SportsCenter, in conjunction with espnW, continues to unveil the Top 40 Female Athletes of the Past 40 Years, as part of ESPN’s companywide initiative The Power of IX – recognizing the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Nos. 25-21 will be revealed, one per day, starting Monday, May 21, during the 10 a.m. ET weekday edition of SportsCenter.
Athletes 25-21 (in alphabetical order):
* Tracy Caulkins (swimming) – Three-time Olympic Gold medalist and a 16-time individual NCAA Champion for the University of Florida
* Nancy Lopez (golf) – Won 48 LPGA Tour events, including three major championships
* Dara Torres (swimming) – 12-time Olympic medalist and three-time individual NCAA Champion for the University of Florida
* Marta (soccer) – Five-time FIFA World Player of the Year and two-time Olympic Silver medalist with the Brazilian National Team
* Venus Williams (tennis) – 21 Grand Slam titles, including seven singles, twelve women’s doubles and two mixed doubles
Quotes from select vignettes:
Summer Sanders on Dara Torres: “Dara Torres, the woman that just keeps on kicking. Dara is amazing. She’s the mama Energizer Bunny. I don’t know how she does it. She has motivated an entire generation and beyond.”
Billie Jean King on Venus Williams: “We’ve been fighting that fight since 1968. So, here she is in 2007 at Wimbledon, holding up the plate, getting equal prize money and she helped make that happen.”
Each vignette is introduced by ESPN’s Hannah Storm, and includes footage and/or still action photos, along with video, from past or present coaches, teammates or a respected authority from within the women’s sports world.
The top 10 female athletes will be revealed during the 11 p.m. weeknight SportsCenter (June 11-22), culminating with the No. 1 female athlete of the past 40 years announced Friday, June 22 – one day prior to the 40th anniversary of Title IX (June 23).
espnW.com will provide an in-depth look at every athlete as chosen by an industry-wide blue-ribbon panel and based on athletic achievement. espnW.com has been the digital destination for ESPN’s The Power of IX initiative.
Previously announced athletes: No. 40 Fu Mingxia (diving), No. 39 Julie Krone (jockey), No. 38 Mary Lou Retton (gymnastic), No. 37 Cammi Granato (ice hockey), No. 36 Kristine Lilly (soccer), No. 35 Diana Taurasi (basketball), No. 34 Flo Hyman (volleyball), No. 33 Abby Wambach (soccer), No. 32 Mary T. Meagher (swimming), No. 31 Joan Benoit (track), No. 30 Gail Devers (track), No. 29 Nancy Lieberman (basketball) and No. 28 Grete Waitz (runner).
The 24 voters: Val Ackerman, Christine Brennan, Doris Burke, Jim Caple, Linda Cohn, Luke Cyphers, Anita DeFrantz, Sue Enquist, Chris Fowler, Jemele Hill, Johnette Howard, Sally Jenkins, Richard Lapchick, Nicole LaVoi, Donna Lopiano, Jackie MacMullan, Juliet Macur, Chris McKendry, Kathryn Olson, Robin Roberts, Le Anne Schreiber, Hannah Storm, Judy Sweet and Lesley Visser.