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If you have ever been discouraged or belittled in a sport because you’re a girl, it's time to prove people wrong. You can do anything you would like, including any sport! While female athletes are often taken less seriously because of their gender, many of the best and most inspiring world athletes are women.
Many inspirational athletes have broken gender stereotypes and continue to prove that being a girl should not limit your choices for what sport you play. There is no such thing as a ‘boy sport’ so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Bethany Hamilton: Since 2003, when Hamilton survived a shark attack and lost her arm, she has thrived as a professional and resilient surfer. Despite this major drawback, Hamilton’s love for surfing kept her in the water and led her to become a triumphant surfer.
Image of Bethany Hamilton courtesy of Reference.com
Nicole Gibbs: This 24 year old tennis player is not afraid to speak out. She uses her platform to raise a voice about issues that matter. Her outspoken nature is consistent and she never stops asking questions. As an advocate for gender equality in sports, Gibbs does what she can to raise as much awareness about it as possible.
Laila Ali: Whoever first said “fight like a girl” must have been thinking of champion Laila Ali. During her career, the athlete maintained an undefeated record of 24 of 24 matches won. Since her retirement, Ali has committed to giving back to her community and wrote an inspirational book to inspire girls to follow their dreams called “Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power.”
Photo of Laila Ali courtesy of NY Daily News
Jackie Joyner Kersee: Kersee is recognized as one of the best athletes of all time. She currently holds the world record in heptathlon and top results in the different stage. On top of her success, Kersee is also one of the most famous athletes to overcome severe asthma.
Image of Jackie Joyner Kersee courtesy of The Source
Clara Hughes: Hughes is recognized not only for her athleticism, but also for her humanitarian efforts. The Canadian cyclist and speed skater is tied with Cindy Klassen as the Canadian with the most olympic medals, holding 6 total. Klassen is involved with an organization that encourages the development of disadvantaged youth through sports called Right to Play and has donated to the cause.
Photo of Clara Hughes courtesy of Edmonton Journal
There are countless amazing and inspirational female athletes making waves today. So no matter what sport you are passionate about, or how far you would like to take your sport, follow your dreams and you could someday end up on a list like this.
Let us know who inspires you in the comments!