With 39 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, Serena Williams is clearly amongst the greatest female tennis players in the history. With 23 Grand Slam singles win, she is just a win away from equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles. She has bagged the top spot in WTA’s world ranking numerous times.
A professional WWE wrestler, Ronda Rousey was the first UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion and also the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Earlier, she became the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo. Amongst the greatest female MMA fighter, Ronda has also appeared in films like The Expendables 3 and Furious 7.
Simone Biles is an artistic gymnast. Having won a combined total of 30 World Championship and Olympic medals, Biles is the world's third-most decorated gymnast and the most decorated in America. Regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time by some, Simone Biles continues to inspire several aspiring gymnasts around the world, especially gymnasts from the black community.
Regarded as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, Venus Williams is credited with introducing never seen before power and athleticism to women's tennis along with her sister Serena. She is also credited with changing the long-standing practice of paying male tennis players more than their female counterparts as she won the fight for equal prize money.
One of the most popular female WWE wrestlers of the current generation, Sasha Banks was named the top black wrestler in a list titled BW 500 in 2020. A celebrated wrestler, she was involved in the first Iron Woman match, first women's WWE pay-per-view event, and first women's Hell in a Cell match.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka made history by being the first player of Asian origin to hold the world number one rank in singles. Osaka made headlines when in 2021, she withdrew from the French Open after refusing to be part of a press conference to protect her mental health.
A former mixed martial artist, Gina Carano went on to become an actress; she uses her martial arts skills to perform stunts in popular action movies. Before becoming an actress, she was quite popular in the MMA scene, being termed the face of women's MMA. In 2008, she was named in a Top 10 Influential Women list.
Holly Holm is a mixed martial artist. A former world champion in boxing, Holm currently competes in the UFC and holds the distinction of being the first fighter to hold a UFC title and a world boxing title. Her win against Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in the history of combat sports.
Seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky has also won 15 world championship gold medals, creating a record. At 15, she was the youngest American Olympic swimming team member at the 2012 London Olympics. The 6-foot-tall athlete is also a Stanford graduate and was the youngest Time 100 member in 2016.
Shawn Johnson is a former artistic gymnast who won the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal. She is a five-time Pan American Games gold medalist and a three-time U.S. all-around champion as well. She retired from gymnastics in 2012. She was the winner of season eight of the dance competition show Dancing with the Stars.
The most-decorated track and field athlete, Allyson Felix, once bullied for having skinny legs, now has a record 9 Olympic medals, including 6 gold medals. Named to Time 100 in 2020, she is also part of the board of Right to Play, which caters to children in underdeveloped countries.
Retired soccer player Abby Wambach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is a FIFA Women's World Cup champion as well and a six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award. She retired in 2015 and was listed in that year’s Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world.
Retired artistic gymnast Gabby Douglas became an all-around Olympic champion in 2012, becoming the first African-American to achieve the feat. She is also the first American to win gold in both the individual and team competitions at the same Olympic event. She inspired the biopic The Gabby Douglas Story.
Amy Dumas (Lita) is an animal welfare activist, singer, and retired professional wrestler. Beginning her career as a wrestler, she was a full-time wrestler with WWE for a few years. After her retirement, she embarked on her second career as a singer and founded the punk rock band, The Luchagors. She is a dedicated animal lover as well.
Born to Puerto Rican-American parents, Laurie Hernandez was homeschooled since third grade and began training in gymnastics at age 5. At 16, she was the youngest of the Final Five that won a team gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Her wide smile has earned her the nickname The Human Emoji.
Boxer and mixed martial artist, Claressa Shields, reigned as the undisputed female middleweight champion from 2019 to 2020. She has previously held multiple WBA, WBC, and IBF female middleweight titles. She is also the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals. She was named the Female Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2018.
Legendary American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner is still regarded as the fastest woman in the world. Her world records in both the 100m and 200m categories have still not been broken. The three-time Olympic gold medal winner was also known for her six-inch nails and her unconventional outfits.
Sprinter Wilma Rudolph made history by becoming the first American female athlete to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympic game. As a child, she needed orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The sports icon lost her life to cancer but was immortalized through books and movies.
Nastia Liukin made headlines with her 5-medal haul at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Born to an Olympic medalist gymnast father and a world champion gymnast mother, she was destined to make a career in the sport. She is now part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Retired gymnast Mary Lou Retton, known for her trademark, The Retton Flip, made history by becoming the first American female gymnast to win an individual Olympic gold medal and was the first gymnast named to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. She later became a motivational speaker.
American figure skater, Tonya Harding, was the 1991 and 1994 US champion but her 1994 title was taken away after a controversy erupted regarding her ex-husband. He was charged with planning an attack on a rival American skater, Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya Harding was banned for life by the US Figure Skating Association after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Lexi Thompson is a golfer who became the youngest winner of an LPGA tournament when she won the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in 2011. In 2011, she won the Dubai Ladies Masters, becoming the second-youngest champion of a Ladies European Tour. In 2014, she became the second-youngest female golfer to win a major when she captured the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The youngest member of the US artistic gymnastics team at the 2012 London Olympics, Kyla Ross won the team gold at the event, and became the first female gymnast to win the Olympic, the World, and the NCAA championships. Now a youth gymnastics coach, she has also launched her own line of leotards.
Retired professional wrestler, Nikki Bella, is a two time WWE Divas Champion whose second win lasted for a record time. Earlier, along with her twin sister, she formed a popular tag team and entered the WWE. The sisters have also appeared in reality television show Total Divas and Total Bellas, launched their own YouTube channel, Podcast and ventured into business.
Chyna was a professional wrestler, pornographic actress, bodybuilder, and glamour model. The first woman to take part in WWF's Royal Rumble match, Chyna set an important precedent as a powerful and dominant wrestler to the future female wrestlers. With victories over many popular male wrestlers, she was deemed the most dominant female wrestler of all time.
Alex Morgan is an American soccer player who helped her national team win the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cups. Thanks to her popularity, Morgan has appeared in several magazines and TV shows. Her numerous endorsement deals have made her one of the highest-paid American sportswomen. In 2019, she was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People list.
Bayley is an American professional wrestler. Currently, she is one of the most important female members of WWE. She has won several WWE championship titles, such as Raw Women's Championship and SmackDown Women's Championship. Renowned for her tag team partnership with Sasha Banks, Bayley has also won the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship along with Banks.
Alicia Sacramone is a retired artistic gymnast who won a silver medal with the United States team at the 2008 Summer Olympics. With a total of 11 Olympic and World Championship medals, she is one of the most decorated U.S. female gymnasts. She is also a spokeswoman for a fitness company and has appeared in a few commercials.
Bethany Hamilton is an American surfer. She serves as an inspiration to many surfers around the world as she returned to professional surfing even after surviving a shark attack in which she lost her left arm. Her 2004 autobiography, which narrates her experience, was adapted into a film titled Soul Surfer in which Bethany Hamilton was portrayed by AnnaSophia Robb.