When thinking of our favorite female athletes, it’s easy for our minds to envision them in their respective sports outfits, showing off their out-of-this-world physical abilities, and outperforming their stiff competition. It only makes sense since that’s the state in which we see them most. But sometimes, they give competing a rest and swap their sports gear for some red carpet fashion. Here is a look at some of your favorite female athletes who scored big on the red carpet.
1. McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney is a face many are familiar with. After learning she took home the silver instead of gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, she gave – what the Internet would later coin as – her ‘not impressed’ look. (See below for reference).
This facial expression earned her fame as an Internet meme and not to mention, helped propel her career in acting. Maroney landed her first Hollywood gig in the CBS series, Hart of Dixie, and has since appeared in a handful of other television series. Currently, Maroney is also turning her attention to establishing a music career for herself.
2. Gaby Douglas
Gaby Douglas sure seems to do it all. At just 16 years old, the gymnast made history for being the first African American to be crowned the individual all-around champion at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Thanks to her achievements in gymnastics, Douglas has also found success in other facets of her life.
Not only has Douglas tried her hand at writing, having written a book about her life as an Olympic gold medalist, but she has also paved a way for herself in television. In 2014, Lifetime made a biopic film about her life called The Gabby Douglas Story and in 2016, she starred in her own Oxygen reality show, Douglas Family Gold.
3. Caroline Wozniacki
Danish pro tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki holds the title for being the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the sport’s number one position in the world rankings. She laid claim to this title after finishing at the top in both 2010 and 2011.
The daughter of two professional athletes, and sister of a former professional footballer, Wozniacki definitely had an athletic upbringing. In June, 2019, the tennis player married former NBA champion David Lee. One of the bridesmaids, who’s also one of Wozniacki’s closest friends (and tennis court rivals), also appears on this list. Any guesses as to who she might be?
4. Danica Patrick
The face of women’s auto racing, Danica Patrick has broken a number of gender barriers during her eight year span of racing for both IndyCar and NASCAR. For example, she became the first female to win an IndyCar race (the 2008 Indy Japan 300) and the first female driver to lead laps in the 2005 Indy 500.
It is for reasons such as these that many racing fanatics consider her to be one of the best women’s race car drivers in history. Though she retired from the predominantly male-dominated sport in 2018, she has remained in the news – lately for her relationship with Green Bay Packers player, Aaron Rodgers.
5. Hope Solo
Hope Solo may have conditioned her soccer skills starting at a young age, but the goalkeeper for the US women’s soccer team wasn’t always using her hands when it came to maneuvering soccer balls. As it turns out, Solo started out as a forward player in high school.
As a forward, she scored a staggering 109 goals, which led her team to win a league title three years in a row, as well as a state championship in her final year as a student. Solo switched over to being a goalie in college and is considered by many to be the best ever women’s goalkeeper. With two Olympic gold medals to her name, she let only three goals pass again team USA in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup victory.
6. Laila Ali
Certainly the last name, Ali must ring a bell… hint: think the professional, world-famous boxer, Muhammad Ali. As the icon’s daughter, Laila Ali started her own career in boxing when she was 18 years old. We suppose the apple doesn’t actually fall too far from the tree.
With a role model as great as her father, it’s of no surprise that the female boxer saw great success in her own career, as she remained undefeated throughout her entire eight years in the profession. And although she retired in 2007, she is still considered by many to be one of history’s most successful female boxers.
7. Jennie Finch
USA Softball Hall of Famer, Jennie Finch was coined history’s most famous softball player by Time magazine. After helping her team take home the gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics, she helped them win the silver medal four years later.
And although Finch retired from her pitching career in 2010, her softball career didn’t end there. In 2011, Finch went on to work as a commentator for ESPN’s National Pro Fastpitch. Off the diamond, she traded in softball to join the 2018 cast of Dancing with the Stars, during which she notoriously refused to dance to Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel.”
8. Heather Watson
British professional tennis player, Heather Watson formerly held the position as Britain’s number one player and currently holds the just-as-impressive position as Britain’s number two player. In 2012, she became the first British woman since 1988 to win a WTA singles title.
Watson won this at the Japan Open and it seems she has been on a roll ever since. Speaking about her passion for competing, she said, “I play because I love competing. I love that feeling of winning a big match or tournament after I’ve put in so much time and effort in to my training… That’s my aim, to earn the feeling of being respected for what I achieve and how hard I work.”
9. Serena Williams
Arguably today’s face of women’s tennis, Serena Williams has been a consistent legend in the sport since 1995 when she officially became pro at only 14 years old. Going through her long list of accolades is exhausting but as a four-time Olympic gold medalist and the winner of 39 Grand Slam singles, she is considered by many to be the best tennis player in history.
Together with her sister, Venus, Williams has one 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, and the pair are still considered unbeaten to this day. Fun fact: Williams and fellow tennis legend, Caroline Wozniacki, are best friends. In fact, even though the two are rivals on court, Williams served as bridesmaid in Wozniacki’s wedding. Such sportsmanship!
10. Anastasia Yankova
Moscow-born mixed martial artist, Anastasia Yankova is considered to be one of the most skilled flyweight fighters around the globe. She got her start in Kyokushin Karate at the tender age of six, having drawn inspiration from the television series, Xena: Warrior Princess.
After that, Yankova began her formal training in Muay Thai and following her crowning as a Muay Thai champion, she made the move onto mixed martial arts. Although most wouldn’t necessarily associate a fierce Muay Thai champion with red carpet fierceness, Yankova proves that you can be a tough girl and still rock a dress and heels.
11. Carmen Jorda
Spanish race car driver, Carmen Jorda served as a development driver on the Renault Sport Formula One and Lotus teams between 2015 and 2017. Actually, joining the Lotus team meant she is the 11th female in history to be included in the driving line-up of a Formula One team.
Jorda grew up with a motor racing influence, as her father, Jose Miguel Jorda was also a former race car driver. He introduced her to the sport as a kid and she took up karting as a hobby at an early age. As a teenager, she progressed to Master Junior Formula, later making the transition to Spanish Formula 3. And as they say, the rest is history.
12. Alex Morgan
Soccer star, Alex Morgan is a forward on the National Women’s Soccer League and the US National Team. She is an Olympic gold medalist, a champion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and a champion of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Not only that, but Morgan is also a graduate from UC Berkeley, an author who has made it on the best-selling list, and an actress. While she is clearly a well-rounded individual, soccer is a huge part of her life. Since July, 2019, she has made 107 goals and 43 assists. She is also married to LA Galaxy soccer player, Servando Carrasco.
13. Ronda Rousey
Following her 2008 Summer Olympics bronze medal win, Ronda Rousey became the first American female to win an Olympic medal in judo. Interestingly enough, her victory provoked a career change and she turned her attention to becoming an MMA fighter, retiring from judo at just 21.
Aside from being one of the world’s top pro wrestlers, the California native has indulged in an acting career. Her introduction into the world of Hollywood entertainment came thanks to a demand for strong female actions stars and she has appeared in a number of TV series and films including The Expendables, Furious 7, and Entourage.
14. Aly Raisman
Six-time Olympic medalist, Aly Raisman is recognized by most for being the captain of Team USA’s ‘Fierce Five’ in the 2012 London Olympics and of the ‘Final Five’ in the 2016 Rio Olympic games. Both years, Raisman helped the US women’s gymnastics team take home the gold.
Not only that, but she also managed to snag a gold medal win for herself. Yet despite her undeniable talent, the Olympic medalist claims her prowess doesn’t extend to other sports. Funny enough, according to the Life is Good company, Raisman was quoted saying, “I’m the most unathletic person besides gymnastics.” Now that’s a statement that’s hard to believe!
15. Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones competes in what is considered to be one of the most dangerous winter sports out there: bobsledding. As a brakewoman on America’s national bobsled team, Jones took home the gold in the 2013 World Championships’ mixed team event.
After repping team USA at the Winter Olympics in 2014, Jones became one of the only athletes to compete in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. This is because she also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a hurdler. In fact, the all-around superstar holds the US record for the fastest 60-meter hurdles. Her time is 7.72 seconds… wow!
16. Anastasia Ashley
Pro surfer, Anastasia Ashley was only five years old when she took up the sport of surfing. In fact, when she was six years old, she won a contest on a board she found in a trash can sitting outside of her house.
But just one year later, she became sponsored and her old, run-down board was replaced by lots of new ones. Though she has since then collected a number of titles for her work on the board, she is also recognized for her work on land. In 2014, she started her own jewelry line and has also made an appearance on TV series, Hell’s Kitchen and Stewarts & Hamiltons. These female athletes really seem to do it all, huh!?
17. Simone Biles
After looking at Simone Biles’ long list of triumphs, it’s no wonder she has been called one of gymnastic’s all-time greatest athletes. Not only is she the female gymnast that has the most all-around World titles (she has four), but she’s also the gymnast – within both the female and male bracket – that has won the most World gold medals (an incredible 14!).
Aside from her outstanding work with Team USA in the Olympics, Biles is also recognized by Dancing with the Stars fans for finishing in fourth place back in 2017. Even more recently, her book, “Courage to Soar,” which documents her life, became a Lifetime movie in 2018. She can really do it all!
18. Paige Spiranac
Not only is Paige Spiranac a social media personality, but she is first and foremost an American professional golfer. Originally from Colorado, Spiranac grew up with aspirations of competing in the Olympics as a gymnast. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to fulfill that dream.
At 12 years old, young Spiranac endured a painful knee injury that crushed her dreams of becoming a professional gymnast, but evidently pushed her towards a career in golf. At the beginning of her career, she became one of the world’s top 20 junior golf players and was a top five college recruit. Her accomplishments helped her earn a scholarship for golf at the University of Arizona.
19. Ashley Wagner
American figure skater, Ashley Wagner started ice skating at the young age of five. Speaking of her decision to give the sport a try, the German-born athlete said her mother gave her the option to pursue either figure skating or ballet.
Obviously choosing to skate, Wager claimed she “wasn’t going to do anything in pink shoes.” Whatever her reasoning, it seems she made the right decision, as she later went on to experience great success in the sport. The figure skater is a three-time national champion, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, and a 2016 World silver medalist. Not to shabby, huh?
20. Barbara Blank
Wrestling fans may be more familiar with Barbara Blank’s ring name, Kelly Kelly. Having started out in cheerleading and gymnastics, Blank made the switch to pro wrestling in 2006. Blank won the 2011 WWE Diva Championship but then retired from the sport in 2012.
Though Blank has since made a few wrestling appearances, she has focused most of her attention on starting a career in television. Her acting debut came when she appeared in Days of Our Lives. But perhaps her most noteworthy television stint was in E!’s reality series, WAGS, which aired from 2012 to 2018 and followed the lives of famous sportsmen’s girlfriends and wives.
21. Maria Sharapova
Imagine becoming a professional anything as a teenager. Sounds virtually impossible? Well, not if you’re Maria Sharapova. Originally born in Russia in 1987, at just 14 years old, she became a pro tennis player and has since then rose to the top as one of the sport’s best players. And she ain’t done yet!
Aside from being ranked as the world’s top player five years in a row, The legendary Sharapova is a five-time Grand Slam singles champion and an Olympic silver medalist. Off the court, she runs her own premium candy and chocolate line called Sugarpova. We see what ya did there!
22. Lindsey Vonn
Alpine ski racer, Lindsey Vonn is no stranger to red carpet events, given she has tons of awards to her name. As a three-time Olympic medalist in downhill skiing, she has also won four World Cup championships. Must we go on?
Vonn announced that her Olympic ski run in 2018 would be her last and with that she waved adieu to what some would say was one of the best careers the sport has seen. That’s not such a hard argument to make, seeing as she has more Super-G (Super giant slalom) and downhill skiing victories than any other female in the sport’s history. Go, girl!
23. Chloe Kim
We can’t imagine it’d be easy to suddenly skyrocket to stardom in your teens, but Chloe Kim managed to do it so effortlessly. The snowboarder got her claim to fame following her gold medal win for Team USA in the half-pipe run of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
At just 18 years old, she has four shiny gold medals to her name and has a Barbie modeled after her, and if that’s not a triumph, we don’t know what is. Kim’s next big challenge is not on the slopes, however, but is instead conquering the world of academia at Princeton University.
24. Candace Parker
WNBA player, Candace Parker is a player for the Los Angeles Sparks and is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Considered by many to be one of the best female ballers in the US during her time at the University of Tennessee, Parker now rocks a long list of accolades.
During her time at the University of Tennessee, she won a total of two national championships and became the first woman to dunk in a tournament game for the NCAA. She also has two Olympic gold medals to her name and has won two MVP awards within the WNBA. Oh, and her brother is b-ball legend, Anthony Parker. Who else now thinks basketball skills must be genetic?
25. Katie Ledecky
We’re beginning to think Katie Ledecky might be half human, half fish. At just 15 years old, the Washington, D.C. native became an Olympic gold medalist. She brought home the shiny medal in the women’s 800 metre freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. But her triumphs didn’t stop there.
The rockstar swimmer has since laid claim to four Olympic gold medals and one silver. During her career, she has won a total of 34 medals in a number of major competitions around the world and has broken a staggering 14 world records! Slow down, Ledecky. You’re making the rest of us look bad.
Glamorous, Graceful, and Ginger: The Most Successful Hollywood Redheads
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