7 Inspirational Female Athletes That Changed Sports
For Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some inspirational female athletes.
These inspirational female athletes helped shape the world of sports as we know it!
We all know how much sports history there has been for men over the years, but when women started to trickle into different sports, we truly started to see history being made. Bold, pioneering women athletes have been giving women all around the planet a reason to continue pushing the boundaries in athletic competitions. These 7 inspirational female athletes have completely changed sports worldwide (in no particular order).
1. Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey was the first female to sign a deal with the world’s largest MMA promotion. She was also America’s first female Olympic medal winner of judoka. At just 33 years old, Ronda has already done so much to change the history of WWE wrestling.
2. Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick was one of the first women ever to win an IndyCar race and was the first woman to win the pole position for a Nascar Sprint Cup race. This race was completed at the Daytona 500 in 2013 and was the best finish by a female in history. Danica continues to be an amazing force in motor racing.
3. Janet Guthrie
Before Danica Patrick was making history in motorsports, there was the amazing Janet Guthrie. Guthrie was the first woman ever to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 and actually competed. What’s also incredible about Janet Guthrie is that she originally was an aerospace engineer. Talk about a career change! Guthrie changed motor racing history for women like Danica Patrick.
4. Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie is a former American Basketball player who played in the WNBA. Leslie was basically the face of the WNBA from 1997 to 2009, becoming the first woman in the WNBA to win the MVP award for the regular season, the playoffs, and the All-Star Game. The best part? She did all that in the same year! Currently, she's a coach for the Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league and still continues to make an impact as a co-owner of the LA Sparks.
5. Ann Meyers Drysdale
Before women like Lisa Leslie came in to make their own history, there was Ann Meyers Drysdale. In 1979, Ann became the first woman to sign an NBA contract. She had signed as a free agent for the Indiana Pacers, even though she was soon cut from the team. When she was released from the Indiana Pacers, she was the first woman to broadcast an NBA game.
6. Manon Rheaume
Manon Rheaume was one of the first women to play in any of the major North American pro sports men's leagues. This was back in 1992 when she was part of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning were up against the St. Louis Blues when 20-year-old Manon played one period where she allowed only two goals on nine shots before being removed from the game. This Canadian ice hockey goalie was also an Olympic silver medalist during her career. To put it simply, Manon Rheaume is iconic.
7. Wilma Rudolph
Wilma Rudolph is one of those amazing women with an equally amazing story. When she was younger, she actually suffered from scarlet fever, pneumonia, and even polio. In fact, many doctors believed that she would never be able to walk again. Rudolph grew up to become a world-record-holding Olympic champion in the 1960s, including an international icon for track and field. She made world records in the 100, 200, and the 4x100-meter relay. She is living proof that nothing can stop you but yourself.
Did this list of inspirational female athletes surprise you? Who would you have added to our list? Let us know!