The recent FIBA Basketball World Cup caused a stir after the United States didn’t take the cup home with them. The tournament was held in China, and the NBA was better represented than ever before. As the tournament unfolded, a record-breaking number of NBA professionals represented their countries.
The 2019 Basketball World Cup had 54 NBA players showing off their skills, up from 45 in the previous competition. There were a total of 32 nations represented, and 25 of those countries had at least one player from the NBA. The combined list, which includes any player with NBA experience or had been drafted, was a total of 103, again up from 2014, which was 93.
The NBA franchise with the most players represented was the Boston Celtics, who had six players from their roster at the World Cup. Four of those Celtics players were part of the uninspiring American team that seriously underperformed.
The pre-tournament favorites came seventh after losing to France in the knockout rounds. The Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks were also well represented at the World Cup, with each franchise seeing five players in China.
Although most of the NBA’s major stars sat out playing at the World Cup, Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo made an impact. The league’s MVP played valiantly but was unable to help Greece progress past the first group stage. Marc Gasol was representing the newly crowned NBA champions, Toronto, and it proved to be a continuation of his success. Gasol helped Spain become the world champions in China.
The number of NBA stars playing the FIBA Basketball World Cup shows that people are beginning to take it more seriously. Considering the United States’ underperformance, it’s likely next time around a stronger team will be formed.
40+ Talented Female Athletes That Have Dominated the Red Carpet
Not only have these women shocked the world with their endless talent but they’ve also left people stunned when walking the red carpet. These athletes could have easily been supermodels and you’ll see why if you keep reading…
Laila Ali — Boxing
Daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali is perhaps the most famous female boxer of all time. After competing for eight years — from 1999 to 2007 — Ali retired undefeated. She held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF, and IBA female super middleweight titles, as well as the IWVF light heavyweight title. Since her retirement from the sport, “Madame Butterfly” has dabbled in modeling, television, writing, and more. Today, she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their children.
Alex Morgan — Soccer
Although Morgan only began playing soccer at 14, she has undoubtedly left her mark on the sport. Not only did she become the youngest American player to score 20 goals in a single season but she also helped the USA win at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Becky Lynch — Wrestling
Hailing from Ireland, Becky Lynch is a professional wrestler and absolute powerhouse of a woman. From a young age, she took an interest in professional wrestling when she began watching with her brother, Richy — who later wrestled under the ring name Gonzo de Mondo. After taking some time off due to a severe head injury in 2006, Lynch returned to the ring in 2018. A year later, Lynch set the record for the longest reign as Raw Women’s Champion at 399 days. She has since gone on a hiatus after announcing in May 2020 that she and Seth Rollins are expecting their first child together.
Maria Sharapova — Tennis
In August 2005, she became the top-ranked female tennis player in the world for the first time when she was just 18 years old. Since the start of her career, Maria Sharapova won five Grand Slam titles — two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. Aside from those titles, Sharapova made her way to become an Olympic medalist, having won a silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. In February 2020, Sharapova announced her retirement from tennis.
Paige Spiranac — Golf
Paige Spiranac is known for more than just her golf skills. After initially creating social media accounts to post trick-shot videos, she basically became an overnight sensation, gaining two million Instagram followers by 2018. Spiranac played golf for both the University of Arizona and San Diego State University, winning All-Mountain West Conference honors during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons. A bombshell on and off the field, it’s clear that Spiranac is a natural when it comes to walking the red carpet.
Caroline Wozniacki — Tennis
The first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position, Caroline Wozniacki began playing tennis at the age of seven! After making her debut on the ITF Junior Circuit in October 2003 at 13 years old, it was clear that Wozniacki was a superstar. With a career that spans over 16 years, it’s no surprise that Wozniacki made her way to the top by reaching No. 1 in singles and the 20th in the Open Era. In December 2019, though, Wozniacki announced that she would be retiring from professional tennis after the 2020 Australian Open, which was held a month later.
Candace Parker — Basketball
The younger sister of former NBA player Anthony Parker, Candace Parker has been making waves in the WNBA since 2008. Not only was she the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game but she also became the second woman in WNBA history — after her teammate Lisa Leslie — to dunk during a regulation WNBA game, against the Indiana Fever. Aside from that, Parker won the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player award two times throughout her career. Still, if you think that she’s impressive on the court, check her out on the red carpet…
Nastia Liukin — Gymnastics
Considering that Nastia Liukin was born to two former Soviet champion gymnasts, it comes as no surprise that she began gymnastics by the time she was three years old. During her career, Liukin undoubtedly made a name for herself — she is the 2008 Olympic All-Around champion, a five-time Olympic medalist, a four-time all-around U.S. national champion, and so much more. Although the 30-year-old retired from the sport in 2012, there’s definitely no forgetting who she is, especially after seeing her in this velvet number.
Anastasia Ashley — Surfing
A California native, Anastasia Ashley began surfing when she was only five years old. A year later, she won a surf contest using a run-down board that she found in a trash can outside of her house. By the time she turned seven, Ashley picked up a sponsor to replace her run-down board with new ones. Aside from catching waves, Ashley also models, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering her natural beauty and beachy vibes.
Barbara Blank — Wrestling
Best known by her stage name, Kelly Kelly, Barbara Blank is a former professional wrestler who actually started out as a model although she took an interest in professional wrestling from a young age. With a background in gymnastics and cheerleading, it’s no surprise that Kelly Kelly has been dominating the ring since she entered the world of WWE in 2008. Aside from modeling and wrestling, Kelly Kelly is also a reality television personality appearing in shows including WWE Tough Enough and Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp.
Urszula Radwańska — Tennis
Now 29 years old, Urszula Radwańska is a professional tennis player from Poland. Throughout her career, Radwańska has won the doubles title on the WTA Tour, as well as four singles and ten doubles titles on the ITF Women’s circuit. By October 2012, Radwańska reached her career-high singles ranking of world No. 29. With these stats, there’s no denying that Radwańska is considered one of the most popular tennis players on the court today. Aside from her career as a tennis player, Radwańska also dabbles in business, creating the UR brand of luxury handbags.
Miesha Tate — MMA
Dubbed “Cupcake” and “Takedown,” Miesha Tate’s career as a wrestler began when she was still in high school. Not only has Tate competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) but she also had an unbelievably successful career in MMA — winning the bantamweight championship of the Freestyle Cage fighting promotion in ’09 as well as the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Although she’s now retired, Tate has also done modeling work for various websites and publications including ESPN The Magazine and Fitness Gurls.
Silje Norendal — Snowboarding
Now 26 years old, Silje Norendal is a snowboarder from Norway. Whether she’s competing at the Winter X Games in Colorado — where she has won gold medals various times — or the Winter Olympics, there’s no denying that Norendal has been excelling in the sport since her career began. She stomps her landings and lays down solid 900s, and even added a Cab 1080 — which generally refers to any switch-frontside spin — to her repertoire in 2018. Aside from her indisputable talent, Norendal is a woman of style and class.
Camila Giorgi — Tennis
A professional tennis player from Italy, Camila Giorgi made her senior international tournament debut in 2006 at the ITF Women’s Circuit. A few years later, in 2009, Giorgi won her first ITF title before making her WTA Tour main-draw debut at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. Now 28 years old, Giorgi is considered to be one of the hardest hitters of the ball on the tour. In any event, just from one look at this picture, it’s clear that Giorgi knows how to make a statement on and off the court.
Carmen Jordá — Racing
Now 32 years old, Carmen Jordá is a former motor race car driver originally from Alcoy, Spain. From 2015 to 2017, Jordá was a development driver for the Lotus and Renault Sport Formula One teams. She has also competed in other motor racing series including GP3, Firestone Indy Lights, and the Le Mans Series. At this point, it’s safe to say that Jordá tore it up on the race track throughout her thrilling career. And let’s be real here — she’s absolutely stunning.
Ellen Hoog — Field Hockey
Let’s get one thing straight — Ellen Hoog dominates in the world of field hockey. After all, she’s 34 years old and has been a part of the national team for 16 years – yet Hoog shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. A Dutch field hockey player, Hoog has played 127 matches and scored 32 goals since becoming a national team member. Aside from that, she has also won the Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, as well as a silver medal in 2016. At this point, we can all agree that Hoog is a powerhouse both on the field and the red carpet.
Gabby Douglas — Gymnastics
Now 24 years old, Gabby Douglas began training as a gymnast when she was only six years old. It paid off, though, considering that she made the U.S. Gymnastics Team in 2008 — when she was 13 years old. Since her international debut, Douglas has been turning heads and shocking the world with her talent and grace. Not only is she the first African American to become the Olympic individual all-around champion but she’s also the first U.S. gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the very same Olympics. It’s obviously not a surprise that she cleans up well, too…
Eugénie Bouchard — Tennis
Yet another household name, Eugénie Bouchard is a Canadian tennis player who has certainly made a name for herself. By 2014, she became the first Canadian-born player — representing Canada — to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament in singles at the Wimbledon Championships. Bouchard also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Australian Open as well as the 2014 French Open. Due to the fact that she won the 2012 Junior Wimbledon title, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year at the end of the 2013 WTA Tour.
Heather Watson — Tennis
Heather Watson is a 28-year-old British professional tennis player. Watson began playing the sport at seven years old before attending the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida a few years later. Since her professional career started, Watson has established herself as a leading player in the tennis world. In October 2012, Watson won her very first WTA singles title at the Japan Open, becoming the first British woman to win a WTA singles title since Sara Gomer in 1988.
Sally Fitzgibbons — Surfing
A professional surfer from Australia, Sally Fitzgibbons is a sensational athlete. She rode the waves all the way to the No. 1 spot in women’s surfing after winning the 2019 Rio Pro. She began competing for the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour in 2009 when she was only 19 years old. Aside from a successful surfing career, Fitzgibbons has also played a number of different sports — touch football, soccer, surfing, and cross-country running. In 2019, this superstar placed fifth at the Women’s Championship Tour leaderboard.
Katie Ledecky — Swimming
Despite the fact that she’s only 23 years old, Katie Ledecky has proven herself as a professional competitive swimmer. Not only has she won five Olympic gold medals but she has also earned herself 15 world championship gold medals — the most in history for a female swimmer. With her skills, it’s no surprise that Ledecky took home the Swimmer of the Year Award in 2018. Today, Ledecky represents DC Trident, which is part of the International Swimming League. Although she spends most of her time in the water, Ledecky clearly has an eye for fashion.
Chelsea Pezzola — Golf
It’s no secret that Chelsea Pezzola — a professional golf player — has turned heads not only for her talent but for her beauty, too. A Florida native, Pezzola attended the University of Michigan. While she was a student there, this showstopping athlete played on the women’s golf team before graduating in 2014. Today, she’s working on her game and splitting time between the Sun Coast mini-tour and the Symetra Tour – aside from turning heads on the red carpet, of course.
Gina Carano — MMA
Often called “Crush,” Gina Carano was the first women’s MMA “it” girl long before Ronda Rousey entered the scene. She began training in Muay Thai before transitioning to competitive MMA where she competed in Strikeforce and EliteXC. Aside from a successful career in the ring, Carano has modeled for magazines including ESPN The Magazine and Maxim. After she retired from competing, Carano went on to do television and film work. Ranked fifth on a list of the “Top 10 Influential Women” of 2008, Carano won’t be forgotten any time soon, especially after spotting her in this number. Does she not look like Princess Belle?!
Anna Kournikova — Tennis
As soon as she turned pro in 1995, Anna Kournikova basically became the face of the WTA not only because of her moves on the court but also because of her stunning appearance, plus the fact that her longtime partner is the international singer-songwriter, Enrique Iglesias. Although she retired when she was 21 — due to serious back and spinal problems — Kournikova is known as one of the best tennis stars worldwide, reaching No. 8 in the world before retiring. Now an American television personality, Kournikova resides in Miami with Enrique and their three children.
Lolo Jones — Bobsledding
At 37 years old, there’s no arguing that Lolo Jones put the sport of bobsledding on the map with her unbelievable performances. Jones is an American hurdler and bobsledder who won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while studying at Louisana State University. Aside from that, Jones received a gold medal in the mixed team event at the 2013 World Championships. Since she also represented the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Jones became one of the few athletes who has competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
McKayla Maroney — Gymnastics
A former member of the American women’s gymnastics team that was dubbed the Fierce Five at the 2012 Summer Olympics, McKayla Maroney began training in the sport by the time she was two years old. With that being said, it’s no wonder why she became the first U.S. female gymnast to defend a World Championship vault title after winning the gold medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships. Although she’s now retired, there’s no denying that McKayla has made a name for herself in the world of gymnastics.
Nikki Bella — Wrestling
Some of you may recognize her as John Cena’s ex-girlfriend but believe it or not, Nikki Bella worked her way to the top as a professional wrestler in the WWE alongside her twin sister. During her career, Nikki became a two-time WWE Divas Champion and holds the record for the longest reign with that title. Since her retirement, Nikki has continued to work in television. She’s also expecting her first child with partner and Russian dancer Artem Chigvintsev — Nikki’s partner from Season 25’s Dancing With the Stars.
Brie Bella — Wrestling
We can’t possibly talk about Nikki without discussing Brie! A one-time WWE Divas Champion, Brie first signed to developmental contracts by WWE — alongside her sister — in June 2007 and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). A few months later, The Bella Twins made their in-ring debut. Aside from wrestling and television, the twins have also competed in bikini contests, which ain’t much of a surprise considering that they initially started out as models before entering the world of wrestling. Today, she resides in Phoenix with her husband and their baby — and there’s another one on the way!
Angela Ruch — Racing
If anyone understands what it’s like to push the pedal to the metal, it’s Angela Ruch. An American professional stock race car driver, Angela and her twin sister became the first set of twins to ever race in NASCAR’s top three series. Then again, that doesn’t come as much of a shock considering that they’re the nieces of legendary race car driver Derrike Cope. In other words, racing is basically in their blood. Today, Ruch competes full-time in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, driving the No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado/Toyota Tundra for Reaume Brothers Racing.
Lisa Leslie — Basketball
Now 47 years old, Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball player who now spends her time as the head coach for Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league. She’s also a fashion model and studio analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida. Before these endeavors, though, Leslie played in the WNBA. During her career, she became a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. The first player to dunk in a WNBA game, Leslie was voted in by fans as one of the top 15 players in WNBA History.
Nancy Lopez — Golf
After going professional in 1977, Nancy Lopez blazed trails in the golfing world, becoming one of the first women to make a living from the sport. Her talent was evident from an early age, winning her first amateur tournament by the time she was 12 years old. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1977 and won 48 LPGA Tour events, including three major championships. Now retired, Lopez was recently inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Today, she resides in Florida where she hosts an annual golf tournament to benefit the charity AIM (Adventures in Movement).
Queen Harrison — Running
With her stats, there’s really no getting around the fact that Queen Harrison is an absolute powerhouse. An American hurdler and sprinter, Harrison was a natural athlete from a very early age. In 2010, Harrison made NCAA history by becoming the first woman to ever win both the 100m and 400m hurdles titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She also became the first track and field athlete from Virginia Tech to compete at the Olympics. Today, Harrison resides in South Carolina with her husband and fellow U.S. athlete, Will Claye.
Clair Bidez — Snowboarding
A Colorado-native, Clair Bidez is a former professional snowboarder and research analyst. Being that she grew up around the snow, it’s no surprise that Bidez began competing in snowboarding competitions by the age of 10. By the time she turned 16, Bidez placed fifth at the U.S. Open at Stratton Mountain and was consequently asked to join the U.S. Snowboarding Team soon after. She became the Halfpipe Junior World Champion in 2006 and placed fourth in the halfpipe competition at the Winter X Games XX. After recovering from an injury, Bidez made it to finals in every Olympic qualifier and was even featured in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition as a potential Olympian.
Leryn Franco — Javelin Throwing
Now an actress and model, Leryn Franco is a Paraguayan-native former athlete who competed in the Olympics — 2004, 2008, and 2012 — in the sport of javelin. Since retiring from the sport, Franco has turned her focus towards her work for the athletics department of Club Sol de América, as well as modeling and acting. Not only has Franco posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition but she was also cast in an Irish Film called Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay in which she portrays the role of the younger Eliza Lynch.
Allison Baver — Speed Skating
Since Allison Baver started her professional career as a speed-skater, she has been a force to be reckoned with. In the 2005/06 season, Baver was ranked third overall in the world rankings. During the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy, Baver finished seventh in the women’s 500m competition, following a third-place finish in Semifinal A and a collision with the Czech Republic’s Kateřina Novotná in Final B — which ultimately took her out of the race for fifth place. Since then, Baver has continued to stun the world and was even elected to a four-year term as vice president of the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association.
Ashley Wagner — Figure Skating
Ashley Wagner’s ice-skating career began in 1996 when she was only five years old. Throughout the years, Wagner won medals in all types of international competitions including the Olympics. Not only was she the 2012 Four Continents champion and the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in the team event, but she was also the 2016 World Championship silver medalist. She won five Grand Prix events and is a three-time U.S. national champion — proving that just because she retired in 2019 — doesn’t mean she’ll be forgotten.
Serena Williams — Tennis
Let’s be real here — everyone knows who Serena Williams is. If you don’t, there’s a chance you live under a rock. A professional tennis player, Serena is known for having won over 23 titles, which is more than any man or woman has ever gotten in the Open Era! Also known for her body-positivity and fashion sense, there’s no denying that Serena is an inspiration to girls and women all around the world. Despite the fact that she’s 38 and has a baby girl with husband Alexis Ohanian, Serena has shown no signs of slowing down. Then again, are you guys really that surprised?
Rose Namajunas — MMA
Nicknamed “Thug Rose” as a child, Rose Namajunas is a mixed martial artist and basically a total rockstar. Currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Rose competes in the women’s strawweight division and is actually a former champion. As of February 2020, though, Rose is #2 in the UFC women’s strawweight rankings and #6 in UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings. Today, Rose fights out of Colorado and is engaged to her training partner and former UFC heavyweight, Pat Barry.
Carli Lloyd — Soccer
Carli Lloyd is an exceptional soccer player who has been playing the sport since she was a little girl. After attending the opening U.S. match of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Lloyd became inspired to play for the national team. Today, she’s a player for the Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League and the United States women’s national soccer team as a midfielder. Not only is she a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner, she’s also a two-time FIFA Player of the Year and a three-time Olympian.
Regan Smith — Swimming
A Minnesota-native, Regan Smith is a swimmer and current world record holder of both the 100 and 200-meter backstroke. In 2019, Smith won the title of Swimmer of the Year — an impressive feat considering that she’s only 18 years old! She has a third world record as a part of the USA women’s 4x100m Medley Relay. Knowing all of this, it’s clear that Smith is going to make it very far not only in swimming but in life, as well. With that kind of drive and charisma, there’s no telling what else she’s going to accomplish.
Daniela Hantuchová — Tennis
Now retired, Daniela Hantuchová is a former professional tennis player who played for Slovakia. After tagging along to one of her big brother’s tennis lessons as a child, Daniela began playing herself. She turned professional in 1999 and had her breakthrough a few years later, in 2002, when she won a WTA tournament. In January 2003, Daniela reached her highest ranking of world No. 5 after playing the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Since then, Daniela continued to stun fans with her performances until announcing her retirement from professional tennis in July of 2017.
Megan Rapinoe — Soccer
A California-native, Megan Rapinoe is a 34-year-old soccer player and superstar. She currently plays as a winger and captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States national team. Named the Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019, Rapinoe won gold with the national team at the 2012 London Summer Olympics as well as the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Aside from her athletic career, Rapinoe is a co-founder of the gender-neutral lifestyle brand — re-inc.
Sloane Stephens — Tennis
Florida-born Sloane Stephens is easily one of the most successful American tennis players ever, following in the footsteps of the Williams sisters, of course. Born to athletic parents with backgrounds in collegiate swimming and professional American football, Stephens quickly became a household name to tennis fans worldwide. Not only was she the 2017 U.S. Open champion but she also achieved a career-best ranking of No. 3 in the world after Wimbledon in 2018. Now 27 years old, Stephens has no signs of leaving the court anytime soon unless it’s for a red carpet appearance such as this one…
Ashlyn Harris — Soccer
Ashlyn Harris is yet another leading name in the soccer world. After playing college soccer for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Harris went on to play professionally for the Saint Louis Athletica, Washington Freedom, Western New York Flash, and more. Since 2016, Harris has been playing for the Orlando Pride of the NWSL — the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States — and the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She was also a member of the championship-winning team at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada as well as at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Jessie Graff — Stuntwoman
Jessie Graff made this list for being one of the coolest faces in Hollywood. An athletics-based television personality and professional stuntwoman from New York, Graff has a black belt in Taekwondo and is trained in five other styles of martial arts. If that wasn’t enough, Graff is also a championship pole vaulter and competitive gymnast. With these kinds of skills, it makes sense as to why Graff began doing stunt work in 2007 — appearing in several television shows and films including X-Men: First Class, Make it or Break It, Bridesmaids, Knight and Day, and Bad Teacher among many others. She’s also one of the biggest stars, male or female, on the hit TV show American Ninja Warrior.
Chloe Kim — Snowboarding
Chloe Kim is an unstoppable force from California. She became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when she won gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe at 17 years of age. Kim is a four-time X Games gold medalist and the first-ever woman to win gold medals in snowboarding at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Now 20 years old, Kim is the current World, Olympic, Youth Olympic, and X Games champion on the halfpipe — an impressive feat, to say the least!
Tarah Gieger — Motocross Racing
Let’s be real here, people — Tarah Gieger is an absolute renegade. Originally from Puerto Rico, Gieger is a professional motocross racer. Although she began practicing surfing at first, Gieger quickly switched to motorcycles by the time she was 10 years old. Clearly, her training in the mountains of San Sebastián paid off because Gieger is now the only girl to ever backflip a motorcycle and has more X Games medals than any other female motocross racer in history, leaving everyone else behind in the dust.
Breanna Stewart — Basketball
Known for her humble spirit, Breanna Stewart is a beloved star who has undeniably established herself in the world of basketball. After a successful high school career — National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American — Stewart was the first overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, and she now plays for the Seattle Storm of the WNBA. Due to an injury, though, she didn’t play the entire 2019 season and instead was a league ambassador.
Hope Solo — Soccer
Regarded as one of the top female goalkeepers in the world, Hope Solo played for the United States women’s national soccer team from 2000 until 2016. Not only is Solo a World Cup champion but she’s also a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Aside from playing on the field, Solo had her chance to dance on stage when she participated in the television show Dancing With the Stars. Solo has also posed for various magazines and published her own autobiography called Solo: A Memoir of Hope.
Aly Raisman — Gymnastics
Best known for being a captain of Team USA’s “Fierce Five” in the 2012 London Olympics — as well as the “Final Five” in the 2016 Rio Games — Aly Raisman is an all-star gymnast. During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Raisman managed to not only lead her team to victory, but grab a medal herself. With six Olympic medals, she is the second-most decorated Olympic gymnast in American history behind Shannon Miller. Although she retired in January 2020, Aly Raisman will go down in history as one of the most skilled gymnasts of our time.
Lindsey Vonn — Skiing
Considering that she has received many awards over the years, famed alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn is completely accustomed to red carpet events. In any case, we think it’s safe to say that Vonn has built quite an impressive resume over the years, winning four World Cup overall championships — one of only two female skiers to do so! At this point, it’s no surprise that Vonn received the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2010 and was the United States Olympic Committee’s Sportswoman of the Year.
Tori Bowie — Track
Tori Bowie is a track and field athlete who first got her start in Sand Hill, Mississippi. She began running track for her high school before going on to join and win contests all over the globe. After competing at a collegiate level, Bowie went pro. Not only did she become a 2016 Olympian but she would also go on to establish herself as a three-time Olympic medalist. Aside from that, Bowie is also the 2017 100m world champion. Today, the 29-year-old resides in Florida and continues to compete.
Allison Stokke — Pole Vault
Allison Stokke is not only a track and field athlete but a fitness model, as well. After beginning her career as a pole vaulter as a teenager, Stokke broke a number of American records throughout high school. She continued the sport while attending college — University of California, Berkeley — while also competing for their California Golden Bears collegiate track team. Although Stokke did well at a college and national level, she failed to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012. Since then, she has worked as a model.
Ronda Rousey — MMA
Nicknamed “Rowdy Ronda Rousey,” this fighter is a well-known name whether or not you’re a big sports fan. Today, she’s basically the face of WWE. Before that, though, she started out somewhere else. After becoming the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo, Rousey decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. In 2018, Rousey began a career in professional wrestling, signing a contract with WWE. What’s more, Rousey is the only woman to win a championship in both the UFC and WWE.
Danica Patrick — Racing
Known as one of the most famous race car drivers of all time, Danica Patrick is an absolute media sensation and — let’s be honest — fan favorite. Throughout the years, Patrick has not only broken the gender barrier in NASCAR but she’s also paved the way for women in the sport. Patrick became one of the most successful women in the history of American open-wheel racing after zooming her way to victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300, the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race. When she’s not shredding rubber, Patrick is evidently lighting up the red carpet.
Simone Biles — Gymnastics
You didn’t actually expect to get through the list without landing on Simone Biles, did you? If you did, you thought wrong! In any event, Biles climbed her way to stardom when she was only 19 years old and competed in the Olympic games. Part of the gymnastics team that was lovingly nicknamed the “Final Five,” Biles is by far one of the most beloved athletes in American history! Now 23 years old, Biles certainly doesn’t seem like she’s slowing down. In fact, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Anastasia Yankova — MMA
We think it’s safe to say that Anastasia Yankova is a real-life warrior. Inspired by a childhood fascination with Xena: Warrior Princess on television, Yankova began training when she was just six years old. After a brief hiatus to focus on school, Yankova then began training in Muay Thai before competing in kickboxing tournaments. It wasn’t long before she transitioned to MMA. Today, she competes in Bellator Fighting Championships and of course, rocks the red carpet in her spare time.
Jennie Finch — Softball
Described by Time Magazine as the most famous softball player in history, Jennie Finch began playing softball at the age of five. She pitched for the Arizona Wildcats, the USA national softball team — which she led to a gold and silver medal in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics — and the Chicago Bandits. Although she retired from softball in 2010 to focus on her family, in August 2011, Finch began working at ESPN as a color commentator for Nation Pro Fastpitch and college softball games.