In the past few years, there’s been a significant increase the media coverage for female athletes,
and rightfully so. Not only are female athletes dominating their respective sports, but they were also
highlights of this year’s Olympics. Indeed, if you’ve watch women’s sports on channels from your cable or DirectStarTV provider, you know that the sports are gaining in popularity. And there are 5 athletes over the past decade who have helped drive that trend:
1) Annika Sörenstam
One of the best female golfers to ever play the game is a shoe in on this list. The Swedish golfer won the 2003, 2004, and 2005 AP Female Athlete of the Year awards, as well as the 2005 and 2006 ESPY Awarfor Best Female Athlete. Her 5 combined AP and ESPY awards are more than any other female athlete in the last decade.
2) Serena Williams
One of the most decorated female athletes of the modern era, Serena Williams has been a force in the
tennis world for years. If not for injuries and the inconsistent play that resulted between 2004 and 2006, and more troubles in 2011, Williams would be #1 on the list. Still, she was named the 2009 AP Female Athlete of the Year and also took home the 2003 ESPY Award for Female Athlete of the Year.
3) Candace Parker
When it comes to basketball, Los Angeles Sparks forward and former Tennessee Volunteer women’s
basketball star Candace Parker is one of the decade’s standout players regardless of sport. Although
her NBA career has been successful, Parker makes the list after being named both the 2008 AP Female Athlete of the Year and the winter of the 2008 ESPY Award for Female Athlete of the Year after leading the Vols to their second straight NCAA women’s title.
4) Lindsey Vonn
The U.S. Ski Team standout has won four World Cup championships, including titles in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and 2012. She was named the 2010 AP Female Athlete of the Year and took home the 2010 and 2011 Awards for Best Female Athlete. She also received the Sportswoman of the Year award at the Laureus World Sports Awards in 2010. Vonn is the most successful American competitor in the history of alpine skiing, putting her at #4 on the list of best female athletes of the last decade.
5) Abby Wambach
A three-time All-American soccer player during her time at the University of Florida, Wambach is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist. In here matches at World Cup and Olympic tournaments, Wambach has scored 22 goals in 29 matches and has been the driving force for the U.S. national team. She was named the 2011 AP Female Athlete of the Year, and rounds out the list for best female athletes of the decade.