Who is the All Time Greatest Female Athlete?
Most lists of the greatest athletes of all time tend to be dominated by male athletes, though there have been many female athletes who have excelled in their sport and had a significant impact on their sport.
There have been several lists of great females athletes, and any reliable list should have Babe Didrickson Zaharias and Lottie Dod at or near the top. These two were once named by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most versatile female competitors. Athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee is also found at the top of these lists, and may be the greatest modern greatest female athlete.
Here are some details of top female athlete lists that have been published.
- Sports Illustrated list of the Top 118 Female Athletes - published in 2000, top of this list is Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
- ESPN list of the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years from June 2012 had US Soccer player Mia Hamm leading from Martina Navratilova then Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
- Bleacher Report list of the Top 50 female athletes ever, with Jackie Joyner-Kersee top followed by mulit-sport athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
- The ESPN SportsCentury program in 1999 created a list of the Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century(which was limited to North American athletes), which included eight females; Babe Zaharias (ranked 10th), Martina Navratilova, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Wilma Rudolph, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Althea Gibson, Bonnie Blair.
Some of the Greatest Female Athletes
Here is a list of some of the top 'greatest female athletes' the world has ever seen, sourced from the above lists and others. If you have someone else to suggest, let me know by commenting below.