Love has a lot of definitions and one of them is that it brings two people together. Love also knows no limit, no reason, no boundaries, no distance and whatever else you can think of. However, love can turn into obsession and eventually something called stalking, which leads to a point of harassment, intimidation, and other criminal offences.
One of the prime targets of stalkers is women, especially female celebrities and athletes. Celebrities and athletes are always in the public eye so they are more vulnerable to crazy stalkers. Almost every female celebrity has some creepy stalkers, which is why we are going to focus on female athletes since there is more pressure on them. Athletes need to perform at their best and get results so that they can make their fan base happy. A prime example are tennis legends, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Back in 1993, an obsessed fan of Graf stabbed Seles because she took the number one spot in the world rankings.
On the other hand, other creeps are not as destructive as that one but they are surely going to do something crazy to get the attention of their victim. Some stalkers like to send letters and profess their love while others send lewd photos. There are also stalkers who manage to find their victim’s homes and others even send their own divorce papers to show that they are not kidding about a marriage proposal. So without further ado, here are the 15 female athletes you did not know were stalked by creeps.
15 Anna Kournikova
Remember when Anna Kournikova was one of the hottest tennis players on the planet? Kournikova was as high as number eight in the world rankings but she never won a Grand Slam singles title. However, she is a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion with Martina Hingis. She retired in 2002 at the age of 21 years old and she focused on her modelling career, at one point becoming one of the most famous women in the world.
The attention Kournikova got at that time was absurd and she even attracted one of the weirdest stalkers ever in William Lepeska. The creep swam nude across Biscayne Bay to search for Kournikova's house on Miami Beach's Sunset Island in 2005 before getting arrested. Lepeska was imprisoned from 1995 to 2000 for stabbing a student in Wisconsin. Clearly he had some problems.
14 Ronda Rousey
Now busy training to become a WWE superstar, Ronda Rousey was once the most dominant female MMA fighter in the world. Rousey was tearing apart the UFC women’s bantamweight division before losing to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in devastating fashions. She is now living happily with husband and fellow MMA fighter, Travis Browne.
But before Rousey got married, she was stalked by a minor league baseball player from the Chicago Cubs system. Anthony Giansanti was obsessed with Rousey while she was preparing for her match against Bethe Correia. Giansanti stalked Ronda on Twitter, inviting her on dates and even leaving tickets for her to watch him play baseball for the Iowa Cubs. He only stopped after someone told him that Rousey is busy training.
13 Serena Williams
The greatest female tennis player of all time, Serena Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam singles title winner with four Olympic gold medals. Williams is currently on a hiatus from the sport because of pregnancy but she has set her sights on tying and possibly breaking Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player.
During her lengthy career, Williams had a couple of crazy stalkers. The first one was Albrecht Stromeyer, a German who got deported for sending Williams emails, as well as shouting “I love you” during her matches in 2002. The second one, a man named Patenema Ouedraogo was arrested outside Williams’ home in 2011 and he was charged with stalking and cyber-stalking. Ouedraogo was able to find out Williams’ address by following her too closely on Twitter.
12 AJ Lee
You know a stalker is crazy when he gets shot by the police. That is exactly what happened to Armando Montalvo, a 29-year-old wrestling fan from Queens. Montalvo was shot by Florida police when he caused havoc at the WWE Performance Center in August 2015 as he was looking for his favourite wrestler, AJ Lee. The crazed fan survived the shooting and he was committed to a state mental hospital.
AJ was not at the WWE Performance Center during the incident because she already left the company four months earlier. In six years with the WWE, AJ won the Divas championship three times and she was also named Slammy Diva of the Year twice. In case you don’t know, AJ is married to a former WWE superstar named CM Punk.
11 Michelle McGann
At the age of 47 years old, Michelle McGann is still playing professional golf on the LPGA tour. McGann turned pro in 1989 and she has nine professional wins under her belt, seven of which came from the LPGA Tour. However, McGann had a stalker early in her career and you won’t believe who it turned out to be.
McGann’s stalker was Patrick Hallett, a man who served as her caddie for a week in 1989. Ever since that week-long encounter, Hallett had been writing and sending packages to McGann as a sign of his love for her. One of Hallett’s letters even said that he wants McGann to design wedding invitations because he is going to announce their wedding on television. Luckily for McGann, Hallett was charged with stalking… 12 years later.
10 Maryse Ouellet
One of the most beautiful female WWE superstars ever, Maryse Ouellet was bound to have herself a stalker. Maryse started her career as a model in Canada. In wrestling, she is a two-time WWE Divas champion and was ranked ninth in the PWI Female 50 in 2009. Maryse is also married to fellow WWE superstar, The Miz, since 2014.
But before Maryse got married to The Miz, she had a 61-year-old crazy stalker named Lee Silber. She constantly received terrifying letters at her home and about 50 voicemails on her personal cell phone. Maryse described Silber’s words as disturbing and delusional, and she even feared for her life at one point. Luckily for Maryse, a court granted her a restraining order against Silber on August 2011.
9 Ariane Friedrich
Ariane Friedrich is a German high jumper who competed in two Olympics. Friedrich is the German outdoor record holder for the event with 2.06 m. She was a five-time German champion but her biggest accomplishment is taking the bronze medal at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. Friedrich also won a bronze medal at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2012 before the London Olympics, Friedrich was involved in a controversial online incident wherein she named an alleged stalker on Facebook. She posted her stalker’s name and address but some people defended the stalker because Friedrich violated his right to privacy. The stalker reportedly sent Friedrich an inappropriate picture on her email. The incident did not hamper Friedrich’s chances of making the London Olympics but she failed to win any medals.
8 Kyra Elzy
The current associate head coach of the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team, Kyra Elzy was former player for the Tennessee Volunteers under Hall of Famer Pat Summitt. Elzy won two national championships in 1997 and 1998 before going into coaching. She was previously an assistant coach for the Wildcats from 2008 to 2012. Elzy was also an associate head coach in Tennessee until 2016 before returning to Kentucky.
But during her playing days in Tennessee, Elzy encountered one of the creepiest stalkers in sports history. The stalker allegedly sent Elzy a note before a game that said, “Your future husband is in the stands. I'm in the third row.” He even got close to Elzy while on campus, asking her why she was not eating lunch with her teammates.
7 Laura Davies
One of the greatest female professional golfers in history, Laura Davies has a total of 84 professional wins, 45 of which at the Ladies European tour. She also took home four major LPGA championships in her long career. The 54-year-old golfing legend was one of the top players in the 1990s and her accomplishments were celebrated in 2015 when she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
In the 1990s during her prime, Davies had a problem with a stalker named Henry Lee, who was a married man and surgeon at that time. Lee sent Davies lots of letters and proposed to her seven times. He even delivered his own divorce papers to Davies before he got arrested by the FBI with the help of the LPGA.
6 Shannon Miller
One of the most decorated gymnasts in history, Shannon Miller has won seven medals at the Summer Olympics and nine more medals at the World Gymnastics Championships. Miller won two Olympic Gold medals in 1996 while she was still studying at the University of Oklahoma. However, she had a stalker who also went to the same university.
Joseph Vogt was arrested by the police in 1998 and they found 115 newspaper and magazine clippings of Miller in his house. The police also found 16 videotapes of Miller while she was in training and in competition. Vogt would also send letters to Miller and he religiously followed her Olympic career. At one point, Vogt crashed his car into the truck of Miller’s boyfriend.
5 Summer Sanders
A two-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Summer Sanders was the face of the sport in the United States in the early 1990s. Sanders won a total of four medals in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and three more at the 1991 Perth World Championships. Add the fact that Sanders was one of the most beautiful women in the world at that time, and she was bound to have an obsessed fan.
In 1993, a man named Mason Crist was arrested by the police while he was stalking Sanders on her front porch on New Year’s Eve. Crist did it twice and he even tried to contact Sanders when she was at Stanford University. He even talked to Sanders’ father a couple of times, telling him that he was a former swimmer.
4 Katarina Witt
The second German on the list, Katarina Witt is a two-time Olympic gold medalist figure skater. Witt won her first Olympic gold medal in 1984 in Sarajevo and she followed it up with another gold medal at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She is also a four-time gold medalist at World Championships and a six-time European champion.
Besides being a great figure skater, Witt is also one of the hottest women back in her time. She had an obsessed fan, Harry Veltman III, who sent her love letters and nude photos. Veltman was arrested in 1991 and he never bothered Witt again. Fun fact: Witt posed for Playboy in 1998 and she also appeared as a figure skater who is being followed by a stalker in a German TV show.
3 Sheila Taormina
Sheila Taormina is one of the greatest American Olympians in history. Taormina is the first woman in the history of the Olympics to qualify for three different sports. She competed in swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, winning a gold medal. Taormina then qualified as a Triathlete at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics before competing in the modern pentathlon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
During her preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Taormina was stalked by James Conyers. The skilled con-man met Taormina and told her that he was also a triathlete. The two went on a bike ride and that is when Conyers started sending Taormina disturbing pictures, including a postcard telling how he will assault her. Conyers was arrested and he was imprisoned for five years due to the stalking incident.
2 Maria Sharapova
A five-time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova is one of the best tennis players of her generation. Sharapova is a former World No. 1 before injuries slowed her down and she was subsequently suspended for failing a drug test in 2016. Besides that, Sharapova is also one of the prettiest and hottest women in the world today.
So it makes sense that she has a stalker, a journalist from New Zealand named James McOnie. At the 2011 Australian Open, McOnie told Sharapova that, “It’s not stalking if you love someone,” a response to her saying that he was stalking her. McOnie even showed up in Sharapova’s match against Tamarine Tanasugarn holding a sign that reads, “I am not a stalker.” What a creep, right?
1 Steffi Graf And Monica Seles
Two of the greatest tennis players ever, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles are on the same list for different reasons but linked to one crazy stalker, Gunter Parche. Graf and Seles were at the top of their games in the early 1990s when Seles took the number one ranking from Graf after defeating her at the 1993 Australian Open. However, it did not sit well for Parche, a man from Frankfurt and an obsessed fan of Graf.
Parche set her sights on Seles, stabbing her with a boning knife during a game against Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg. Seles recovered after a few weeks but it took her two years to return to active competition. As for Parche, he was arrested and sentenced to two years of probation and psychological treatment.