The 36 most iconic female athletes of the past century

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Multi-sport American athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias was breaking boundaries in sports in the early 1900s. She was voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press.
The Williams sisters have redefined women in tennis and are credited with pioneering a game in which women are focused on power.
The United States Women’s National Team has had several athletes become icons since the 1990s. Most recently, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have joined the likes of Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach as iconic members of the team.
While gymnastics has become a more popular sport over time, Nadia Comaneci is credited with bringing attention to the sport worldwide during the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics.
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During the last century, women in sports have been making an impact and serving as inspirations to those who wish to accomplish the same.

It started with names like Wilma Rudolph and Billie Jean King but has grown so much more to include the Williams sisters, Megan Rapinoe, and Katie Ledecky.

According to a 2018 Nielsen report on the rise of women’s sports, 84% of general sports fans now have an interest in women’s sports.

Below, we take you through the 36 most iconic female athletes that have helped put women’s sports in the spotlight.

Wilma Rudolph

African American sprinter Wilma Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. She overcame the loss of strength in her left leg and foot, caused by polio at five years old, to become the fasted woman in the world at the 1960 Olympics. She holds the record for the 100-meter at 11.2 seconds and 200-meter at 22.9 seconds.

Rudolph gained international recognition during the 1960 Olympics because of worldwide television coverage and became an iconic figure for black and female athletes.

During the peak of the civil rights movement, Rudolph was a trailblazer for the rights of African Americans and women. She broke the gender barrier of all-male events in track and field, and her legacy lives on today.

Billie Jean King

Former World No. 1 professional tennis player Billie Jean King is regarded as one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time. She won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles.

King is an advocate for …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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