With the vast majority of professional sports being focused primarily on male athletes, females can often get the short end of the stick. Coverage for women’s sports have long been less than their male counterparts, and the viewing is nowhere near the same level as men’s events. However, through this struggle to gain support and backing for female athletes, many have found great success in their field.
Notable women in the sports arena have been getting recognition for their power, strength, and perseverance when it comes to competitions and sports events. One of the most notable is Serena Williams. The American professional tennis player has been a powerhouse in her sport ever since she stepped onto the court.
Another group of women is also pushing against the norms of sports culture by presenting the first all-female racing team is the Giti Angels. This German racing team consists of all female drivers and technical crew and has made waves in the racing world with their recent triumphs in the VLN series tournament as the first all-female team in the tournament’s 100-year history.
With drivers Célia Martin and Carrie Schreiner and race engineer Corinna Schäfer, they raced very competitively in the event and went on to win the SP3T Championship. The team placed #36 out of 162 throughout all the drivers in the competition and proved that an all-female team could hang with the guys.
Blazing new trails, these women have come together to show that women can do whatever they set their minds to and that we can work together. The old thinking that women are over-emotional and unable to work together without being catty, or getting jealous of one another, is one that many women are fighting against. These women are setting out to prove it.
With their focused, results-driven performance and attitude, they are showing their male opponents that women who work hard can perform well even in heavily male-dominated fields of racing and sports and even go on to win the tournament.
Winning 23 major singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, and 13 Grand Slam singles titles, she has a fantastic record that shows how much time and effort she gives to her sport. Known for her powerful forehand and backhand swings, consistent and powerful serving, and double-handed backhand, she has become a household name to those who don’t even watch tennis matches.
But everything was not always easy for Serena. In her early life, she began training for tennis matches by her father and began competing in junior tennis tournaments. Her father eventually decided to stop having her participate and there was mention of racial issues being involved due to the Caucasian parents saying derogatory comments about her during the tournaments.
Even though there was some push back, she didn’t let anything stop her. She went on to multiple French Open titles and completed what was dubbed the “Serena Slam,” which was winning all four Grand Slams in a row. She also went on to give birth to her daughter, Alexis, and return to the sport not long after.
Even with the adversity that she faced as a young girl, she never let that stop her. She trained hard, to which she thanks her father for treating her equally and worked to become one of the best names in her sport.
A very well-known model/basketball player/broadcasting studio analyst/professional coach has forged a path of her own that pushes the boundaries of what she was told she could do. Lisa Leslie, who played for the WNBA team the Los Angeles Sparks and was the first woman to dunk in the league shows that women can succeed in sports when they train hard and don't listen to what others tell you.
Lisa Leslie got her start as a basketball player as a middle school student when a friend asked her to try out for the team. She was later transferred to another junior high that didn't have a girls' team, so she decided to join the boy's team. This decision made her more confident in her abilities because she was able to hold her own against boys her age.
Leslie had made such strides as a player that by the time she entered high school she was already fielding offers from top university’s recruiters. She continued playing for her high school team and she led them to the 1989 California state championships. But she didn’t stop there, she went on to play for the USC women’s basketball team and eventually got drafted by the WNBA.
While playing professionally, she set the standard for women's sports for many people. Leslie led her team to the championship multiple times and was the first woman ever to dunk during a WNBA game. She has also collected several accolades for her great achievement including the 2001 Sportswomen of the Year. She also became the first woman to reach a 3,000-point season and continued this trend.
She retired in 2009 as the first woman to reach a 6,000-point season and is known as one of the top 15 players in WNBA history. Though she started as a young woman who had to play on the boy's team because there wasn't the option of a girls' team, she worked her way to the top and made a name for herself.
As a woman that dominated sports, she didn't give in to the stereotype that women must act more masculine to succeed, and she also did work as a model in her off time. Blending the strength of femininity with the determination of being a woman in a male-dominated arena, she is a role model to other young girls who hope to achieve greatness as a sports star.
As women like the ones mentioned above continue to prove that girls can grow up to be basketball players, tennis stars, and race car drivers, the glass ceiling seems to be closer to breaking every year. With the tenacity and determination that it takes to succeed in sports, girls and women can work hard enough to achieve their goals, even with the odds stacked against them.