Inspirational Women in Sport

Written by The Hive Team

The topic of sport brings up varied memories for everyone, some of us loved running around in a team whilst others tried to avoid it as much as they could... Some people have such a great passion for it, that they continue it as a career- so we’ve found ten inspirational women in sport who have done just that!

  • Ronda Rousey: an American wrestler with a WWE contract, her success has paved the way for female wrestlers across the world. She was the first woman to sign for the Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) but has also spoken openly about her struggle with body image and dieting.
  • Serena and Venus Williams: tennis heavy-weights, these sporting sisters have dominated female tennis for years. Serena holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players, has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, all with her sister Venus, and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
  • Kadeena Cox: world-class Paralympian, she competed as an able-bodied athlete until she suffered several strokes and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, she has competed for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics winning a bronze and two gold medals. This article by The Telegraph explores how sport saved her after a life-changing diagnosis and she has also been taking people through basic exercise movements they can do whilst in lockdown.
  • Brittney Griner: at 6”8, Griner is one of US basketball’s superstars but she has also campaigned to change the way that gender is viewed within sport. As an openly gay athlete, she challenges the typically feminine stereotype of being ‘gentle’ and ‘slim’ because she embraces her gender and it’s fluidity. She has been the recipient of quite a lot of online abuse due to her body size and shape, but she has been praised for her handling of it (as she details in this article, which features strong language and content some members might find distressing).
  • Ellen White: is an English footballer who currently plays for Manchester United and the English national team. She has played in the last three World Cup tournaments and she played in the 2016 Olympics, where she helped England to reach the quarter final stages. She challenges the stereotypes around women’s football and has helped the lionesses to gain popularity amongst supporters.
  • Nichola Adams: well-known boxer and double-Olympic champion, Adams is also a champion for LGBT athletes as she was the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal, after her win at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has been an influential figure in recent times, promoting the voices of those who are unheard whilst campaigning for a more inclusive sporting environment. She will also be part of the first same-sex couple in this year’s BBC Strictly Come Dancing which she is incredibly proud of.
  • Ellie Simmonds: a famous face, Simmonds is a Paralympic swimmer who is known for her constant success and her open discussions around struggles with mental health. Her work in this area has helped promote the Paralympics and she has over 82k followers on twitter. She won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008- despite being only 13 years old!
  • Chloe Kim: an excellent example of “you’re never too young”, Kim is the US snowboarding champion. Currently, she is the World, Olympic, Youth Olympic, and X Games champion in the halfpipe, and the first to win the title at all four major events. She caught the hearts of many at the 2018 Winter Olympics, where she won her first gold medal and performed various difficult manoeuvres- it’s safe to say we’ve got a lot more to see from her!
  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: at 32 years of age and with her two year old in her arms, Pryce celebrated her fourth 100m world title in 2019. Arguably one of the most influential female track athletes, she has been praised for her mental resilience and come back post-pregnancy which showed that female athletes do not need to cut their careers short if they want to raise a family.
  • Megan Rapinoe: a highly-decorated athlete and US soccer player, Rapinoe is one of very few openly-gay footballers and has been a major influence in LGBT activism too. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and work towards a more level playing field.
  • Fallon Sherrock: darts is traditionally thought of as a male-dominated sport, but Sherrock proved this wrong by becoming the first female to win a match at the PDC World Championships. She is a single-mother but still continues to have a successful sporting career and deals with the online-trolls by using them to fuel her winning streaks.

Can you add to our list of inspirational women (of course we couldn’t fit them all on here!) or have anything else to say about their achievements? Let us know on our Facebook and Instagram channels!

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