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Track & Field

United KingdomTrack & Field

Mary Lines

Mary Lines (1893–1978) was a British athlete who made significant contributions to the world of sports in the early 20th century. Recognized for her exceptional talent in track and field events, Lines achieved remarkable success, capturing numerous gold medals and establishing herself as a trailblazer for women in sports. Her determination and skill continue to inspire athletes to this day.

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BarbadosHigh JumperLong Jumper

Akela Jones

Akela Jones, born on April 22, 1995, is a Barbadian track and field athlete who has made a significant impact in multiple events. She holds impressive Barbadian records in the women’s heptathlon, pentathlon, long jump, and high jump. Throughout her career, Jones has achieved remarkable success and has become an inspiration to many.

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JamaicaHurdlerTrack & Field

Deon Hemmings

Deon Marie Hemmings, born on October 9, 1968, in Saint Ann, Jamaica, is a former female 400 meters hurdler who made history in Jamaican athletics. Hemmings became the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic Gold when she triumphed in the 400m Hurdles at the 1996 Olympics. This victory not only established her as a groundbreaking athlete but also marked a significant moment for women’s sports in Jamaica.

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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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UkraineDisabledDiscus Thrower

Zoia Ovsii

Zoia Ovsii, a Ukrainian Paralympic athlete, has overcome physical challenges from a young age to become a dominant force in para-athletics. With exceptional talent and determination, Ovsii has earned numerous accolades, including gold medals at the 2020 Summer Paralympics and World Para Athletics Championships. Her inspiring journey showcases the power of resilience and the human spirit.

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BelgiumTrack & Field

Nafissatou Thiam

Nafissatou Thiam, also known as Nafi Thiam, is a Belgian athlete who has made a significant impact in multi-event competition. Born on August 19, 1994, Thiam has become a celebrated figure in the world of athletics, earning numerous accolades and breaking multiple records throughout her career.

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IrelandTrack & Field

Joan O’Reilly

Joan Gertrude O’Reilly (1924-2014) overcame discrimination to become a renowned Irish athlete and hockey player. Although she was unable to compete at the 1948 Olympics, she excelled in sprinting and showcased her skills at various international competitions. O’Reilly later transitioned to hockey, representing Ireland in 34 international games and even captaining a successful tour of the United States. Her contributions to Irish hockey were recognized with her induction into the Irish Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

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United StatesDiscus ThrowerJavelin

Lillian Copeland

Lillian Copeland, a trailblazing American track and field athlete, made history as the first American woman to win the discus throw at a modern Olympics. Her exceptional achievements in discus, javelin throwing, and shot put set numerous world records and inspired generations of female athletes. Despite facing discrimination and prejudice as a Jewish woman in the early 20th century, Copeland’s determination and resilience propelled her to break barriers and leave an indelible mark on women’s sports.

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ChinaDiscus ThrowerJavelin

Wu Qing

Wu Qing, a Paralympic athlete from China, has left an indelible mark in the field of throwing events. With gold medals in javelin throw and discus throw at the 2008 Summer Paralympics, Wu’s exceptional talent and dedication have made her a source of inspiration for many. Her record-breaking performances and unwavering spirit have solidified her status as a dominant force in her classification, proving that physical disabilities are no obstacle to greatness.

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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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AustraliaHigh JumperLong Jumper

Lisa Llorens

Lisa Christina Llorens, OAM, was an Australian Paralympic athlete known for her achievements in high jumping, long jumping, and sprinting. Born on January 17, 1978, in Canberra, Llorens faced unique challenges as an athlete with autism but overcame them to become one of Australia’s most outstanding female athletes with an intellectual disability.

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United StatesHigh JumperTrack & Field

Alice Coachman

Alice Coachman Davis, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, faced discrimination and barriers throughout her athletic career. Despite these challenges, she remained determined to pursue her passion for sports. Her achievements in high jump and other track events, as well as her resilience and positive spirit, continue to inspire women in sports today.

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BulgariaDiscus ThrowerJavelin

Ivanka Koleva

Ivanka Koleva is a Paralympian track and field athlete from Bulgaria known for her remarkable achievements in throwing events. With numerous accolades and a career spanning over two decades, Koleva has become a role model for aspiring athletes. Her determination and talent have not only made her a successful athlete but also a groundbreaking figure in women’s sports history.

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New ZealandLong JumperTrack & Field

Yvette Williams

Yvette Williams, born in 1929 in Dunedin, New Zealand, was a trailblazing athlete who made history as the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal and hold the world record in the women’s long jump. Her remarkable achievements and dedication continue to inspire generations of female athletes.

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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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FranceSprinterTrack & Field

Assia El Hannouni

Assia El Hannouni, born in Dijon, France, in 1981, is a French track and field athlete who has achieved remarkable success in the Paralympic sports scene. Despite facing the challenges of a severe visual impairment, she has emerged as a Paralympic legend, shattering world records and capturing the hearts of sports enthusiasts worldwide. Beyond her athletic achievements, El Hannouni is also a dedicated student pursuing a degree in journalism, reflecting her commitment to making an impact on and off the track.

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FranceSprinterTrack & Field

Marie-José Pérec

Marie-José Pérec, born on 9 May 1968, is a retired French track and field sprinter who made a significant impact on the world of athletics. Specializing in the 200 and 400 meters, Pérec is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a World Champion in her respective events.

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PolandUnited StatesTrack & Field

Stanisawa Walasiewicz

Stefania Walasiewicz, better known as Stella Walsh, was a remarkable Polish-American track and field athlete. She made her mark in the world of athletics, winning a gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Despite facing challenges with her citizenship, she remained devoted to her Polish roots. Tragically, her life was cut short in 1980, but her exceptional talent and dedication continue to inspire generations.

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NamibiaLong JumperSprinter

Johanna Benson

Johanna Benson, born in 1990 in Walvis Bay, Namibia, is a Paralympian athlete known for her achievements in the T37 long jump and sprint events. She made history at the 2012 Summer Paralympics by becoming Namibia’s first-ever Paralympic gold medalist in the women’s 200 meters race. Benson’s accomplishments have not only made her a celebrated athlete but also a trailblazer and role model for aspiring athletes in Namibia.

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United StatesLong JumperTrack & Field

Brittney Reese

Brittney Davon Reese, born in 1986 in Inglewood, California, is a retired American long jumper, Olympic gold medalist, and seven-time world champion. She had a remarkable career in athletics, excelling at the collegiate and international levels. Reese’s achievements in long jumping solidified her status as one of the greatest in the sport’s history.

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United StatesLong JumperSprinter

Tori Bowie

Frentorish “Tori” Bowie was an American track and field athlete who left an indelible mark on the world of athletics during her short but impactful career. Known for her versatility, Bowie competed in the long jump, 100 meters, and 200 meters, achieving remarkable success in each discipline. Her resilience and unwavering determination were inspirational to many young athletes, especially young women aspiring to break barriers and achieve greatness.

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United StatesHigh JumperJewish

Gretel Bergmann

Gretel Bergmann, a German Jewish high jumper, faced numerous challenges and discrimination in her athletic career due to her Jewish origins. Despite being expelled from her club and being pressured to return to Germany by the Nazi government, she showed resilience and continued to excel in her sport. Bergmann’s inspiring story serves as a testament to the strength and determination of women in sports history.

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United StatesLong JumperSprinter

Tianna Bartoletta

Tianna Bartoletta, formerly known as Tianna Madison, is a renowned American track and field athlete. She has achieved remarkable success throughout her career, becoming a two-time Olympian and a three-time gold medalist. Bartoletta’s versatility and exceptional abilities have been showcased in both the long jump and short sprinting events. Her commitment to excellence and dedication to her craft have solidified her legacy as one of the sport’s finest athletes.

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UzbekistanHigh JumperTrack & Field

Svetlana Radzivil

Svetlana Mikhaylovna Radzivil, born on January 17, 1987, in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, is a renowned Uzbekistani high jumper and one of Asia’s top female high jumpers. With numerous accolades and a personal best jump of 1.97 meters, Radzivil has become a symbol of excellence in her sport. She has also made a positive impact off the field, as shown by her election to the Tashkent City Kengash of People’s Deputies in 2019.

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ScotlandRunnerTrack & Field

Lee McConnell

Lee McConnell is a retired Scottish athlete who excelled in multiple track and field events, including the 400 meters and 400 meters hurdles. She represented Great Britain in three Olympics and is considered one of Scotland’s most accomplished athletes. McConnell’s remarkable career is characterized by numerous medals, impressive performances, and recognition as Scottish Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions. Her versatility, determination, and contributions to team events have solidified her legacy as a pioneer in Scottish athletics.

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CanadaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Debbie Brill

Debbie Arden Brill, a Canadian high jump athlete, revolutionized the sport with her unique reverse jumping style known as the Brill Bend. She became the first North American woman to clear 6 feet at the age of 16. Brill’s impressive records and victories on the international stage, including a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, solidified her status as one of the best high jumpers in the world. Her contributions to women’s sports and her enduring legacy continue to inspire athletes globally.

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VenezuelaTrack & FieldTriple Jump

Yulimar Rojas

Yulimar Rojas Rodríguez, also known as Yolimar Rojas, is a Venezuelan athlete who holds the world record for women’s triple jump. She is the current Olympic champion and has won three World Championship titles and three World Indoor Championship titles. Despite facing challenges growing up, Rojas pursued her passion for sports and became one of the most dominant athletes in her field. Her inspiring journey and remarkable achievements make her a role model for aspiring athletes.

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United StatesPole VaulterTrack & Field

Katie Moon

Kathryn Moon, formerly known as Katie Nageotte, was born on June 13, 1991, in the United States. She is an accomplished American athlete who specializes in pole vaulting. Moon’s remarkable career has seen her achieve numerous accolades and make a lasting impact on the sports world.

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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 StatesPole VaulterTrack & Field

Stacy Dragila

Stacy Renée Mikaelson, better known as Stacy Renée Dragila, was a trailblazer in women’s pole vaulting. Despite her childhood asthma hindering her gymnastics career, Dragila found success in track and field. She made history by winning the pole vault competition at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials, and went on to become the first-ever women’s pole vault Olympic gold medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games. Dragila’s exceptional skill and perseverance continue to inspire athletes worldwide.

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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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United StatesSoccerTrack & Field

Scout Bassett

Scout Bassett (born Zhu Fuzhi;[1] August 18, 1988) is an American Paralympic Track & Field Athlete. Bassett spent her first seven years of life in a government-run orphanage in Nanjing, China after she was found abandoned on the side of a street following the tragic loss of her right leg in a chemical fire as a newborn baby. While growing up, she made a makeshift prosthetic leg using leather belts and masking tape and began to walk, aged six, but never went outside of the orphanage in which she was being raised. Bassett was adopted in 1995 by an American couple from Michigan.

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PolandHammer ThrowerTrack & Field

Kamila Skolimowska

Kamila Skolimowska, a Polish hammer thrower, became the youngest-ever hammer throw champion at the age of fifteen. She went on to win a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, setting a new personal best throw of 71.16 meters. Skolimowska’s untimely death in 2009 left the world of athletics mourning the loss of a talented and dedicated athlete. Her legacy as a trailblazer in the sport will forever be remembered.

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BelarusHammer ThrowerTrack & Field

Aksana Miankova

Aksana Miankova, also known as Oksana Menkova, is a Belarusian hammer thrower. With a personal best of 78.69 meters, she ranks as the third best woman of all time in hammer throw. Despite controversy surrounding a doping violation, Miankova’s accomplishments remain significant, and her impact on the sport cannot be overlooked.

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United StatesShot PutterSprinter

Helen Stephens

Helen Herring Stephens was an American athlete and double Olympic champion in 1936. Known as the “Fulton Flash,” she was unbeatable in sprint and weight categories. Despite facing tough competition, she emerged victorious in the 100m event, defeating the reigning champion. Stephens also played a crucial role in securing the Olympic title for the American team in the 4x100m relay. After her athletic career, she made history as the owner and manager of her own basketball team. Stephens’ legacy in sports and gender representation is honored in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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IndiaJavelinShot Putter

Deepa Malik

Deepa Malik, born on September 30, 1970, is a remarkable Indian athlete who has defied all odds to achieve greatness. She embarked on her sporting career at the age of 30, proving that age is merely a number when it comes to pursuing one’s dreams. Deepa holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympic Games and has become an inspiration to millions around the world.

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RussiaJavelinTrack & Field

Klavdiya Mayuchaya

Klavdiya Yakovlevna Mayuchaya (née Lapteva) was a legendary Soviet track and field athlete known for her remarkable contributions to the sport, particularly in the javelin throw. She became the first woman to throw the javelin beyond fifty meters and achieved numerous titles and championships throughout her career. Her determination and pioneering achievements continue to inspire female athletes and solidify her status as an icon in women’s history.

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RussiaDiscus ThrowerTrack & Field

Nina Ponomaryova

Nina Apollonovna Ponomaryova (née Romashkova) was a Russian discus thrower and the first Soviet Olympic champion. She shattered the Olympic record by over 3 meters at the 1952 Summer Olympics, securing the first Olympic gold medal for the Soviet Union. Ponomaryova’s talent and dedication led her to another Olympic gold medal in 1960, solidifying her place as one of the greatest discus throwers of her time. She passed away on August 19, 2016, leaving behind a lasting legacy as a trailblazer in women’s sports and a symbol of Russian athletic excellence.

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South AfricaDiscus ThrowerJavelin

Zanele Situ

Zanele Situ, born in 1971 in Kokstad, South Africa, overcame tremendous challenges to become a Paralympian athlete. Despite being paralyzed from the fourth vertebra down and relying on a wheelchair for mobility, Situ excelled in the javelin throw. She secured multiple gold and silver medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships and the Summer Paralympics, making history as the first female South African black athlete to win a Paralympic gold medal. Situ’s determination and resilience serve as an inspiration to many.

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PanamaDiscus ThrowerTrack & Field

Aixa Middleton

Aixa Middleton González, born in 1988, is a renowned Panamanian track and field athlete specializing in the discus throw. With a personal best of 55.00 meters, Middleton holds the Panamanian national record for this event. Her exceptional achievements and unwavering dedication have made her a revered figure in the world of sports.

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UkraineDiscus ThrowerJewish

Faina Melnik

Faina Grigorievna Melnik was a trailblazing Soviet discus thrower who shattered barriers and set world records throughout her career. From her early promise in athletics to her Olympic gold medal and 11 world records, Melnik’s indomitable spirit and Jewish heritage made her an inspiring figure in the world of women’s track and field. Her legacy as a champion and mentor to future athletes continues to inspire generations.

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Great BritainDiscus ThrowerRugby

Josie Pearson

Josie Rachel Pearson MBE, born on January 3, 1986, is a Paralympian wheelchair rugby player and athlete from England. She made history by representing Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Paralympics as the first woman to compete in wheelchair rugby for her country at the Paralympics. Although initially a sprint athlete, Pearson switched to throwing events and qualified for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in both discus and club throw in the F51 class. She went on to achieve a remarkable feat, winning the gold medal in discus and setting a world record distance. Pearson’s inspiring journey is marked by resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication.

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United StatesBasketballTennis

Joan Cronan

Joan Cronan is a trailblazing figure in women’s athletics, known for her extraordinary contributions to the University of Tennessee (UT) athletics program. Born on June 24, 1948, in Opelousas, Louisiana, Cronan’s passion for sports began at a young age. She pursued her love for athletics, excelling in basketball, tennis, and track throughout her high school years.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBasketball

Pamela McGee

Pamela Denise McGee, a pioneer in women’s basketball, is known for her lasting impact on the sport. From her high school achievements to her successful college career at USC and her gold medal win in the Olympics, McGee’s dedication, talent, and perseverance have solidified her place in history. Her impressive basketball career has earned her a spot in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

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GermanyHammer ThrowerTrack & Field

Betty Heidler

Betty Heidler, a retired German track and field athlete, had a remarkable career in the hammer throw. She achieved numerous accolades, including a world record in 2011. Heidler’s success not only brought her personal glory, but also served as an inspiration for aspiring athletes, especially women, in track and field events.

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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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NigeriaUnited StatesHammer Thrower

Annette Echikunwoke

Annette Echikunwoke, born in 1996, is a Nigerian-American hammer thrower based in Ohio. With an impressive track record, she emerged as a skilled athlete during her school years and continued to excel in college. Despite facing setbacks and unjust disqualification from the Olympics, Annette’s dedication and passion for her sport continue to inspire aspiring athletes, especially women, to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

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PolandHammer ThrowerTrack & Field

Anita Włodarczyk

Anita Włodarczyk, born in Warsaw, Poland in 1985, is considered the greatest women’s hammer thrower of all time. She has achieved unprecedented success, shattering records and becoming the first woman to throw the hammer over 80 meters. Her remarkable achievements have left an indelible mark on the sport, inspiring countless individuals worldwide.

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CanadaDiscus ThrowerShot Putter

Joanne Berdan

Joanne Berdan was a prominent Canadian medallist in Paralympic athletics. Born in 1963 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Berdan displayed exceptional athletic talent from a young age. She pursued her passion for sports and went on to achieve remarkable success in the field of Paralympic athletics.

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RussiaShot PutterTrack & Field

Galina Zybina

Galina Ivanovna Zybina, a Soviet and Russian athlete and coach, was a dominant force in the field of shot put. She made her mark in the Olympics, securing first, second, seventh, and third place finishes in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964, respectively. Zybina’s incredible record-breaking achievements and pioneering spirit have cemented her legacy as one of the greatest athletes in women’s sports history.

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CroatiaDiscus ThrowerTrack & Field

Sandra Perković

Sandra Perković, born on 21 June 1990, is a Croatian discus thrower who has left an indelible mark in the world of athletics. With a distinguished career that showcases her exceptional talent, determination, and resilience, she has become a prominent figure not only in Croatia but also on the global stage.

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PolandDiscus ThrowerTrack & Field

Halina Konopacka

Halina Konopacka was a Polish athlete who became the first Polish Olympic champion when she won the discus throw event at the 1928 Summer Olympics. After retiring from athletics, she became a writer and poet. She then immigrated to the United States after World War II, where she passed away.

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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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RussiaUkraineDiscus Thrower

Tamara Press

Tamara Natanovna Press was a Soviet athlete who dominated the shot put and discus throw in the early 1960s. Born on May 10, 1937, in Kharkov, Tamara faced early adversity when her father tragically died fighting in World War II in 1942. Her mother, determined to provide a better life for her daughters, took Tamara and her sister Irina to Samarkand, where their athletic journey began.

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TunisiaDiscus ThrowerShot Putter

Raoua Tlili

Raoua Tlili is a renowned Paralympian athlete from Tunisia, known for her exceptional achievements in the field of shot put and discus events. Her journey in international athletics commenced in 2006, and she astounded the world with her world record distances at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics. Tlili’s unrivaled success extends beyond the Paralympics, as she has also dominated the IPC Athletics World Championships, solidifying her reputation as one of Tunisia’s most esteemed sports figures.

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FijiDiscus ThrowerJavelin

Mereoni Vibose

Mereoni Vibose (26 April 1951 – 27 January 2018) was a Fijian female track and field athlete who excelled in the discus throw and javelin throw. Her remarkable career included setting national records and representing Fiji at international events such as the South Pacific Games and the World Championships in Athletics. She was inducted into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of athletics.

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Great BritainShot PutterTrack & Field

Sabrina Fortune

Sabrina Fortune, born on 25 May 1997, is a British Paralympic track and field athlete from Wales who overcame numerous challenges to become a prominent figure in Paralympic sports. Inspired by her brother, Sabrina joined an athletics club at the age of eleven and began participating in local meets. She achieved international success in 2014, winning a gold medal at the Brazilian Paralympic School Games. Sabrina’s dedication and hard work culminated in a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her achievements continue to inspire and break down barriers in the world of Paralympic sports.

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MexicoTrack & Field

Enriqueta Basilio

Enriqueta Basilio, born in Mexicali in 1948, made history as the first woman to light the Olympic Cauldron at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Although she faced personal challenges, including the loss of her husband in an airplane accident, Enriqueta continued to inspire others and advocate for positive change throughout her life. She passed away in 2019, leaving behind a lasting legacy as a trailblazer in sports and society.

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JamaicaSprinterTrack & Field

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is hailed as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, leaving an indelible mark on the world of athletics. With a career spanning over a decade and a half, Fraser-Pryce has achieved unprecedented success in the 100 meters, earning two Olympic gold medals and five World Championships. Her unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication have propelled Jamaican sprinting to new heights and established her as a true icon in the sport.

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SpainHigh JumperTrack & Field

Ruth Beitia

Ruth Beitia Vila is a retired high jumper, politician, and Olympic champion. She broke the Spanish record multiple times and became the first Spanish woman to jump higher than two meters. Beitia won numerous medals at international competitions, including the gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. She retired in 2017 due to rheumatoid arthritis.

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ItalyHigh JumperTrack & Field

Sara Simeoni

Sara Simeoni, born in 1953 in Rivoli Veronese, Italy, is a former high jumper who made a significant impact on the sport. Her talent and determination propelled her to become one of the greatest female high jumpers in history. Throughout her career, Simeoni achieved numerous milestones, including winning a gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics and setting two world records in the women’s high jump.

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CanadaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Ethel Catherwood

Ethel Hannah Catherwood, a Canadian athlete, made history as the world’s first female high jump gold medalist at the 1928 Summer Olympics. She captivated audiences not only with her athletic prowess but also with her beauty, earning the affectionate nickname “Saskatoon Lily.” Despite controversy and challenges in her personal life, Ethel’s achievements continue to inspire and remind us of the trailblazing female athletes of the past.

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GermanyHigh JumperTrack & Field

Rosemarie Ackermann

Rosemarie “Rosi” Ackermann was a German high jumper who made history as the first female to clear 2 meters in the high jump. She won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and set numerous world records throughout her career. Ackermann’s impact on women’s history extended beyond athletics, inspiring future female athletes and shattering barriers in the sport.

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NetherlandsTrack & Field

Fanny Blankers-Koen

Fanny Blankers-Koen, known as the “Flying Housewife,” defied societal expectations and shattered stereotypes in women’s sports. At the 1948 Olympics, she won an unprecedented four gold medals as a 30-year-old mother of two. Fanny’s outstanding performance and remarkable achievements established her as an icon of women’s sports history. She set or tied 12 world records and was named “Female Athlete of the Century” by the IAAF. Her enduring legacy paved the way for future generations of athletes.

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CroatiaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Blanka Vlašić

Blanka Vlašić is a Croatian former high jump athlete who achieved great success in her career. She is a two-time world champion and double Olympic medalist, and her personal best of 2.08 meters ranks her as one of the top female jumpers of all time. Vlašić’s legacy as a trailblazer in women’s high jump is an inspiration to athletes worldwide.

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GermanyHigh JumperTrack & Field

Ulrike Meyfarth

Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth is a German former high jumper who won the Olympic title twice. She became the youngest Olympic champion ever in women’s high jump in 1972 and then became the oldest ever in 1984.

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IrelandHigh JumperLong Jumper

Thelma Hopkins

Thelma Elizabeth Hopkins, born in 1936, is a Northern Irish athlete who left an indelible mark on the world of athletics. She achieved groundbreaking feats in the high jump and long jump, including breaking the world record in the high jump in 1956. Hopkins represented Great Britain in the 1956 Summer Olympics, securing a silver medal, and proudly represented Northern Ireland in the 1954 Commonwealth Games, where she won a gold medal. Beyond her sporting achievements, Hopkins also demonstrated her commitment to social justice and equality.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanSprinter

Tidye Pickett

Tidye Pickett (1914-1986) was the first African-American woman to compete in the Olympic Games. Despite facing racial discrimination and setbacks, she continued to pursue her running career and made history as a trailblazing athlete. After retiring from athletics, Pickett dedicated her life to education and became a schoolteacher, leaving a lasting impact on the community. Her inspiring journey serves as a symbol of perseverance and determination in women’s history.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanSprinter

Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph, an American sprinter, overcame childhood polio to become an Olympic champion and an international sports icon. Her determination and willpower propelled her to win three gold medals at the 1960 Summer Olympics, making her the first American woman to achieve this feat. Rudolph’s remarkable achievements inspired future generations of athletes, breaking down racial and gender barriers along the way. She passed away in 1994, leaving behind a lasting legacy in civil rights and women’s rights.

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United StatesSprinterTrack & Field

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone is an American hurdler and sprinter who has left an indelible mark on the world of track and field. With her exceptional speed and hurdling prowess, she has become one of the greatest athletes in the history of women’s athletics. From a young age, McLaughlin showed incredible talent and dedication, and she has since shattered records and redefined what is possible in her event. Her impact extends beyond her athletic achievements, inspiring others to chase their dreams and break down barriers.

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United StatesSprinterTrack & Field

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix OLY, born in 1985 in Los Angeles, California, is a retired American track and field athlete who achieved remarkable success in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters events. Known for her speed and versatility, Felix earned numerous accolades throughout her career, including Olympic gold medals and world championships. She also holds the distinction of being the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history and the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history. Off the track, Felix has been an advocate for gender equality and fair treatment of athletes.

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DjiboutiMuslimSprinter

Fathia Ali Bouraleh

Fathia Ali Bouraleh, born in 1987 in Djibouti, is a renowned track and field sprint athlete. Her inspiring journey to becoming an international athlete is a testament to her determination, resilience, and ability to overcome societal obstacles. Today, she continues to make a profound impact in the world of athletics, coaching and empowering young female athletes through organizations like Girls Run 2. Fathia’s unwavering spirit and commitment to breaking down barriers make her an inspiration to women everywhere.

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MexicoTrack & Field

Ana Guevara

Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza, born on March 4, 1977, in Nogales, Sonora, is a Mexican former track and field athlete renowned for her outstanding performances in the 400 meters event. She began her athletic career in 1996 and quickly rose to prominence as one of the most formidable competitors in her discipline. Guevara’s crowning achievement came on August 27, 2003, in Paris, France. It was there that she became the World Champion in the women’s 400 meters, setting a personal record, a national record, and a world-leading time of 48.89 seconds.

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Great BritainSudanTrack & Field

Yamilé Aldama

Yamilé Aldama Pozo is a Cuban-born triple jumper who represented Cuba until 2003, Sudan from 2004 to 2010, and then Great Britain from 2011 onwards. She won a silver medal at the 1999 World Championships and a gold medal at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. Aldama’s career spanned over two decades, during which she faced numerous challenges and setbacks. Despite the obstacles, she remained dedicated to her sport and showcased exceptional talent and determination. Her role in women’s history is significant, as she has been an inspiration to countless young athletes around the world.

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RussiaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Mariya Lasitskene

Mariya Aleksandrovna Lasitskene is a Russian athlete who specializes in high jump. She is a three-time world champion and the 2020 Olympic champion. Lasitskene has made her mark in the high jump world, breaking records and consistently proving her talent on the global stage. Despite facing setbacks and a ban on the Russian Track and Field Federation, she has remained resilient and has become an inspiration for young athletes and women worldwide.

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RussiaPole VaulterTrack & Field

Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva is a Russian former pole vaulter who is widely considered the greatest female pole vaulter of all time. She won two Olympic gold medals, three World Championships, and set multiple world records. Isinbayeva’s impact on women’s pole vaulting and her achievements have made her an inspiration to athletes around the world.

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RomaniaHigh JumperTrack & Field

Iolanda Balaș

Iolanda Balaș (1936-2016) was a Romanian athlete and one of the greatest high jumpers of the twentieth century. She was the first Romanian woman to win an Olympic gold medal and held the world record in the high jump. Balaș’s career was remarkable for her incredible consistency. Between 1957 and 1966, she won an astonishing 154 consecutive competitions and shattered the world record in the high jump 14 times. Her achievements not only pushed the boundaries of what was possible in women’s high jump, but also inspired countless athletes to strive for excellence.

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NigeriaTrack & Field

Chioma Ajunwa

Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, also known as Chioma Ajunwa, is a Nigerian former track and field athlete and football player. She made history by becoming the first Nigerian to win gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event. Ajunwa’s achievements have made her a trailblazer in Nigerian sports history.

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Great BritainLong JumperTrack & Field

Mary Rand

Mary Denise Rand, MBE was an exceptional English track and field athlete who left an indelible mark on the sport. Her journey began in Wells, Somerset, where her talent was nurtured from a young age. Rand’s versatility and dedication led her to incredible achievements, including breaking records and winning Olympic gold. Her impact on women’s athletics and trailblazing spirit continue to inspire generations.

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JapanJavelinLong Jumper

Kinue Hitomi

Kinue Hitomi, a remarkable Japanese track and field athlete, left an enduring legacy in the sports world during the 1920s and 1930s. She shattered records and became the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic medal. Hitomi’s incredible achievements not only showcased her unparalleled skill and resilience but also paved the way for future generations of female athletes.

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NetherlandsLong JumperSprinter

Marlene van Gansewinkel

Marlene van Gansewinkel (born 11 March 1995) is a Dutch Paralympic athlete known for her outstanding performances in sprinting and long jump events. She has achieved remarkable success throughout her career, winning multiple medals at various prestigious competitions, including the Paralympic Games and World Para Athletics Championships.

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NetherlandsLong JumperSprinter

Fleur Jong

Fleur Jong is a Dutch Paralympic athlete who has overcome immense challenges to become a world-record holder and a symbol of resilience and determination. Her journey as an athlete is a testament to the power of resilience and determination, redefining the boundaries of her discipline. Through her incredible story, Jong continues to inspire individuals worldwide and shape the landscape of women’s history in sports.

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GermanyLong JumperTrack & Field

Heike Drechsler

Heike Gabriela Drechsler, born Heike Daute on December 16, 1964, is a German former track and field athlete who represented East Germany and later Germany. Widely regarded as one of the most successful long jumpers in history, Drechsler achieved numerous records and accolades throughout her career.

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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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FranceLong JumperSprinter

Marie-Amélie Le Fur

Marie-Amélie Le Fur, a French Paralympic athlete born in 1988, overcame a life-altering amputation of her left leg to become a renowned T44 sprinter and F44 long jumper. Her indomitable spirit and exceptional talent led her to win numerous medals at the Paralympic Games, setting world records along the way. Le Fur’s inspiring journey serves as a testament to the power of determination and resilience.

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AustraliaGermanyLong Jumper

Vanessa Low

Vanessa Low OAM is a German-born Australian Paralympic athlete who overcame a life-altering accident to achieve remarkable success in sprint and long jump events. Despite losing both legs, Vanessa’s indomitable spirit and resilience propelled her to the international stage where she represented Germany and later Australia. Her achievements include gold and silver medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a gold medal and world record at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Vanessa’s extraordinary journey has made her an iconic figure in women’s history and athletics.

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South AfricaLong JumperTrack & Field

Ilse Hayes

Ilse Hayes, also known as Ilse Carstens, is a Paralympian athlete from South Africa who has overcome significant challenges to become one of the most successful athletes in her discipline. Despite being diagnosed with Stargardt disease at a young age, Hayes has showcased remarkable resilience and determination in pursuing her passion for athletics. She has won numerous medals and titles in sprint events and long jump, inspiring countless individuals to follow their dreams.

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RussiaLong JumperTrack & Field

Tatyana Lebedeva

Tatyana Romanovna Lebedeva, born in Russia in 1976, is a renowned track and field athlete known for her exceptional performance in both the long jump and triple jump events. Her remarkable success at various levels, including the Olympics, world championships, and European competitions, has left an indelible mark on the world of athletics.

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United StatesPole VaulterTrack & Field

Jenn Suhr

Jennifer Lynn Suhr is a former American pole vaulter who achieved great success in her career. She has been an Olympic and World champion, has been ranked as the number one pole vaulter in the world, and has held the title of the top American pole vaulter since 2006.

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UkraineTrack & FieldTriple Jump

Inessa Kravets

Inessa Kravets, born in Dnipropetrovsk in 1966, is a Ukrainian former triple and long jumper who held the world record in the triple jump for many years. She achieved great success in her career, winning numerous medals at prestigious competitions and breaking her own world record. Although faced with controversy and adversity, she remains an inspirational figure in women’s athletics, leaving a lasting impact on the sport.

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CameroonTrack & FieldTriple Jump

Françoise Mbango Etone

Françoise Mbango Etone, born on April 14, 1976, in Yaoundé, is a remarkable track and field athlete who has made a lasting impact in the world of sports. Hailing from Cameroon, she has left an indelible mark on the sport and has been a trailblazer for female athletes from her country.

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HungaryHigh JumperJewish

Ibolya Csák

Ibolya Csák (6 January 1915 – 9 February 2006) was a Hungarian athlete who made a significant impact in the field of high jump during the 1930s. She is best known as the winner of the women’s high jump at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where she displayed remarkable skill and determination.

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United StatesTrack & FieldTriple Jump

Sheila Hudson

Sheila Ann Hudson is an American former track and field athlete and Olympian who has left an indelible impact on women’s sports. She won numerous U.S. triple jump titles and set world and American records. Hudson’s determination and passion for gender equality led her to become an influential advocate for women’s athletics. After retiring, she earned a doctoral degree and has continued to make a difference as a writer, coach, and advocate for women’s rights in sports.

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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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United StatesMartial ArtistTrack & Field

Elisa Au

Elisa Au, born in 1981 in Honolulu, Hawaii, is an American martial arts instructor and karate practitioner. From a young age, Elisa showed great potential in the field of karate, becoming a prominent figure in the sport over the years. Her journey in martial arts began at the age of five, and she quickly rose through the ranks, earning her black belt at the age of ten. In addition to her competitive success, Elisa has also made significant contributions as an instructor, ambassador, and mentor in the world of karate.

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United StatesBaseballBasketball

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a talented athlete who excelled in multiple sports. From her early athletic prowess to her achievements in track and field, basketball, baseball, and golf, she left an enduring impact on women’s sports. Babe’s influence extended beyond the field as she advocated for gender equality in athletics. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of athletes.

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RussiaShot PutterTrack & Field

Anna Andreyeva

Anna Semyonovna Andreyeva was a Soviet track and field athlete who rose to prominence in the shot put event. She achieved world-class status in the 1930s, winning national titles and consistently ranking among the top five shot putters globally. Andreyeva’s career reached new heights in the 1940s, culminating in a shot put world record in 1950. Her success paved the way for future generations of Soviet athletes in the shot put event.

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