Growing up and still to this day, my favorite female athlete and role model is Dot Richardson. Here's a little bit about her if you are not familiar:
"A born athlete, she developed a passion for softball during a time when women were confined to limited sporting opportunities. She broke down barriers and
never allowed anyone to tell her she "couldn't" just because she was a girl. As the USA's first ever Olympic softball team's captain and as an orthopedic surgeon - Dot knows what it takes to break ground, get out of the comfort zone and win."
Who is your favorite female athlete?
Lynne Cox, distance swimmer. She swam a little over a mile in Antarctic waters (~32 degrees)...without a wetsuit. How this is physiologically possible, I have no idea. She inspires me to dream in extremes, test the mind and body limits of endurance
She has been quite the ambassador of the game. I had a chance to meet her at the World Cup of Softball a few weeks ago in Oklahoma City while we were covering the event for our special section.
While we were there we had a chance to catch up with her and to find out how she throws that amazing riseball, what it's like to wear the USA Softball uniform and to check in on the pitching development of her one year-old son, Ace. Read the full conversation.
My favorite female athlete/role model/coach is Pat Head Summitt...hands down she is one of the most successful and influential women in sports today. Pat has not only led the Tennessee Lady Vols to six NCAA titles, she is also the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, & that includes the men too! I bleed Orange, what can I say!
Growing up a gymnast, I wanted to be just like Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to score a perfect 10! Although I have moved on to other pursuits, I continue to respect and look up to this great role model.
Check out her bio at www.bartandnadia.com/bionadia.html
I share your respect for Nadia Comaneci! When I was very small I saw the movie that was made about her posting the first ever perfect 10 in gymnastics. I went on to take gymnastics and perform for my grandma as she babysat me--asking her to be the judge of my performance. If she did not award me a 10, I would do it again until she did. I have to imagine after a couple times she just gave me the 10.
Last month at the Taste of Chicago I had an opportunity to meet Nadia and Bart. They were both very nice. Crazy to finally meet Nadia after emulating myself after her so many times as a little girl.
This dates me, of course, but I have to say Billy Jean King and Mary Decker Tabb (tied) -- until they kicked butt, my world didn't have active women in it. As a girl, I simply idolized them! Heather
In a sports world that seems to be dominated by males almost any female athlete would be my favorite. However I would have to say that Shirley Muldowney (NHRA) has really set the standards by breaking down the barriers for todays female drag racers. On the not so professional level my mom she is the one that has encouraged me no matter what sport I have tried on any level.
Gotta be Margaret Court for me. The Australian tennis player dominated women's tennis in the sixties and seventies. Within 16 years (from 1959 until 1975) she won a record 62 Grand Slam titles, including a record 24 singles titles, 19 women's doubles titles, and a record 19 mixed doubles titles. She won 64 Grand Slam titles, including 21 mixed doubles titles, if the shared championships at the Australian Championships/Open in 1965 and 1969 are counted. The finals were not played because of bad weather. Court could have won even more mixed doubles titles had the event been held at the 1970, 1971, 1973, and 1975 Australian Opens.
Compare that to the next best female player (in my opinion), Martina Natratilova. She needed 25 years (from 1978 until 2003) for her 59 Grand Slam titles.