Female athletes receive an extreme amount of criticism--about their bodies, abilities, mental health, personal lives, what they should be paid, how they should act...the list goes on and on.
These amazing athletes celebrate woman power and disrupt the narrative society has put in place of what a female athlete should be. Here are just a few of the many strong women role models in the spotlight.
Strong Women Athletes
There’s no question that these five female athletes are strong. They’ve accomplished amazing things and contributed to the history of not only their sport but to the portrayal of female athletes AND society as a whole.
“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.”
-- Simone Biles
Simone Biles (along with the other strong women on this list) has many accomplishments to her name. Her first Olympics was back in 2016, where she quickly became a household name. Over the years, Simone has stood up against abuse, been celebrated and criticized for her position as the GOAT, and more recently, spoken out about mental health and prioritizing your well-being.
“As long as I can remember, people have struggled to define me. I’ve never really fit into one description.”
-- Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam Champion and the first Asian player to hold the No. 1 ranking EVER. But she’s not just an amazing tennis champion; Naomi describes herself as “an entrepreneur, luminary and role model for young people across the globe.” She’s also become a strong advocate for social justice, using her platform to speak out when others are silenced.
“Nobody else can take you to the place you want to end up. You have to get there yourself.”
-- Tia-Clair Toomey
Four-time consecutive winner of the CrossFit Games and title of the “Fittest Woman on Earth,” Tia-Clair Toomey is undeniably strong and powerful. Female athletes often compete with the notion that their bodies do not fit with the “ideal” female body type, but Tia-Clair inspires other women to celebrate and love their bodies: “I am so proud of the way my body looks and I could not care less if someone doesn't agree with me, because I know what's been done in order to get to where I am,” Tia-Clair said.
“This is my charge to everybody, Do what you can. Do what you have to do—step outside of yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you’ve ever been before.”
-- Megan Rapinoe
World Cup and Olympic athlete Megan Rapinoe is an American soccer champion and equality activist. The many athletic accolades she has achieved have given her a platform to speak out about her passion for equal pay and equal rights. In 2016, she knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. In 2019, she joined the USWNT in suing the USF over gender discrimination allegations and became the first out gay woman to pose for Sport’s Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue.
"I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I'm not asking you to like my body. I'm just asking you to let me be me. Because I'm going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself."
-- Serena Williams
Olympic tennis player Serena Williams is legendary. Her list of achievements goes on and on (23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus, four Olympic gold medals--just to name a few). In 2017, when Serena gave birth to her daughter, Alexis, she was extremely candid about the pressures of motherhood as a female athlete. In 2019, she wrote an essay about the inequalities women athletes face and much, much more.
Strong women role models are everywhere, and they are setting an amazing example of what being healthy and powerful means. At WodBottom, we love supporting strong women and celebrating their accomplishments.