Some of these 10 women on our list below have been playing their game for years, and are today the crème de la crème of their field of play, with their prize money, endorsements and salaries clearly reflecting that.
Other players, like Martina Navratilova , broke through that ceiling, decreasing the gap between women and men athlete's pay on a regular basis rather than occasionally.
Even now, in the 21st century, most professional women athletes around the world receive very little notoriety or pay compared to men. Life acknowledged the importance of King's achievement in by naming her one of the " Most Important Americans of the 20th Century. Part of its mission also includes providing opportunities for women to work in sports, including disciplines such as Marketing, On-Air, Production, Operations and Finance.
In the aftermath of the inaugural season, the Long Island Sound emerged as league champions. With the objective of providing more opportunities for women in sport as professional athletes, coaches and managers, the model for Play It Forward Sports also allows female athletes a chance to participate in the community by educating, training and mentoring young female athletes, providing them with earning potential.
Though women have been pro athletes in the United States, since the early s, paid teams, leagues and athletes are still uncommon and, as of , paid far less than their male counterparts. Fans enjoyed women's pro soccer for three seasons before executives  announced suspension of the league, despite the Women's national soccer team 's rating  as one of the world's top teams. Absence of a Women's professional football soccer league in the United States made it difficult for the Soccer women's national football team to find new players until Women's Professional Soccer was founded.
A effort to revive the WUSA  was launched. On September 4, , a new North American women's professional football league, tentatively named Women's Soccer LLC, was announced,  and ultimately launched in as Women's Professional Soccer. That league folded after its season, with the current National Women's Soccer League established later that year and beginning play in As of , the only sports that men but not women play professionally in the United States are football, baseball, and ultimate.
The Women's Professional Soccer league, formed in September , began its league play in March The WPS canceled the season when the number of teams dropped to five after Dan Borislow 's team in South Florida magicJack was terminated by the league.
The WPS hoped to continue the season in with at least six teams and eight in the season, but ultimately folded in May because of legal and financial troubles. It was such a success that the number of people who attended women's baseball games reached almost 1 million in Yet, when the war ended and Major League Baseball players came back home, female baseball players were obliged to fill the role of housewife at home.
About 20 members were selected from 1, baseball players nationwide for this team. The Bullets played games with men's semiprofessional teams and regional teams. After the birth of the Ladies League Baseball in , it included four teams.
The Bullets fought with them. However, after the first month, the league was suspended due to the financial difficulties of its sponsors. The Bullets folded in after Coors terminated its contract.
There are many countries where women's professional basketball league exists besides the United States, such as Italy, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. The league played three seasons from the fall of to the spring of The league is generally considered to be the first American professional women's basketball league to be founded.
The league played three seasons from the summer of to the summer of The league played two full season —97 and —98 and started a third —99 before it folded on December 22, In Lula Olive Gill became the first female jockey to win a horse race in California; later that same year, Ada Evans Dean rode her own horse to victory after her jockey had become ill. Indeed, Dean won twice — in spite of never having raced before. Kathy Kusner mounted a successful legal case in to become the first licensed female jockey in the United States.
Since the age of 16, she had been regularly winning unrecognized flat and timber races. As a licensed jockey, she rode races up and down the eastern seaboard and Canada and became the first licensed female jockey to ride races in Mexico, Germany, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Panama, South Africa, and what was then Rhodesia.
She was also the first woman to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup, the toughest timber race in the world. ABC Television filmed an award-winning documentary in Saratoga about her being the first woman in modern times to ride in a steeplechase at the racetrack. The inaugural season saw four teams with rosters hailing from Baltimore, Boston, Long Island and Philadelphia.
Regular season play was scheduled to start on May 28, as a draft took place on April 13 to fill the four team rosters.
In the inaugural draft, Maryland Terrapins alumnus and former US national team player Katie Schwarzmann would be the first ever player selected, taken by the Baltimore Ride with the top pick. The first women's professional softball league was established in , but it only lasted for four years because of its financial reasons and failure in marketing. In , the National Pro Fastpitch emerged to prepare a rebirth of the professional league, which came into existence with 6 teams in As of , the league has 4 teams that play 44 games each and then participate in the Championship Series.
The Women's Professional Volleyball Association was established in The association organized professional 6-player indoor volleyball leagues and beach volleyball leagues, such as Budlight Pro Beach Volleyball League in , in which 4 teams participated.
It dissolved in Major League Volleyball , a professional league, operated from to Eight women qualified to the Indianapolis formula race: Janet Guthrie 9th in , Lyn St. The only one to win a race was Patrick at the Indy Japan ; she scored several podiums and finished 5th in the IndyCar Series season , 6th in and 7th in Guthrie finished 5th in a USAC race in Fisher scored two podiums.
Shirley Muldowney was the first woman drag racer to compete in Top Fuel , the main class of the National Hot Rod Association , and won the , and championships. Angelle Sampey won three consecutive Pro Stock Motorcycle titles from to Three of the daughters of drag racing legend John Force — Ashley , Brittany , and Courtney —followed in their father's footsteps as drivers.
Patrick has been receiving substantial mass media coverage since her first IndyCar season, starring advertising campaigns in the United States and earning among the top 10 sportswomen. In Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport has started many programs to help women's golf. Caroline Wozniacki is a Danish professional tennis player. She turned pro in , and made her WTA debut the same year. She has won 21 WTA singles titles, with three in both and , six in both and , two in and one in She also holds two WTA titles in doubles.
The year-old has yet to win a Grand Slam title, and is currently no. Kim Yuna is a South Korean figure skater who began skating in The year-old has broken world record scores 11 times, eight of which were ones she set herself. Kim Yuna is one of the most highly recognized media figures and athletes in South Korea.
Danica Patrick is the most successful and popular woman in the history of American open-wheel auto racing. She won the Indy Japan in , making her the only woman ever to claim a victory in an IndyCar Series race.
Also, her third place finish in the Indianapolis in is still the highest ever by a woman in that event. Victoria Azarenka is a Belarusian professional tennis player, turned pro in She claimed victory at the Australian Open in and , and became the first Belarusian player to win a Grand Slam title. She also won two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles at the US Open and the French Open, and went on to claim the gold medal for mixed doubles at the London Olympics. Azarenka is a former World No.
Li Na rose to fame after winning the French Open singles title, making her the first and only Asian ever to be crowned the Grand Slam singles champion. She reached the final of the Australian Open in , and She is currently no. Her highest career-ranking is World No. She is currently the third-highest earning sports woman in the world. Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player, turned pro in , at the age of She is the current World No.
Serena has won 58 WTA singles titles, making her the record holder for the most Major singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles combined, among both active male and female players. She has also won 13 Major titles in women's doubles and two Major titles in the mixed doubles. She also won an Olympic silver medal at the London Olympics. Sharapova has been ranked World No.
The year-old has been featured in a number of modelling campaigns and in many advertisements including those for Nike, Canon and Prince rackets. Top 15 Most Memorable U.
She received the Laureus World Sports Awards Sportswoman of the Year for She was also honored again as the USOC’s sportswoman of the year for 2. Maria Sharapova. The top Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova, who as of August 19, is ranked World No. 3 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Presenting the list of top 10 most beautiful women in sports. Caroline Wozniacki. The Danish professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is at No. 10 in our list of most beautiful women in sports. Wozniacki who was born on 11 July in Poland, is the former World No. 1 on the WTA Tour, As of 23 January and held this position for 67 weeks. Throughout the world, most top female athletes are not paid, and work full-time or part-time jobs in addition to their training, practice and competition schedules. Women's professional sports organizations defy this trend. Such organizations are relatively new, and are most common in very economically developed countries, where investors are available to buy teams, and businesses can afford to .