By Brian Kalchik @BrianKalchik on June 27, 2014
Since Title IX was introduced into law on June 23rd, 1972, women have not only been able to compete in athletics, but also have produced some of the greatest exhibitions in sports history. From coaches to players, coming up with a list of the 15 greatest women in sports is a daunting task, but I reserved this list for just athletes. Here now are the 15 most successful women in sports history.
Cheryl Miller is currently an NBA sideline reporter for TNT, but before her broadcasting days, she was one of the best female college basketball players of all-time. At USC, Miller was a four-time All-American and won two NCAA titles in 1983 and 1984. In high school, Miller once scored 105 points in a game.
Behind Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach may be the second greatest soccer player in U.S. women's national soccer history. Wambach has been with the national team since 2003 and currently stands as the all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the record for international goals with 167.
Lisa Leslie was one of the best players in WNBA history. Lisa won the league's MVP title four times throughout her career. She also won four Olympic gold medals and was the first woman to dunk in the WNBA.
During her speed skating career, Bonnie Blair competed in four Olympic games for the U.S. and won six medals, five of which were gold medals.
One of the greatest female players of all time, Annika Sorenstam retired with most wins of any female golfer in the game with 90. She is also the only woman to shoot a 59 in competition.
As a member of the U.S. national team as well as a founding player of the Washington Freedom, Mia Hamm became the face of U.S. women's soccer and was named FIFA Player of the Year twice the first two years the award was given out.
Not only is Serena Williams one of the more recognizable names in sports, she is also one of the most successful. She has been a No. 1 player six times and has been one of the only tennis players ever to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.
Not only was Chris Evert the No. 1 player in the world five times, but she also won 18 Grand Slam titles as well as seven championships at the French Open and six in the U.S. Open throughout her career. Evert's rivalry with Martina Navratilova became one of the first in women's tennis history.
Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 player and ended her career with 22 Grand Slam singles titles. She also became the the first tennis player, male or female, to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic medal in the same year.
Still hailed, even after her passing in 1998, as the fastest woman in the world, Florence Griffith-Joyner set two world records that have yet to be seriously challenged. In 1988, Joyner set the record for both the 100 m and 200 m dash.
Once considered the fastest woman in the world, Wilma Rudolph competed twice in the Olympics and became the first woman to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympics. Rudolph also had to overcome polio as a child.
The winner of 12 Grand Slam tennis titles during the course of her career, King is perhaps better known for her "Battle of the Sexes" win over former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs in 1973.
A former World No. 1 player, Martina Navratilova is one of the winningest athletes in the history of tennis. Throughout her career she amassed 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias could be called one of the first female athletes in sports. Throughout her career she had major success in basketball, golf and track and field. Zaharias won an Olympic gold medal and was also a U.S. Women's Open champion in golf.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee cemented her place as the greatest women's athlete of all-time by becoming one of the best track and field competitors ever. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals in the women's heptathlon and long jump at four different Olympic Games.
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