, leaving an indelible mark on women’s weightlifting history.

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MexicoMatadora

Lupita López

Lupita López is a renowned Mexican bullfighter and matador who broke gender barriers in the male-dominated profession. Her journey began at a young age, fueled by her unwavering passion for bullfighting. Throughout her career, López has captivated audiences with her skill, grace, and bravery in the ring. She has also used her platform to advocate for gender equality in traditionally male-dominated fields, making her a role model for aspiring women in the profession.

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United StatesBasketballCoach

Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt, the legendary American women’s college basketball head coach, transformed the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team into a powerhouse. With 1,098 career wins, she held the record for the most wins in college basketball history at the time of her retirement. Summitt’s relentless work ethic, determination, and commitment to excellence made her players better both on and off the court, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. Her legacy as a trailblazer, leader, and champion is forever remembered in the annals of women’s sports history.

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United StatesHammer ThrowerTrack & Field

DeAnna Price

DeAnna Marie Price, born on June 8, 1993, is a renowned American track and field athlete. She has made a significant impact in the sport, particularly in the hammer throw event. Price’s exceptional abilities and tenacity have propelled her to the top ranks of female throwers worldwide, solidifying her place in athletics history.

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RussiaGymnast

Tamara Manina

Tamara Manina, born on September 16, 1934, in Petrozavodsk, Russia, is a retired Soviet Olympic gymnast and sports scientist. She achieved great success in her gymnastics career, winning gold and silver medals at the Olympics and World Championships. Despite a severe ankle injury, she continued to contribute to the sport through coaching and scientific research.

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South KoreaUnited StatesAsian American

Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim, the American snowboarder, has become a trailblazer in her sport. Starting her snowboarding journey at a young age, she quickly rose to prominence, winning her first Olympic gold medal at just 17 years old. With her remarkable skills and fearless approach, Kim has inspired many and shattered stereotypes, making her a true role model for aspiring athletes worldwide.

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Great BritainCoachCricketer

Charlotte Edwards

Charlotte Marie Edwards CBE (born 17 December 1979) is an English former cricketer and current cricket coach and commentator. She played primarily as a right-handed batter and made significant contributions to women’s cricket throughout her career. With an impressive international record and numerous accolades, Edwards is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the sport.

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RussiaCoachFigure Skater

Irina Rodnina

Irina Konstantinovna Rodnina is widely regarded as one of the greatest pair skaters in the history of the sport. She is the only pair skater to win 10 successive World Championships and three successive Olympic gold medals. Rodnina has made significant contributions to figure skating as both an athlete and a coach. Her achievements and dedication have solidified her status as a pioneer and legend in women’s sports.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBasketball

Tina Thompson

Tina Marie Thompson (born February 10, 1975) is an American former WNBA professional basketball player and coach. Most recently, she served as the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers women’s basketball team from 2018 to 2022. Thompson was inducted into both the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

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United KingdomSwimmer

Lucy Morton

Lucy Morton, later known as Lucy Heaton, was an English competition swimmer who made a significant impact on the sport during the early 20th century. Born on 23 February 1898 in New Tatton, Cheshire, Lucy’s father Alfred worked as a groom in domestic service. The family eventually relocated to Blackpool, where Lucy would begin her remarkable journey as a swimmer.

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RussiaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Anna Chicherova

Anna Vladimirovna Chicherova, a Russian high jumper, has established herself as one of the most successful athletes in her sport. From winning her first major title at the age of 16 to claiming gold medals at prestigious events, Chicherova’s journey is a testament to her exceptional talent, determination, and resilience. Despite facing setbacks, including the revocation of her bronze medal due to a doping test, she continues to inspire aspiring athletes and demonstrate the power of perseverance.

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PhilippinesBowling

Liza del Rosario

Liza del Rosario, a Filipino ten-pin bowling player, has become a celebrated figure in Philippine bowling history. With her exceptional skills and remarkable achievements, she has left an indelible mark on the sport. Del Rosario’s ascent to prominence came in the early 2000s when she showcased her unrivaled precision and finesse on the international stage, earning her numerous gold medals and bringing immense pride to her country. Her talent, dedication, and accomplishments continue to inspire aspiring athletes, particularly women, to pursue their dreams with unwavering determination.

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SamoaActivistArcher

Zita Martel

Vaimasenu’u Zita Sefo-Martel, a prominent Samoan women’s rights activist, fautasi skipper, and archer, has made significant contributions to women’s rights, sports, and community development in Samoa. She became the first-ever woman to captain a fautasi in 2001, breaking barriers and inspiring others. With her achievements in skippering and archery, as well as her advocacy against domestic violence, Zita Martel has become an influential figure in Samoan society.

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CanadaSwimmer

Elaine Tanner

Elaine Tanner-Watt, nicknamed “Mighty Mouse,” made history in Canadian swimming by winning four gold medals at the 1966 Commonwealth Games. Her dominance continued at the 1967 Pan American Games where she broke two world records. Despite facing personal challenges and struggles with mental health, Tanner found a renewed sense of purpose and now works to empower individuals facing adversity through her charity organization Team Underdog.

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IndonesiaMuslimSport Climber

Aries Susanti Rahayu

Aries Susanti Rahayu, known as “Spiderwoman,” is a renowned sport climbing athlete from Indonesia. She made history by becoming the first woman to conquer the speed wall in less than seven seconds. In addition to her remarkable achievements in climbing, Aries has been recognized on Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list and serves as an inspiration to aspiring climbers worldwide.

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JapanMartial Artist

Uta Abe

Uta Abe, born on 14 July 2000 in Kobe, Japan, is a renowned Japanese judoka. As a highly accomplished athlete in her field, Uta has left an indelible mark on the world of judo through her exceptional skills, numerous accolades, and unwavering determination.

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