We have some budding athletes in Sayazu World with a newly heightened interest in sports celebrities. While male athletes are usually more well-known and often take the spotlight (both good and bad), we thought it was important for our kids to know something about the many inspirational female athletes that show us that running like a girl or playing like a girl is an awesome thing.
In no particular order, here is a list of our favorite female athletes:
One of the most exciting names in U.S. gymnastics, Gabby Douglas is the diminutive 2-time Olympic gold medalist known as the “flying squirrel.” As a member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team she won gold medals in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the 2012 London Olympics. Gabby was the first African American woman in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion,and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics as well as being the only American all-around champion to win multiple gold medals. She recently returned to international competition and is preparing to compete in the 2016 games in Rio.
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
For the first time since 1999, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team became FIFA World Champions. On Sunday, July 5, 2015 the U.S. beat Japan 5-2 to reclaim the title. Crowds of young women lined the streets of New York for the team’s celebration parade calling the team’s victory “inspiring.”
Jackie Joyner Kersee
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is one of the greatest athletes of all time winning three Olympic gold medals, as well as one silver and two bronze. Jackie’s specialty was the heptathlon, an Olympic track-and-field event comprised of seven separate events, including the 200-meter run, 800-meter run and 100-meter hurdles She is currently the heptathlon world record-holder, scoring 7,291 points.
Another one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams has won 36 grand slams and four Olympic gold medals. She is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis by the Women's Tennis Association(WTA). She has been ranked No. 1 in the world in singles on six separate occasions. Along with her sister Venus, Serena has been credited with launching a new era of power tennis in the sport.
It could be that she goes to school at UC Berkeley and we know it so well, or the fact that at the 2012 Olympic Games, she won gold in the 400m medley relay, setting a world record in the process; took gold in both the 100m back (with a best time of 58.33) and the 200m back, setting another world record of 2:04.06; took gold in the 800m free relay and bronze in the 400m free relay as well. All before she set foot on campus as a freshman at Cal.
Nicknamed "Chicken Legs" for her lanky physique, Allyson started running track in the 7th grade. She excelled from the start, within a year finishing seventh in the 200-meter dash at the CIF California State Meet, eventually becoming a five-time winner. She earned her first Olympic gold medal in 2008, with the U.S. women's 4x400 meter relay team. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London she became a three-time Olympic gold medalist taking home the gold in the women's 200 and the 4x100 meter relay.
Yes, we have yet another track and field athlete on the list. What can I say, we love track and field! But, this one is from down under. From the time Freeman was a child she dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal. She first competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where she did not make the finals. Four years later, she took home a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She competed one last time at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 where she was given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony. At those Olympics, with the hopes of the nation running with her, she fulfilled her childhood dream winning gold in the 400 meters.