Women Athletes Who Rock: Past, Present, and Future

In celebration of Women’s History Month, this article will highlight some of the top female athletes of the past, present, and future. Most people are familiar with athletes such as world-renowned tennis star Serena Williams, WNBA’s Candice Parker and track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee. There are more names to know. Here is a list of some of the most prominent women athletes you should know.

THE PAST

Althea Gibson (1927-2003)

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Hometown: Clarendon County, South Carolina

Sport(s): Tennis, Golf

Highlights: 1951: Became the first African-American tennis player to compete in Wimbledon

1956: Became the first African-American to win a Grand Slam Title

1958: Female Athlete of the Year

1964: Became the first African-American to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA)

In total, Gibson won 11 titles. She competed during a time where racism was widespread and never backed down from the challenges. Her accomplishments and contributions opened doors for tennis players such as Serena and Venus Williams.

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

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Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee

Sport(s): Track and Field (Sprinter)

Highlights: 1956: Won the Bronze Medal in the Summer Olympics

1960: Won three Gold Medals in the Summer Olympics; Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year; United Press International Athlete of the Year

During the 1960s, Rudolph was known as the fastest woman alive. At the time, she held the world records in the 100, 200 and 4 x 100 meter relays. Rudolph retired at the height of her career but is known as a trailblazer for women Olympic competitors. Rudolph was the first American woman to win three Gold Medals in a single Olympic Games.

THE PRESENT

Diana Taurasi

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Hometown: Glendale, California

Sport(s): Basketball

Highlights: 3x WNBA Champion (2007, 2009, 2014), 3x NCAA Women’s Champion (2002-2004), 9x WNBA All-Star, 4x Gold Medalist

Since her college days at Connecticut, Taurasi has accomplished great feats in basketball. Currently, she is the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history with 8,549 points. She has spent her entire career with the Phoenix Mercury. Also, she holds the WNBA record for the highest points per game average with 25.3 (2006 season).

Caroline Wozniacki

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Hometown: Odense, Denmark

Sport: Tennis

Highlights: Won 30 Women’s Tennis Association Titles; Ranked the number one player in 2010, 2011 and 2018;

Wozniacki is one of the new faces of Women’s Tennis. Her 30 titles are the most in history in a three year span from 2008-2011. Last year, she was the second-highest grossing woman athlete behind Serena Williams.

THE FUTURE

A’ja Wilson

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Hometown: Hopkins, South Carolina

Sport: Basketball

Highlights: 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year. 2018 WNBA All-Star

In 2018 Wilson was drafted first overall by the newly-formed Las Vegas Aces. In her first season, Wilson averaged 20.7 ppg and 8.0 rebounds per game. She quickly became a dominant force in the WNBA. Her future seems to be bright as she is poised to take over as the new face of the league.

Mo’ne Davis

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Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sport: Softball

Highlights: Pitched a shutout in the 2014 Little League World Series

In 2014, Davis took the world by storm. Her historic game made her a household name at the age of 13. Davis went on to be the first Little League Baseball Player to be on the front cover of Sports Illustrated, won an ESPY Award, was listed as one of most influential teams and published a memoir. Davis will attend Hampton University later this year and will continue her softball career. Davis is also a well-round basketball player.