Female Athletes Who Totally Own the Red CarpetBy Anglina Roberts
Female athletes are usually sweating in gear, showing off their physique and battling opponents. But what about the after party? There’s a time to get fancy, even for the biggest tomboys out there. Check out these professional jockettes slaying the red carpet, with style to spare!
Lindsey Vonn is an Alpine ski racer, by day. And a glamazon by night! No stranger to formal events, she has more than a few sports awards to her name. Olympic medalist in the downhill event, three times? Check. Four World Cup championship titles? Yup, she’s already got that.
Perhaps one thing she hasn’t received enough of, though, is recognition of her chic taste off the slopes. After announcing the 2018 Olympic ski run was her final athletic act, Lindsey can strut like only an all-time, world record holder can do. With her recent couture, it’s easy to mistake her for a fashion industry insider — but don’t be fooled!
Next: The super glitzy side of the femme sports world, off the court, field, and rink!
The undisputed face of tennis, the woman, the legend: Serena Williams has been a pro since she was just 14 years old. But after four Olympic gold medals and 39 Grand Slam singles, she still has one more thing left to do.
Already considered a top player, it was time to get into another game. The fashion game! After sakes success with Nike and other brands, she’s opened her own line: Serena, by Serena Williams. A full spectrum of casual wear aims to look good on every body type. But in her free time out of the office and off the court, she often goes glam. That pink mindress is everything, fans and foes agree!
There’s a good chance Ariana Grande was inspired by Lolo Jones when she sang about being a dangerous woman. This professional bobsledder and runner lives on the edge, and she still has the nerve to bust out 6 inch heels after winning gold! That’s Olympic gold in both sports, to be clear.
But according to the sledder: “There’s definitely a whole double standard…A guy can be sexy and good-looking, and it totally just enhances his credibility as an athlete…If a female is good-looking, it totally decreases her credibility. Now she’s not a good athlete — she’s only good in these track meets because she’s good-looking.” Lolo feels that fashion shouldn’t get in the way of sports. Move on, haters!
Ronda Rousey was the first American girl to win any Olympic medal in judo, taking home the bronze. But soon, Ronda wanted a career change. At 21, she tried MMA. Unsurprisingly, she became a major personality in the league!
But according to the champ: ”When I was in school, martial arts made you a dork, and I became self-conscious that I was too masculine. I was a 16-year-old girl with ringworm and cauliflower ears. People made fun of my arms and called me ‘Miss Man.’ It wasn’t until I got older that I realized: These people are idiots.” These days, she’s an action star in her free time. And the gowns? Nothing more needs to be said here!
McKayla Maroney is a gal the nation got to know when she became a viral 2000’s meme. “McKayla is Not Impressed” took on a life of its own after the Olympic gymnast made a funny face when she won silver. But these days, she’s going for a very different look. She’s evolved, a lot!
A quick look at her Instagram reveals an L.A. fashion makeover. She confesses: ”I really like crop tops. I like how you can dress them up or down, with jeans or a skirt and heels. I like to be showy and cute. I don’t want to be in just a jacket and pants and boots.’‘ She’s also glam on the red carpet sometimes, after appearing in a handful of TV shows, like Hart of Dixie on CBS. Plus, stayed tuned: McKayla just released her first pop song!
Hi-yah! Gorgeous, Moscow-born Anastasia Yankova is seriously lethal. The mixed martial artist is one of the most talented flyweight fighters in the sport today, and it all started with childhood Karate lessons. Undoubtedly, the journey was challenging. Who does Ana credit as her secret inspiration?
It turns out that she saw Xena: Warrior Princess at an early age. Not a bad model, for a modern MMA gal! Anastasia also has experience kicking opponents in Muay Thai, where she is a ranked champion. In her free time, she trains at the American Kickboxing Academy in Thailand. And through it all, this tough and tattooed pro still rocks a dress and heels!
Sydelle Noel is best known these days for playing Cherry “Junkchain” Bang on the Netflix show GLOW. That’s Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, for short! Fans may not know that the actress actually does have a professional athletic background. But it’s not in wrestling, at all!
Sydelle studied Sports Management at the University of Georgia on a track scholarship. And she was serious about it, with aspirations for the Olympics! A professional running career began after graduation, but she was injured during training. Staying positive, she decided to pursue sports modeling and improve with The Groundlings instead. The rest, as they say, is history!
Maria Sharapova became a pro tennis player at just 14. Now retired, she is seen focusing more on fashion than fastballs. She always looked good off the court, but glamour was only part of her next move. What has Maria been cooking up, behind the scenes?
Believe it or not, designer candy! It’s called Sugarpova, and tennis ball gumballs are now available. According to the founder: “I’ve been an athlete pretty much my entire life…there’s no reason why hard work can’t be rewarded with a little sweet treat. Because the key to a happy, healthy life for me is this idea of Moderation in Moderation–you can 100% have your cake (or candy) and enjoy it, too.” Maria, oh yes!
Six-time Olympic medalist and USA gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman has been taking on the style competition, lately. Since her recent wins, she’s been seen in Balmain couture. But what official role does she have in the fashion world, at the moment?
Why, she’s a spokesmodel for Aerie! She has a special line that benefits abuse victims, too. When asked the designs, she explained: “My favorite piece is the “Unapologetically Me” red sports bra. I always loved competing in red, because it is such a fierce and strong color. Red is definitely a statement and I want every girl and woman to feel fierce and powerful when they wear my collection!” Coming from Aly, that’s sounds about right.
Gymnast Simone Biles has a very long list of triumphs already, and she’s just getting started. Observers have called her one of the best in the history of the sport, male or female. Her 14 gold medals prove it! What is the teen up to, in her free time?
Apparently, shopping! According to Si: “Everything I do is in the gym, so I’m always in gym clothes. I’m excited to explore lifestyle clothes for a little bit.” Sounds reasonable, say fans. And with her 2017 stint on Dancing with the Stars, she also got the chance to try out some evening wear. Purple was definitely her best look!
Blond, leggy, and sparkling in neutrals: It’s a Danish pro tennis player! Caroline Wozniacki is the first gal from a Scandinavian country to achieve a number one ranking in the sport. Impressive, say fans. But a little browsing into her background, and it’s not surprising!
Caroline is daughter of Polish immigrants in Denmark. She had an athletic home, to say the least! Her mother played on the Polish national volleyball team, and her father played professional football. Her brother, Patrik Wozniacki, was a professional footballer, too! Her chosen husband won’t surprise anyone. Why, he’s NBA champ David Lee!
The one and only face of lady racing, Danica Patrick is definitely a household name. But fans usually see her in a jumpsuit breaking IndyCar records, and nowhere else. What is she up to, when she isn’t wowing viewers and winning the men’s event?
As it turns out, she technically retired in 2018. But she’s been out and about in the news lately because of her love life! Danica has been dating Green Bay Packers pro, Aaron Rodgers. Her heels and mini dress are a total change, but it seems to be working out!
USA Softball declared Jennie Finch a hall of fame star. Why the title? Maybe it was that team gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Or maybe it was the silver medal, in 2008. Either way, Time Magazine has now noticed this low-key women’s sport. They declared Jen softball’s most famous player!
Fans were sad to see her retire from pitching in 2010, but she remained involved the world of athletics. Just a year later, she was on TV yet again! This time, she was a commentator for ESPN on National Pro Fastpitch. Then, in 2018, she joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars. Shimmer and shimmy, she did. And America loved her!
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was huge in his day, but many may not know his daughter got into the ring herself. Laila Ali began a career in boxing at 18, and she remained undefeated for eight years! Was it always so easy, though?
According to Laila: ”I was never offended that people underestimated me because of my appearance or that they thought I was pretty and discouraged me from fighting because they didn’t want me to risk hurting my looks.” Good thing she wasn’t! Tough as nails but TV gorgeous, Laila has since worked as a news correspondent and as a contestant and host for reality shows. Undoubtedly, dad would be proud!
UK tennis star Heather Watson was Britain’s number one player for a time. These days, she is still ranked number two! As the the first female Brit to win a WTA singles title since 1988, she has a real record while making public appearances in crimson.
How does she feel about the games ahead? Heather explained: “I play because I love competing. I love that feeling of winning a big match or tournament after I’ve put in so much time and effort in to my training…That’s my aim, to earn the feeling of being respected for what I achieve and how hard I work.” Sounds about right, and fans will see more soon!
Chloe Kim is a professional snowboarder. Yes, that’s a real option! As a teen, she took the hobby to an Olympic level, while most of her friends probably just did it for fun. Quickly, she won the half-pipe run in the 2018 winter games. Cool, literally!
Now, there is a Barbie modeled after Chloe! It’s certainly every girl’s childhood dream. And of course, she gushed: “Barbie’s message to show girls that they can be anything is something I can get behind…I’m so honored to be considered a role model and want girls to know that they can be athletic and girly at the same time!” On sale now, it’s one very special edition.
This Spanish race car driver sure knows how to glam it up after leaving her competitors in the dust. In this case, dust on the track! Carmen Jorda was the 11th gal in history to join a Formula One team. What does she have to say about it all?
She revealed: “As a woman you have to work harder to be taken just as seriously as one of the guys…But it has never stopped me from expressing my femininity, which can be seen as surprising in a male-dominated, sweaty and greasy environment!” Maybe she was always around it, though. Real fans know the back story: Her father is Jose Miguel Jorda, another former racer!
Soccer star Alex Morgan, up next. As a forward in the national league and Olympic team for the USA, she has plenty of experience to brag about. A gold medal, too! But even more impressively, Alex manages to walk the line effortlessly between strutting in the streets and running in her cleats.
A stand out on the team, she has made 107 goals and 43 assists so far. And she even brings soccer home with her: Morgan is married to Servando Carrasco of the LA Galaxy! But is she always so sporty? According to the athlete: “I was the biggest tomboy growing up. Now I love playing with a full face of makeup.” Fans believe it, and her recent appearances show it!
Pro surfer Anastasia Ashley has been riding waves since the age of five. Early on, she won a local contest with a board she found abandoned in a garbage bin. That was at age six! Since then, she’s upgraded her equipment considerably. And she’s started to put on land clothes, as needed.
Surfing demands a very low-maintenance look. Maybe the sea salt works against any attempt at glam! But in her free time, she does love sparkles and gold. In 2014, Ana started a jewelry line! Plus, she gets in the hair chair for TV appearances. She’s on shows like Stewarts & Hamiltons and Hell’s Kitchen, from time to time. Fans can only wonder: Is Anastasia the ultimate renaissance girl?
Paige Spiranac is an American professional golfer. She is also a growing social media personality, and pretty stylish in her free time! Born in cool Colorado, fans may be surprised to learn she grew up with very different aspirations in local sports. Hint: It wasn’t golf.
Young Paige dreamed of gymnastics in the Olympics! But with a painful knee injury at age 12, her options quickly changed. She wondered: Why not try out the grassy path? Quickly, she ranked in the top 20 worldwide junior golfers. These accolades earned her a sports scholarship at the University of Arizona. And now, she’s an ESPYS regular!
At just 16, this gymnast was crowned the individual all-around champion at the London Summer Olympics. No small feat, while her peers were planning for prom! Gabby Douglas really knows how to do it all, and she’s taking on new projects. No matter what, she is always sparkling!
Gabby recently tried her hand at writing, with a memoir on her experience as an Olympic gold medalist. It seems she is breaking into entertainment, too. Lifetime made a TV movie called The Gabby Douglas Story. Execs must have decided she was in demand, and she got her own reality show: Douglas Family Gold. No wonder fans keep spotting Gabby on Hollywood carpets, these days!
Though sequined from head to toe, looks can be deceiving. The truth is, this female athlete knows how to dive in the dirt when she needs to win. Goalkeeper Hope Solo always carried the US women’s soccer team to glory. But she wasn’t originally in this role!
At the beginning, she was a high school soccer forward. Then, she discovered the power of her hands! Since her big switch in college, she’s been routinely declared the best women’s goalkeeper of all time. Hope also has two Olympic medals, both gold. Not bad, for a plan B in the sport!
People Magazine named this athlete on their annual list, the “100 World’s Most Beautiful” people. A WNBA player and a mom, Candace Parker clearly still finds time to go out, dress up, and represent! The Los Angeles Sparks have a lot to thank her for, and she remains one of the best in the league.
According to Candace: “My parents did not differentiate between me or my brothers. My brothers didn’t play well or have a good game, they got yelled at or told what they did, same thing with me…I think it’s over in this time, in this day and age, where you say, ‘I can’t do it because I’m a girl.’” Dunk, she concluded!
Wrestling fans probably know Barbara Blank by her stage name, Kelly Kelly. But no more, she says! The 2011 WWE Diva Champion is now retired. What is she up to, as a free woman?
Barb’s made a few wrestling guest appearances since then. But her career focus has totally changed, and she’s much more likely to be spotted in gowns. Now, it’s time for Hollywood! From the ring to the set of Days of Our Lives and an E! reality show, she has started to make her mark. What will be next? Only Barbara knows!
Venus Williams is a former world number one, the older sister of Serena. Occasionally, they even play each other! So far, they have faced off 31 times in big tournaments, and they’re both still in the game. But these days, Venus is also involved in fashion and design. What are her most recent ventures?
Too many to count, frankly. But a super partial list must include EleVen, her Steve & Barry’s leisure collab. She explained: “I love fashion and the idea that I am using my design education to actually create clothing and footwear that I will wear on and off the tennis court is a dream come true for me.” Thanks for the affordable option, Venus!
That perfect triple lutz, for real! It was the adorable Sasha Cohen who won the 2006 Olympic silver medal in figure skating. She made America proud with world class flexibility, artistry, and musical interpretation. And afterwards, she made quite a few appearances off the ice for fans!
With a role on screen in Moondance Alexander and an Oscars gig for Inside Edition, Hollywood noticed her a little more. She went on to have a very appropriate part in a figure skating comedy with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. Fans know which one: Blades of Glory, obviously!
Sloane Stephens plays tennis like a pro, and that might be because she is one! The American prodigy achieved a ranking of number three in the world after her 2018 Wimbledon performance. Not bad, for someone not even old enough to pop the champagne yet!
At the moment, she’s checking off a lot of thing on her list. And checking it twice! Sloane found a man: She’s engaged to USA soccer star Jozy Altidore. They were childhood friends, no less! She also got her degree out of the way, graduating from Indiana University East in Communications Studies. And all the while, she looked stunning in yellow. Go, go Sloane!
Anna Kournikova seemed to be just as famous for her power shots as her photo shoots, in her prime. Opponents had to admit that this superwoman straight out of Russia was a force to be reckoned with. But at only 21, she was forced to retire!
Sadly, she had back and spinal problems. People still talked a lot about her beauty, perhaps more than her talents. She argued: “You don’t think people would go on about my looks if I was No. 500 in the world instead of No.12, do you? Anyway, as I keep telling everyone, you can’t blame me for looking like this on purpose.” No, no one can. Husband Enrique Iglesias isn’t upset about it, though!
Petra Kvitova hails all the way from the Czech Republic. Her career in professional tennis was marked by variety and powerful strokes, and she is currently ranked number 12 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association. But she is number one in a different category: Highest-ranked left-handed player alive!
Despite being invited to fancy events regularly, this gal remains down to earth. According to Petra: ”I’ve always been a person who likes to take care of myself, but there is so much to do behind the scenes, and I love to just focus on the tennis.” Yes, she’s spotted in gowns, from time to time. But she’s a sportsperson, first and foremost!
American figure skating is lucky to Ashley Wagner in its ranks, a girl who’s been sliding and gliding around since age five. At the beginning, her mother gave her two options: Ice skating or ballet dancing. The choice was clear, for this future all star!
Her rationale at the time? She wasn’t interested in “anything in pink shoes.” But it seems she is interested in girly poses on Instagram, at this stage in life. When she’s not working towards beating her Olympic Bronze, she’s showing off her latest feminine outfits on the platform. Surprise, old friends!