Sports may traditionally be a male-dominated industry, but these FEMALE FORCES are breaking barriers and proving that women are as hard-working, determined and athletically-talented as men, spearheading the movement that has already begun to change the way the industry works–our September picks:
Misty Copeland, Prima Ballerina
Her tenacity and hard work ascended her to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American woman to hold the title in the 75 year history of the world-renowned theater. Her name is now a household name, Misty Copeland, also a spokesmodel for Under Armour, and a role model for many girls and young women pursuing a career in dance.
But it was no easy task for Misty; she faced many adversities on her way to the top, frequently criticized for her body being too muscular, contrasting the classic thin body of a ballet dancer. Regardless, she has defied all barriers and is still a force to be reckoned with, earning her a spot on this list.
In Gee Chun, Professional Golfer
In Gee Chun is taking over the links as a professional golfer from South Korea, making waves in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). After recently winning the 70th U.S. Open at the age of 20, this young golf prodigy has a bright future in the sport, which, by the way, is making its way to the international stage as it will be part of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil for the first-time ever. In Gee is also a math prodigy with a genius level IQ, but decided to pursue a career in golf with the help and sacrifice of her family.
Jennifer Welter, Professional Football Player & NFL Coach
Recently selected to serve as a training camp and pre-season coach for the Arizona Cardinals, Jennifer Welter is the first-ever female to hold such a title in the National Football League (NFL). This is not the first barrier in American football she has broken; she was also one of the first two ladies to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football league.
But this Floridian is no newbie to contact sport. Prior this historical event, Jennifer played for several women’s professional and semi-professional football teams, helping Team USA win the gold in International Federation of American Football’s (IFAF) in 2010 and Women’s World Championship in 2013. She also played rugby back in college, which goes to show, this female force means business.
Melissa Mayeux, Baseball Player To Watch
A 16-year old French girl is making baseball history for being the first (young) woman to sign up for the Major League Baseball’s international registration list. This means that she could be drafted by any MLB teams. Her name is Melissa Mayeux, and she is know for her skills that she developed while playing on France’s U18 National Team. Although it is most likely that she will not be signed to a professional baseball team, this is an incredible milestone as it opens the door for more women to enter the list and have a chance at being drafted.
Carli Lloyd, Professional Soccer Player
This past summer, Team USA won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The star player of the final match was midfielder Carli Lloyd who scored three goals within the first 15 minutes of the game, giving the U.S. a significant lead in the final game against Japan. The final score: 5-2. For this, she was awarded the Golden Ball. Additionally, she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for scoring the medal-winning goals in the finals of the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Currently, she plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League.