These trailblazing women changed sports forever.
Babe Didrikson could do it all — as a teen she left high school to pursue basketball and after an AAU championship and all-American honors, she made the switch to track and field. She set world records in javelin, 80-meter hurdles, and high jump. She also qualified for 5 events in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, but women were only allowed to compete in 3, so she went on to win 2 golds and a silver medal. And if that wasn’t enough, she then became a pro golfer.
Billie Jean King proved women are equal to men. She won 6 Wimbledon and 4 U.S. Open titles and was ranked #1 in the world 5 times. But she’s most famous for winning the “Battle of the Sexes” where she humbled Bobby Riggs head-to-head. In 1974, she created her Women’s Sports Foundation, dedicated to creating leaders and giving girls access to sports.
Mo’ne Davis put equality into action in the 2014 Little League World Series. Davis is the 18th girl to play in the LLWS — and the 13-year-old pitcher used it to show off her 70-mph fastball and made history as the first female to throw a shutout. Her dominance made her instantly famous around the world.
Thanks to trailblazers like these, many more women athletes will be following in their footsteps.