March is Women’s History Month and there are countless women in sports who are wonderful role models for our daughters and sons. These athletes not only excelled on the course, court, or field, they earned Olympic medals, started charities to help children, became coaches, and they all blazed a trail for young athletes, everywhere.
Stephanie ‘Steffi’ Graf,
born in Mannheim, Germany, was a professional tennis player for over 17 years accumulating 107 career titles, 22 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian, 6 French, 7 Wimbledon, and 5 US Open. In 1988, Graff became the first player to achieve what is regarded as the calendar year Golden Slam by winning all four majors plus the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year!
The Hall of Famer, whom many consider one of the best tennis players in history, fulfilled her philanthropic nature by starting ‘Children for Tomorrow.’ The non-profit foundation continues to help support the mental health of children and their families who have been affected by the atrocities of violence, war and persecution.
Mildred Ella Didrikson Zaharias,
nicknamed “The Babe,” was an extremely versatile athlete who excelled in golf, basketball, baseball, track and field, swimming, softball, figure skating, billiards, and football. She won two gold medals in track and field for the U.S. at the 1932 Summer Olympics, before turning to professional golf in 1934. As a professional golfer she won 10 LPGA major championships in her career and 41 victories.
Babe was also one of the founding members of today’s LPGA and is known for being one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.
is one of the top women’s volleyball players in the history of the sport. She played indoor volleyball at Long Beach State but later moved to the beach game. She is a four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist. In both the 2004 and 2008 Games, she was named Most Outstanding Player in women’s beach volleyball. She and her long-time partner Kerri Walsh Jennings made history with their success on the domestic and international stages. May-Treanor retired following the 2012 London Olympics and is currently the director of volleyball operations at Long Beach City College, running both the indoor and beach women’s programs.
has been in the National Football League (NFL) for four years and she just completed her second year as the offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers. She was the first full-time, female NFL coach in the Super Bowl, and is the second full-time female coach in the NFL — ever! You may have even seen her commercial during the Super Bowl.
Sowers is a former member of the 2013 United States Women’s National Football Team and was a player herself in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) for eight years. Sowers earned her master’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in pedagogy from the University of Central Missouri in 2012.
Ronda ‘Rowdy’ Rousey
has reached the pinnacle of every chapter of her athletic career, amateur and professional. Judo was her specialty as a young lady. she was the youngest judoka to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games, and winning the World Junior Judo Championship in the same year. Four years later, Rousey earned a bronze medal at the Summer Olympics and became the first American woman to win a medal in judo.
For the next ten years, Rousey moved on to compete in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). She won championship titles in all three organizations, claiming one title in the UFC in just 14 seconds! Rousey has appeared in countless magazines, acted in several movies, has her own YouTube channel, and has a contract with WWE through 2021.
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