Diana Nyad (b.
1949) is a long-distance swimmer, author and journalist. Among her feats are
swimming around Manhattan in 1975, and being the first person to swim from Cuba
to Florida without a shark cage. She was 64 when she achieved this in 2013.
In 1970, during her first ever race, she
set a world record in women’s marathon swimming. She then broke many others,
such as the record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit in 1979. In 2013,
she swam continuously for 48 hours, a charitable effort which raised more than $105,000
for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Ellen Roosevelt (1868-1954) was a professional tennis player. She won three Grand
Slam titles in her career, in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
Her first win was at the 1890 US
Championships, where she defeated the previous champion. The same year, she won
the doubles title along with her sister Grace – the first pair of sisters to
win the US Championships, and the only one until the Williams sisters achieved
the same in 1999.
Mary Joe Fernández (b. 1971) is a professional tennis player. She won two Grand Slam
titles and two Olympic gold medals in doubles, and has been the runner-up in
three Grand Slam tournaments in singles.
She turned professional in 1986 and won her
first title in 1989. She peaked at World No. 4 in both singles and doubles, in
1990 and 1991 respectively. After retirement, she was the coach for the 2012
Olympic tennis team.
Gertrude Kleinova (1918-1976) was a Czechoslovak table tennis player and three-times
world champion in the sport. She was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration
She participated in the 1935 and 1936 World
Championships, where she won three gold medals. Being of Jewish heritage, she
was deported to the concentration camp in 1941 – she survived, but her husband
was killed. She was posthumously inducted into the International Jewish Sports
Hall of Fame in 1994.
Čmilytė (b. 1983) is a
Lithuanian chess player. She was awarded the FIDE title of Grandmaster in 2010.
She started playing
at the age of six, and won her first title, the European Youth Chess
Championships, at ten. She is a European champion and twice-national champion.
Carolina Duer (b. 1978) is a boxer from Argentina. She has held multiple world
champion titles, such as the IBF bantamweight title and the WBO super flyweight.
She first became the WBO super flyweight
champion in 2010 and defended that title six times. She is the first woman of Jewish
origins to hold a WBO boxing championship.
Evonne Gollagong (b. 1951) is a retired Australian player, a former No. 1. She was
one of the best players in the world during the 1970s and 1980s.
By the end of her career, she had won 82
singles titles and fourteen Grand Slam titles. She played a total of eighteen
Grand Slam finals, a record for any player, male or female. Since 1997, she has
been a Sports Ambassador for Aboriginal communities, encouraging Aboriginal
children to participate in competitive sports and continue their education.
1950) is a Romanian former runner, known as one
of the best athletes of her time. She was the 1984 Olympic champion for the
3000 metres event.
She participated in numerous international
events from 1976 to 1989, winning two gold medals at the World Cross-Country
Championships, in addition to her Olympic Games win. In 1982, she set the
record for the women’s mile run.
Shirley Strickland (1925-2004) was an Australian athlete. With a total of seven Olympic
medals (of which 3 gold), she won more than any other Australian in running
In addition to her sports career, she held
a degree in Physics and taught at Perth Technical College. She participated in three
Summer Olympics from 1948 to 1956, and was involved in the administration of the
Australian team for two more. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of
Australia in 2001.
Kim Little (b.
1990) is a Scottish football player, playing for Arsenal L.F.C. and for
Scotland’s national team.
She made her professional debut at age 16,
as part of the Edinburgh team Hibernians L.F.C., and became part of the
national team the same year. She was named Women’s Player of the Year by the
Football Association in 2010, as well as BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in