Cathy Freeman is a former sprinter known for her achievements in the 400 meters events. Her personal best of 48.63, set at the 1996 Olympics, makes her the eighth-fastest woman of all time. She gave Australia an Olympic gold at the 2000 Olympics. Also a humanitarian, Freeman is credited with founding the Cathy Freeman Foundation.
Legendary Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley was once world number 1 and the world’s first mother to earn a Wimbledon win in 66 years. A Wiradjuri Aborigine, she is now part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and also became the Australian of the Year in 1971.
Rhea Ripley is an Australian wrestler best known for her association with the popular wrestling promotion, WWE. She is the current WWE Women's Tag Team Champion along with Nikki A.S.H. In 2019, she was named Breakthrough Wrestler of the Year by CBS Sports. In April 2021, Ripley became the first female Australian to win the WWE Raw Women's Championship title.
Margaret Court is an Australian retired tennis player. She is a former world No. 1 with 24 Grand Slam women's singles titles to her name. She also holds 19 Grand Slam doubles titles and 21 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Following her retirement, she became a Christian minister.
Dawn Fraser is an Australian freestyle champion swimmer. She won the Olympic individual event the women's 100-meter freestyle three times in her career. She also won six Commonwealth Games gold medals. Much respected for her athletic abilities, she was also known for her controversial behavior. She became a swimming coach after her retirement. She is also a former politician.
Billie Kay is an Australian professional wrestler best known for her time in WWE. She was part of the tag team The IIconics alongside Peyton Royce. She was interested in wrestling from a young age and was trained by Madison Eagles. She was once associated with the Pro Wrestling Women's Alliance promotion. She now competes on the independent circuit.
Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur, once world number 1 in doubles, has also had a career-high ranking of 4 in singles. She holds a national WTA record of being the top player for 442 consecutive weeks. Openly lesbian, she had a daughter with her partner, Liz Astling, in 2020.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shane Gould was 15 when she participated in the Munich Olympics. She stunned everyone with her early retirement at 16 and stayed away from the limelight for 25 years, eventually re-emerging after raising her four kids on an Australian farm and then breaking records at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Order of Australia Medal-winning Jessica Watson made headlines with her solo attempt of circumnavigating the world, though it fell short of the official criteria. The Australian sailor and explorer had grown up in a cabin cruiser and double-decker bus. She has recounted her experience in a documentary and a book.
In her 19-year stint as a basketball player, Penny Taylor has mostly represented the WNBA team Phoenix Mercury. She also won gold medals as part of the Australian women’s national team. Though she had a heterosexual marriage earlier, she is now openly lesbian and married to fellow basketball player Diana Taurasi.
Stephanie Rice is an Australian retired swimmer best known for winning three gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. In the same year, she was named Telstra Australian Swimmer of the Year. Rice also won two silver medals and five bronze medals at the World Championships during her career. In 2019, she was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Ashleigh Barty is an Australian tennis player and the current world No. 1 as per the Women's Tennis Association. Barty has won two Grand Slam singles titles: 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon, and one Grand Slam doubles title at the 2018 US Open She also won on a bronze medal in mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Australian cricket commentator and former cricketer, Lisa Sthalekar, was once the captain of Australia's international women's cricket team. Born in India and adopted by parents who lived in USA, she was introduced to cricket by her father. She started playing professionally as a young woman and went on to have an exemplary career. She retired in 2013.
Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning Australian swimmer Leisel Jones is also known by her nicknames Diesel and Lethal Leisel. Known for her signature breaststroke technique, she has also won 7 World Championship titles. Post-retirement, she has penned a memoir, been a sports commentator, and qualified as a nutrition coach.
Ariarne Titmus is an Australian swimmer best known for her performance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, where she won two gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal. Ariarne Titmus has also won two gold medals in the long course and two gold medals in the short course at the World Championships so far.
Tia-Clair Toomey is an Australian CrossFit Games athlete and weightlifter. As a weightlifter, she won a gold medal for Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Toomey has also won five CrossFit Games Championship titles so far; she won these titles in five successive CrossFit Games starting from 2017.
Known as the Blonde Bomber to her fans, Australian boxer and female super-bantamweight champion Ebanie Bridges had begun training in karate at age 5 and had then moved on to kickboxing, Muay Thai, and eventually competitive bodybuilding. She is a qualified math teacher and speaks 5 languages, too.
Sally Pearson is an Australian former athlete. After winning a silver medal in the 100 m hurdles at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Pearson went on to win Olympic gold in the same event in 2012. A two-time world champion, Sally Pearson also won two gold medals in Commonwealth Games. In 2011, she was named Female Athlete of the Year.
Tasmanian MMA fighter and bare-knuckle boxer Bec Rawlings was always sporty but eventually chose martial arts as a way to reduce weight. Known as the Queen of Bare Knuckle, she has competed for BKFC. She has also had successful stints with Invicta and UFC and is now a flyweight division competitor.
Yugoslavian-born tennis star Jelena Dokic had once been world number 4 in singles. While she represented Serbia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia, and Australia in international events, post-retirement, she has mostly been associated with Australian tennis as a coach, author, and sports commentator. She accused her father of abuse in her memoir.
Hana Mandlíková is a retired tennis player best known for winning four Grand Slam singles titles. She also won the doubles title at the 1989 US Open. Mandlíková won the Fed Cup for Czechoslovakia on four occasions. Counted among the greatest players of all time, Hana Mandlíková was made an inductee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994.
Karrie Webb is an Australian golfer. With over 40 wins under her belt, Webb is the most successful active player on the LPGA Tour. In 2005, Karrie Webb was made an inductee of the World Golf Hall of Fame. In 2016, she received the prestigious William and Mousie Powell Award.
Michelle Jenneke is an Australian track and field athlete and model. She won a silver medal for Australia at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. She received international recognition in 2012 when her pre-race warm-up dance became famous on the internet. As a model, Michelle Jenneke was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2013.
Nova Peris is an Australian athlete and former politician. In 1996, she became the first Aboriginal Australian to earn a gold medal at the Olympics; she was part of the women's hockey team that won the gold medal. She switched sports to sprinting and participated in the 1998 Commonwealth Games, winning gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m relay events.
Zali Steggall is an Australian lawyer turned politician. She has been serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Division of Warringah since 2019. She is a former Olympic athlete as well and is considered Australia's most internationally successful alpine skier. She became a lawyer after retiring from skiing and eventually entered politics as well.
Australian swimmer Emma McKeon is a 5-time Olympic gold medalist and once held 4 world records. She is now one of 2 Australian athletes with the most Olympic gold medal wins. Known for her freestyle and butterfly strokes, she is also a Member of the Order of Australia.
Retired Australian Ironwoman and professional surf life saver Candice Warner was 14 when she began competing in the sport. She has also appeared on a few reality shows. She is married to Australian cricketer David Warner, and the two, apparently, were introduced to each other through Twitter.
Libby Trickett is an Australian former swimmer best known for winning gold medals at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics. A former world record holder, Trickett also won eight gold medals in the long course and seven gold medals in the short course at the World Championships. In 2016, Libby Trickett was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Kelsey-Lee Barber is an Australian track and field athlete. She competes in the javelin throw and won the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships. She won bronze in the final at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She has set a personal best of 67.70 meters. Her training partner is para-athlete Jayden Sawyer. She is married to coach Mike Barber.
Ajla Tomljanovic is a Croatian-Australian tennis player best known for her performance as a junior player. Tomljanović, who played for Croatia from 2009 to 2018, has been representing Australia at all events on the WTA Tour since 2018. Ajla Tomljanovic reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in 2021 when her fourth round opponent Emma Raducanu retired in the second set.