Top 10 Female Athletes of the Modern Era – While female athletes are showing up and showing out all year long, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra attention. Happy Women’s History Month! These 10 women have made a huge impact in the sporting world and on future generations of players. While anyone could rank them in a different order than I have, there is no denying cards of these icons are ones you want in your collection.
1 Serena Williams – Tennis
Undeniably, the best athlete of our time, Serena could be none other than first on this list. She was ranked number one for 319 weeks, claimed 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and is the only athlete with a Golden Grand Slam in singles and doubles. Her career has been the inspiration for innumerable other female athletes to follow their dreams to the pros.
2 Diana Taurasi – WNBA
In 2021, Taurasi was selected by fans as the league’s greatest player of all time. It’s hard to argue with 3 Championships, 4 Olympic Gold Medals, and WNBA all-time leading scorer as bullet points on her resume. Look for Taurasi during the 2023 Women’s NCAA Final Four co-hosting The Bird and Taurasi Show.
3 Lisa Leslie – WNBA
Lisa Leslie was the number-seven pick in the 1997 inaugural WNBA draft. She is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. Leslie had eight WNBA All-Star selections and won two WNBA championships in her 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie is still in the forefront of the game as a studio analyst and as a head coach in the BIG3 League.
4 Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Just days ago, Shiffrin won her 87th World Cup race, overtaking Ingemar Stenmark for the most World Cup wins by any alpine skier. She was the youngest American ski racer to claim a national alpine crown. Shiffin holds 15 Season Titles: 5 overall, 7 Slalom, 1 Super-G, and 2 Giant slalom.
5 Mia Hamm – Soccer
Mia Hamm is a soccer icon and one of the most recognized female athletes in the world. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion was a core piece of building a dominant women’s team for the USA.
6 Annika Sorenstam – Golf
Despite retiring in 2008, Annika Sorenstam still tops the LPGA’s career money list with earnings of over $22 million. She has 90 international wins, the most of any female. Sorensstam also played in a staggering 72 official LPGA tournaments, including ten majors and 24 other international tournaments.
7 Ronda Rousey – Judo, MMA, & WWE
Ronda Rousey has held top honors in three different combat sports. She is a Judo Olympic Bronze medalist and was the first female inductee to the UFC Hall of Fame. Her 12-2 MMA record is impressive. More impressive yet is that 9 of her 12 wins ended in less than 1 minute.
8 Amanda Nunes – MMA
With 22 wins and 5 losses, Amanda Nunes has the longest combined UFC title reign of all time at 3515 days. The Lioness is the current Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion. She also holds wins over 7 former or current UFC champions.
9 Jennie Finch – Softball
Jennie Finch is the most recognizable softball player ever. She has one WCWS Championship, one Olympic Gold, and one Olympic Silver to her name. Her stats from Arizona and National Pro Fastpitch are cluttered with an unbelievable number of records.
10 Danica Patrick – Racing
Danica Patrick was the first and only woman to ever win an IndyCar Series event. As the most successful woman in American open-wheel racing, her career has opened eyes and doors for females to compete in a male dominated sport.
Breaking Barriers: Top 10 in the Modern Era