Throughout history, there have been many iconic female athletes that paved the way. From track to boxing to swimming—female athletes have dominated. In fact, many female athletic changemakers are still playing sports today. These women are not only history makers in the sports world, but also have inspiring and motivational stories that even non-athletes could all learn a life lesson from.
Below is a list of six inspiring female athletes who are changing the game and continuing to motivate others to do the same.
1. Serena Williams
Perhaps the most well-known female athlete of the 21st century, Serena Williams is a beast on and off the court. The tennis player has the accolades to prove it, from Olympic gold medals to Grand Slam titles. Not to mention, she is the highest-earning female athlete of all time.
Williams hasn’t always had it easy and it was a tough road to get to where she currently stands. Racism in the tennis world made things hard on her and her sister, Venus, while they were young especially. She fought through this experience and proved all her haters wrong.
2. Naomi Osaka
A fellow tennis player, Naomi Osaka, is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles, as well as the first player from Japan to reach the number one spot. At only 23, she has won 4 Grand Slam titles.
At the start of her career, Osaka was often considered a diva because of her shyness. It was hard for her to speak in front of others, making her pass off as rude to fellow players and the media.
She has worked hard to overcome this shyness and has become a leading activist in the tennis community. She is well known for wearing masks to her matches that say the names of Black men and women killed by police in order to bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.
3. Candace Parker
Candace Parker is a professional American basketball player. She gained much of her attention after becoming the first woman to ever dunk during an NCAA game.
Parker is also a broadcaster, as well as a mother. She dedicates her time to many different charitable organizations, such as The Pat Summit Foundation and No Kid Hungry.
The all-star basketball player currently has a collection with Adidas that sells everything from women’s sneakers to hoodies. She wanted to make sure her collection focused on being a beast player, as well as a beast mom.
4. Alix Klineman
Alix Klineman is an American beach volleyball player who has a variety of achievements, most recently winning a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics. When Klineman didn’t make the volleyball team for the 2016 Rio Olympics, it pushed her to work even harder and make the switch to beach volleyball.
Here is a mobile wallpaper with one of Klineman’s most inspiring quotes on it from Adidas. Use it to remind you to never give up.
5. Simone Biles
If you have watched the news at all in the past several years, you are sure to have heard Simone Biles’s name. She is constantly breaking barriers and paving the way for other female athletes. Biles is an American gymnast who is tied for the most gymnastic Olympic medals of all time.
Biles has been a strong advocate for the mental health community, as well as survivors of sexual assault. Biles herself even pulled out of the 2020 Olympics mid-competition in order to focus on her mental health, but still remained supportive of her teammates.
6. Liz Cambage
Liz Cambage is an Australian professional basketball player. She currently holds the WNBA record for most points scored in a single game.
Cambage is 6’8” tall and reached over 6’ before she turned 15. She was often bullied for her height, although her height is now what makes her one of the greats.
Below is an Adidas mobile wallpaper to use with a daily motivation quote from Liz Cambage below it. The inspiring words encourage putting the focus on being your best self.
Life lessons from these athletes
While these athletes play different sports and come from different backgrounds, they all share one common life lesson: never give up. Athletes and non-athletes alike often face struggles that make them want to throw in the towel, but if these athletes would have done this, they would have never become one of the greats.
We can also learn from iconic female athletes like those listed above to take our failures and struggles and use them to make us stronger. You can’t win every game in the game of life, but you can use those losses as motivation to make a better tomorrow.
No matter your life situation, aspire to make the best of it and push through. Maybe one day you will be on the list of greats inspiring others!