When someone mentions the word ‘athlete’, an image of a WWE wrestler, MMA fighter or NBA basketballer typically pops into your head. Rarely do you think of surfing, curling and badminton, among other examples. But, these sports, and many others, all have great athletes that compete in them, and some are even mouth-watering as their beauty captivates and draws you into their sporting prowess.
So, what’s the bottom line? Well, some of these athletes will have it all. They’ll make it to the top of their game. Now with social media just a click away and sponsors falling over themselves to sign someone beautiful with a strong following, good-looking athletes seem to be popping out of the woodwork left, right, and centre.
Without a doubt, there is nothing more beautiful than sun-kissed, tussled, and salt-sprayed hair and bathing suits. So water sports like surfing, kayaking, water polo, synchronized swimming, and windsurfing undeniably have a certain allure about them. Then, of course, we have ping pong, hang-gliding, cycling, archery, curling and badminton, just to name a few. The reality is that these and many other sports are extremely technical, and they demand years of training to perfect. Plus, they are as dramatic as any other sport and have loads of sex appeal (just look at these beauties and you be the judge).
15 Lizzie Armitstead: Cycling
With a cheeky smile and personality to match, professional cyclist Lizzie Armitstead has youth on her side and doesn’t look a day over 18. This stunning Brit who stands at 5-foot-6-inches and weighs in at just under 121 pounds (55kg) can not only cycle with some of the world’s best, but she’s also captured the hearts of many.
Cycling since the age of 15-years old, Armitstead won a silver medal at the London Olympics and was also the 2015 world champion. She says way back when she started cycling it just wasn’t cool – it was an old man’s sport. Thankfully the world now sees cycling in a different light – it’s cool and people now respect it. So, this means Armitstead is no longer embarrassed about wearing Lycra (which we might add she looks fantastic in).
14 Alana Blanchard: Surfing
Oh wow, this girl certainly has ‘the look’. But, can she surf? Hawaiian, Alana Blanchard was born to surf. Sponsored by Rip Curl, Go Pro and Rockstar Energy (just to name a few), she ranks 273rd in the Qualifying Series and even scored a heat win. At present, her average heat score hovers around 10.92, so she is not the best in terms of athleticism (but who really cares, when she sizzles).
Joining surfing competitions when she was just nine-years-old, Alana Rene Blanchard has taken home a handful of titles. Her most memorable include winning the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year title, coming 3rd in the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, and taking 1st in the Rip Curl Grom Search Nationals. Now, while these titles were earned between 2005 and 2007, Alana has earned over US$2 million with social media followers vying with each other to watch her every move.
13 Lexi Thompson: Golf
Coral Spring’s Lexi Thompson sure makes the green rolling hills inviting. With flowing dark hair and aqua eyes, this girl’s legs seem to go on forever, especially when she’s in a golfing skirt. But, apart from her amazingly long legs, this golfer also has curves in all the right places (it must have something to do with swinging those really big irons).
Speaking of big clubs, Thompson (who has been playing competitively since she was a child) has a sizeable social media following in the hundreds of thousands. Surprising the world in 2007 as the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the US Women’s Open, Thompson now ranks as number three in the world. Over her career she has won more than US$7 million. This year alone she won US$1.8 million with two tournaments wins and nine top 10 finishes.
12 Mariya Koroleva: Sychronized Swimming
This curvaceous Russian goddess with baby blue-eyes and the perfect smile, has a notable swimming career dating back to her college days. Born in Russia, Mariya Koroleva has taken out numerous National Championship titles in team, duet and trio events. Also, she’s competed in the Olympics twice. Able to turn heads from a 100-paces, Koroleva is exceptionally photogenic and confesses to loving chocolate.
Lighting up the pool, Mariya and her Synchronized swimming partner Alvarez have astounded followers. Apart from qualifying for the Olympics in 2016, the duo also took home bronze in the German and French Open. The previous year, the duo won silver at the Chinese Open and Koroleva’s team won gold at the U.S. Nationals.
11 Jennifer Barretta: Billiards
Ok, many of you may think that billiards is more of a game you play in a bar than a real sport. But if you follow professional billiards you'll know that it's a far cry from the sloppy bar room games you might be familiar with. Instead these professionals are exacting and precise, pulling off incredible moves that are incredible to see.
Speaking of incredible to see, jump to Jennifer Barretta. She is considered by many as one of the truly great 9-ball pool players on earth. She may have an unfair advantage though, as her beauty clearly puts the audience on her side and may even distract the audience! Either way, she could easily be mistaken as a model instead of a billiard player.
10 Maja Kuczynska: Skydiving
Born in Warsaw, Maja Kuczynska, who easily passes off as a Bond girl, was once a gifted gymnast as a child. Joining the 2015 World Skydiving Championships, Red Bull now proudly sponsors Kuczynska. Of course, with long dark hair and cinnamon coloured eyes, she is the classic Polish beauty. Making any traditional skydiving suit sizzle, Kuczynska is captivating, has a vivacious personality and is a definite crowd-pleaser with a strong social media following in the hundreds of thousands.
A lover of flying, Kuczynska says her father inspired her to try skydiving after he’d been doing it for years. Taking her first plunge, Kucynska found it incredibly enjoyable and wanted to do it again. Her ultimate goal is to take home an FAI World Indoor Skydiving Cup (she placed fourth in this event in 2016) in her discipline, freestyle.
9 Gabrielle Adcock: Badminton
Leeds-born Badminton player Gabrielle Adcock sure does make a tee-shirt and skirt look good. With long blonde locks and shapely legs, Adcock not only has a look that could melt the court, but this girl can also hit a shuttlecock, keeping her opponents on their toes (we’d run around all day for this girl too).
Debuting internationally in 2007, Adcock has played badminton professionally since the age of 10-years old. Today, she ranks 383rd in the world in women’s doubles and 5th in mixed doubles. Playing with her husband Chris competitively, the Adcock duo were the first husband and wife team to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. As such, the pair is inseparable, as they practice and play together daily (lucky boy Chris).
8 Ivana Buden: Archery
Croatian Archer Ivana Buden sure makes a bow and arrow look sharp! But we suspect that this has a lot to do with her athleticism. Why? Well, being an archer since 1996, Buden says she has no time for hobbies because she’s devoted to her sport. Not only intensely beautiful, this archer has also taken home many titles.
Winning her first individual title in 2012, Buden has 54 match wins and qualified 692 times in her career for events. She’s also taken home World Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and World Cups in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. Buden typically competes in compound field and outdoor archery and looks set to continue her career well into the future (all we know is she makes any countryside look good).
7 Anna Sidrova: Curling
Russian born Anna Sidorova looks more like a Bond girl than the leader of the Russian curling team. With a fiery gaze, smooth, curvaceous lines, and personality attributes to match, this team captain could melt a thousand hearts from 100-paces just with a single look. But, apart from her captivating beauty, she can also curl with the best of them (oh we bet she can).
Taking out the European Championship twice, Sidrova and her team have also won the Winter Universlade Champion and World Juniors twice. Together the team also won silver at the 2017 World Championship and bronze consecutively in 2014 to 2016. Also, team Sidrova has represented Russia in the past two Olympics and will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
6 Xiaoyu Yu: Figure Skating
Dancing across the ice like an angel and looking simply gorgeous in any skating costume, Xiaoyu Yu is as graceful as she is talented. With a personal best score of 197.75 in the Audi Cup of China, Xiaoyu’s programs typically include ‘Spirt Dance’ and ‘Humility and Love’ (we can see why) by Christopher Young.
This Chinese goddess of the ice began skating when she was just 5-years-old. Since then she has won two world championships, a silver world junior medal and has finished high in many other world-class events. Having now skated for 15-years, Xiaoyu says she has her sights set on the Olympics. But, this is not all this girl is known for, she also enjoys anime and painting, as well as antiques and scripts.
5 Holly Lincoln-Smith: Water Polo
Australian water polo player Holly Lincoln-Smith sure does make swimmers look good. Playing water polo since the age of 13-years old, Lincoln-Smith took home third in the 2012 Olympics. She’s also claimed 2nd in the FINA World Championships and World League, as well as achieved 1st at the Water Polo Pan Pacs, Canada Cup, and FINA Junior World Championship. Lincoln-Smith says that she loves pushing herself to her limits, because then she has no regrets about not trying hard enough. Overall, her ambition is to reach her fullest potential as an athlete. If ever she decides to try her hand at modelling, we are sure we will have no trouble at all finding gigs.
4 Freya Hoffmeister: Kayaking
Nicknamed the ‘Goddess of Love to the Seas’, German born Freya Hoffmeister is an adventurer like no other. With a fiery gaze, smooth, curvaceous lines, and attributes to match, Hoffmeister describes herself as ‘an all-round paddling athlete’. But, apart from her captivating beauty, she’s a highly proficient ‘open ocean paddler’ who can keep-up with the best of them (oh we bet she can).
Winning many awards such as ‘Sportswoman and Adventurer of the Year’ and ‘Paddlers Pick’, Hoffmeister has accumulated various ‘fastest circumnavigation’ titles to her name. These include kayaking to Iceland, New Zealand South, Australia, South America, Ireland, and North America. Apart from kayaking, Hoffmeister was a competitive gymnast, body-builder, and skydiver. As such, she keeps herself fit, active and in-shape (we can see that).
3 Gabby Douglas: Gymnastics
American gymnast, Gabby Douglas blurs the boundaries between sporting diva and social media sensation with millions of followers sharing her passion for gymnastics. Posing mid-routine this leggy brunette shows not only her agility, but also flexibility and athleticism (we think she’s just gorgeous wrapped in an American flag and this photo proves it).
Starting her career at the tender age of 6-years old, Douglas won her first championship when she was just 8-years-old. In 2012, she joined the U.S. Olympic team and became the first African-American to win gold in the individual competition. She’s also taken out gold in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic team events. Douglas is so inspiring that a Barbie Doll now emulates her (we’re not only ones that think she’s beautiful outside and in).
2 Zofia Noceti Klepacka: Windsurfing
Tipped to be Poland’s next windsurfing icon (and we can see why), Zofia Klepacka (born in Warsaw) is a beauty who gets hearts pounding on the beach or in the water. Klepacka, who has a sultry smile with dimples to match, started windsurfing in 2001. Since then she’s amassed several medals.
Weighing in at just under 130 pounds (59 kgs), Klepacka has won gold in the 2007 Windsurfing Championships and silver in the 2011 and 2012. She also took home a bronze medal from the 2012 Olympic Games. Since then, this jaw dropping 31-year-old has claimed 7th and 4th in the World Championships. However, she’s not letting this wane her enthusiasm. Devoted to her sport, Klepacka looks forward to competing in future events.
1 Natalia Partyka: Table Tennis
With impressive stats (no matter how you look at them), Natalia Partyka is a Polish blue-eyed brunette who is in the top-50 in world rankings. Described as the most recognized para-table tennis players of all time, Partyka has a gorgeous smile and cheeky persona that is enchanting. Taking home the 2014 World Championship title, Partyka has won gold in the Rio, Athens, Beijing and London Paralympics. Plus, qualifying for the Rio Olympics made her the first Paralympic athlete to do so.
This table tennis star is not only beautiful, but she’s also exceptionally talented, with able-bodied athletes saying that she’s exceptionally difficult to beat. Described as an icon for her country and an inspiration for all, this extremely talented beauty, who was born without a right forearm, strives to be the best in everything she does.