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15 Female Athletes That Changed History

Compared with men, women have many disadvantages in sports, and it has taken the efforts of many notable women to make womens' sports what they are today. Check out these 15 female athletes that have shaped sports history.


1. The William Sisters

Venus and Serena have changed women's tennis with their skill and huge popular following. Consecutive wins in both singles and doubles made them all-round megastars.


2. Billie Jean King

In 1973, Billie smashed the famous Bobby Riggs, a super pugnacious tennis player, in the Battles of the Sexes. The match was watched by over 100M people and is considered a major mark in both tennis and female sport.


3. Gretchen Bleiler

Bleiler smashed the idea that snowboarding should be only for men when she landed the death-defying Crippler 540 in competition.


4. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey was the face of UFC prior to the entry of Connor McGregor. In 2015, she was claimed to be UFC's highest paid fighter, male or female.


5. Katherine Schweitzer

In 1967, Switzer caught the world by suprise when she competed in the Boston marathon, a race that barred women from competing. The race organizer Jock Semple chased her down, but her boyfriend and other runners blocked Semple from reaching her.


6. Dara Torress

There's no doubt that Michael Phelps has a female match in the pool. Torress has competed in five Olympic games, and taken home 12 Olympic medals. She is also a former world record-holder in three events.


7. Maria Sharapova

At only 17 years old, Sharapova beat Serena Williams during the 2004 Wimbledon final, making her the youngest winner in sports history.


8. Misty May - Treanor and Kerri Walsh

The American duo shaped the world for women's volleyball when they took home a gold medal without losing a solitary set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


9. Simone Biles

Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with a total of 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. After winning 4 gold medals in Rio, Biles became an overnight sensation for her spectacular displays.


10. Every country had a female athlete representative in the 2012 London Olympics.

The 2012 London Olympics was a turning point for women's sports, because for the first time ever, countries from across the world were represented by female athletes.


11. Danica Patrick

Danica made many think twice when she participated in the America-open-wheel-racing. After all, dangerous sports had previously always been for tough guys. But she proved herself when she finished first in the Japanese Indy, making her the first ever woman to win an IndyCar Series race.


12. Becky Hammon

In 2014, Hammon became the first full-time assistant coach in NBA history. Her appointment has been regarded as a benchmark for most female employees in this male-dominated sport.


13. Hope Solo

This famous female goalie led her team to two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics respectively, which earned her team the title of the U.S. best ever female soccer team.


14. Nadia Comaneci

At the age of 14, Nadia scooped a 10 from the judges for her performance on the uneven bars, making her the first to ever score a perfect 10 in gynastics history.


15. Kelly Kulick

Her ten straight strikes made her the first woman to win the male-dominated Pro Bowlers Association Tournament in 2010.

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