Senda Berenson Abbott (1868-1954) is an
important figure in women’s basketball for being the author of the first Basketball
Guide for Women, published in 1901. She adapted and modified the rules of the
sport in order to enable more female players to participate.
She was born in the Russian Empire and emigrated
to the US with her family at the age of seven. She joined the Boston Normal School
of Gymnastics, and later became a sports ambassador for various schools.
She was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1955, the first woman so honoured.
Margaret Osborne duPont (1918-2012) was a tennis
player ranked as World No. 1 in 1947. She won 37 Grand Slam titles throughout
her career, out of which a record-setting 25 were US Championships.
Her titles included six singles, 21 doubles and
10 mixed doubles. She was runner-up in 14 additional competitions. Her number of
wins places her fourth on the all-time list.
(b. 1965) is a
former Czech tennis player. Her highest WTA ranking was No. 4 in singles and
No. 1 in doubles, and she won a total of 79 titles in singles or doubles.
She turned professional in 1981 and has won
14 Grand Slam doubles titles over the years. After retiring, she established
the International Lawn Tennis Club of the Czech Republic and acted as its
president. In addition to her sports career, she has a PhD in psychology and
has worked for mental health within the sports community.
1989) is a former competitive swimmer from the United Kingdom. She won two gold
medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Briton to achieve the
feat since 1908.
She has participated and won medals in other world
competitions such as the 2011 World Aquatic Championships and the 2012 London
Olympics. In 2008, she set a British, European, Olympic and Commonwealth record
in 800-metre freestyle.
Daphne Ceeney (1934-2016) was the first Australian to compete
at the Paralympic Games. She participated in multiple sports and won a total of
She first participated in the 1960 games, where she won gold medals in
swimming and silver in javelin and archery. She also competed in table tennis
and fencing, receiving medals for every discipline.
Laila Ali (b. 1977) is a professional boxer, the daughter of Muhammad Ali. During her career she held four super middleweight and one light heavyweight title.
Her boxing career began in 1999, when she was 21, and lasted until 2007. She retired undefeated, with 24 wins, 21 of which were knockouts.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (b. 1986) is a track
and field sprinter from Jamaica. She was the first Caribbean woman to win a
gold medal for the 100 m event at the Olympics, which she achieved in 2012.
Her medal record includes 12 gold and 7 silver
medals in international events. She set several national and world records for
sprinting and was named IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2013. Her
organisation, Pocket Rocket Foundation, supports high school athletes who have financial
difficulties so that they can keep training and stay in education.
Correia (b. 1981)
is a US Olympic swimmer. She is the first black American swimmer to set a
national and a world swimming record.
In 2002 she was the NCAA Champion in four
different events, and set three American records. She was the first woman of
African American and of Puerto Rican descent to make the US Olympic Swim team.
Iolanda Balaș (1936-2016) is considered one of the greatest
Romanian athletes of all time. She was the first woman for her country to win
an Olympic gold medal, which she achieved at the 1960 Rome Games.
Her specialty was the high jump, and improved the
world record in the sport 14 times. She was the first woman ever to jump higher
than six feet.
Badmann (b. 1966)
is a Swiss triathlete. She was the first European woman to win the Ironman Triathlon
World Championship, which she achieved for the first time in 1998.
Aside from being a professional athlete, she
is also a social worker in Switzerland. She won the Ironman Championship on six
occasions between 1998 and 2005.