Celebrating the Top Five Female Athletes of All Time

Celebrating the Top Five Female Athletes of All Time

Sporting greatness knows no gender. Female athletes have broken barriers, shattered records, and left an indelible mark on their respective sports. These remarkable women hail from diverse backgrounds and sports yet share a common thread of determination, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. We pay homage to five extraordinary women who have excelled in their respective disciplines and paved the way for future generations of female athletes.

Serena Williams – Tennis Icon

Serena Williams is an undisputed tennis legend. Not only is Williams the greatest female tennis player to have ever stepped onto the court, she is one of the best tennis players, period. Williams’ dominance on the tennis court was nothing short of incredible, inspiring countless young players and forcing the best online sportsbooks to make her an overwhelming favorite to win her games regardless of who she faced.

Williams boats an astonishing 23 Grand Slam titles, putting her in the pantheon of tennis greats. She won three French Opens, the U.S. Open six times, and the Australian Open and Wimbledon on seven occasions. Williams earned an almost unbelieveable $94,816,730 in prize money during a career that spanned 27 years. Her sister, Venus Williams, is her nearest rival in the career prize money all-time rankings, having amassed $42,595,397.

Throughout her career, Williams used her status for the greater good. Williams has long fought for gender equality, including calling out issues on equal pay in tennis, showing she is an excellent tennis player and a great person.

Mia Hamm – Soccer Sensation

Celebrating the Top Five Female Athletes of All Time

Women’s soccer is enjoying a surge in popularity, and female soccer players have Mia Hamm to thank for it. Hamm was a trailblazer for the women’s game, playing professional soccer at a time when the men’s game was the only form broadcasters and the media seemed interested in. 

Born in Selma, Alabama, in March 1972, Hamm spent much of her childhood living on United States Air Force bases worldwide. Hamm played soccer for the first time in Florence, Italy, and it became evident she had abundant natural ability. After returning to the United States, Hamm played college soccer for North Carolina Tar Heels, scoting 103 goals in 95 games. Those figures are impressive, but Hamm’s performances for the United States national team shine brighter.

Hamm wore the United States national jersey for the first time in 1987 and was a mainstay in the team until her retirement in 2004. During that time, Hamm played 276 games, scored 158 goals, and had 144 assists. Hamm helped the United States win two gold Olympic medals and lift the FIFA World Cup twice.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Track and Field Titan

Jackie Joyner-Kersee was a track and field powerhouse. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine once voted the Illinois native the Greatest Female Athlete of All-time, and it is challenging to find a case against that statement. 

Joyner-Kersee had asthma as a child, but she did not let her condition prevent her from becoming an all-time great. Joyner-Kersee found she had a penchant for the long jump, and her versatility made her a perfect fit for the heptathlon. Having won gold in the long jump and heptathlon at the 1987 World Championships in Rome, Joyner-Kersee represented the United States at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She returned home with gold medals in the long jump and heptathlon.

She won gold medals in the long jump at the 1991 Tokyo World Championships and the heptathlon at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. By the time Joyner-Kersee called time on her illustrious career, she had won 15 medals across the Olympics, World Championships, Goodwill Games, and Pan American Games, 12 of them gold.

Away from track and field, she founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing athletic and educational opportunities for underprivileged youngsters. 

Bille Jean King – Tennis Pioneer

Billie Jean King is a tennis icon whose impact extends beyond the tennis court. Her remarkable career includes 39 Grand Slam titles and 129 victories overall. King’s clash against Bobby Riggs in 1973, a match known as the “Battle of the Sexes,” was a pivotal moment for women in sports. Her victory over her male opponent showcased her tennis prowess while symbolizing the fight for gender equality.

King’s most outstanding achievement was founding the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA); the organization provided equal opportunities and recognition for female athletes. The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted King in 1987, and the Federation Cup, of which she was the U.S. captain for three years, was renamed the Billie Jean King Cup in her honor in 2020.

Danica Patrick – Racing Phenomenon

Motorsport is a male-dominated sport, but Danica Patrick shattered stereotypes when she became the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race. Patrick’s ability behind the wheel proved women can compete at the highest levels of racing. Among her many firsts, Patrick boasts of being the first woman to clinch pole position in a NASCAR Cup Series, the highest finish by a woman in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500. She is one of only 14 drivers to have led in both races.

Patrick’s impact on racing goes beyond her on-track performances. She inspired a new generation of female racers to pursue their dreams by breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo. Patrick’s impressive achievements serve as a reminder that talent knows no gender and that women can excel in any sport they choose.


As we reflect on the remarkable careers of the five women this article features, we are reminded that pursuing excellence knows no boundaries. These women have shattered glass ceilings and broken records and championed the cause of gender equality in sports. Their legacies continue to inspire and empower future generations of female athletes.

The world of sports is richer and more diverse because of these game-changers. They are living proof that in sports and life, the possibilities are endless when you believe in yourself and strive for greatness.

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