International Women’s Month: 3 historic athletes that have left their mark


Edwin Martinez / Wikimedia Commons

Serena Williams serves during a 2013 US Open match at Flushing Meadows, New York. She is the most accomplished tennis player of the open era — male or female ­— with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name.

Sports has typically been a field with more men than women, with female athletes often being looked down upon by their male counterparts and society. However, many female athletes have demonstrated tremendous talent and abilities to succeed. In honor of National Women’s Month, March is the perfect time to showcase the success of influential female athletes. Whether they have retired or are currently active in their sport, these female athletes have made great strides in their respective sports. 

Simone Biles

Beginning her professional career in gymnastics in 2012 at the age of 15, Biles has been an influential gymnast for many years. Biles has won 15 world medals — the most in gymnastics history — with nine gold, three silver and three bronze. She was also named ESPNW’s Woman of the Year in 2016 at only 19 years old. 

Biles spoke out as a survivor of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, courageously telling her story on social media and in interviews. While being a very talented gymnast, Biles is also resilient in other areas of her life. 

Abby Wambach 

Wambach is a retired soccer player, formerly playing the forward position for the USA women’s soccer team. During a career spanning from 2001 to 2015, Wambach became one of only five female athletes to score 20 or more goals within one year. In 2012, she was named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. In 2013, she broke the world-scoring record (previously held by Mia Hamm) when she gave a four-goal performance against the Republic of Korea. In doing so, she also became the all-time leader in the United States in multiple-goal games (with 43 in total). 

Serena Williams 

One of the most well-known professional female tennis players, Williams has made history numerous times while also venturing into other industries. Along with her older sister Venus, Williams began training to become a professional tennis player at the age of three. Williams has won six total U.S. Open Singles titles and a total of 23 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career. Often noted for her unusual outfits worn during matches, Williams later ventured into the world of fashion, creating her own clothing line. Seeing a female tennis player have this much success crossing over into other fields has been inspirational for many. 

Female athletes have accomplished just as much as their male counterparts. Despite the discrimination they have experienced, these women prevail.