Women have come a long way in a very short amount of time when it comes to being recognized as athletes that can perform at the highest of levels. One great example of this is that, at the Olympics, medals for men and women are worth the same. However, there is still a long way to go. It doesn’t matter which culture you come from; it is still hard for women competitions to draw audiences as large as their corresponding male competitions. Perhaps the only mainstream sport where we often see the women’s game getting more attention than the men’s is volleyball. Nevertheless, this is a gap that will possibly be bridged sometime in the future. However, as they have evolved within the world of sports, women also had to learn to deal with some unfortunate mishaps that men have been used to since they started playing sports. Athletes are famous people, and famous people are featured in the media and talked about way more than regular folks. And being in the spotlight means that any little mishap that can happen to you could end up becoming the talk of the town, or sometimes the talk of the world. That sounds pretty scary, right?
And it is a horrifying prospect that athletes must deal with on a daily basis. Not only do you have to worry about competing at the highest level, but you also have to worry about the prospect of your clothing getting torn up that will land you on the front page of every tabloid around the country. But since that is part of the game, here are 20 of the most embarrassing pictures of female athletes ever taken.
20 Maria Alexandra Has a Weightlifting "Accident"
Weightlifting is one of those sports that takes the heaviest toll on the human body (no pun intended). When you are trying to lift as much weight as these professional athletes are at any given competition or training, there are certain bodily aspects that they cannot really control when push comes to shove. This is a perfect example of that. Maria Alexander was at the Olympics, competing on the biggest stage and trying to bring glory to her country at the highest level of competition she ever got to. Nothing seems more important than that, right?
Well, it turns out that Maria pushed herself a little too hard. The result was that she peed on the mat while trying to lift that ridiculously heavy bar full of weights.
19 Extra Burst?
Hold on, hold on, we will talk about what you just saw, but first, we have to tell you a little bit about Rebecca Soni. She is not just some woman who swam for Team USA in a few competitions. No, this is one of the most victorious swimmers of all time. Rebecca has six Olympic medals in her resume, three of them are gold. She has four gold medals in World Championships, among a bunch of others. So, before you judge anybody, just remember that this is one of the best swimmers you will ever hear about.
Nevertheless, what this gif shows is Soni getting caught doing something you would not expect to see in a competition. Whatever is happening, we will leave to your imagination. But if it is what we are all thinking about, one cannot help but wonder if this could somehow be considered cheating. After all, that is some extra propulsion right there.
18 Oh No!
Gymnastics is a sport that requires a lot of concentration and precision. The men and women who take part in world-class competitions are some of the greatest acrobats in our world. What they do is so ridiculous that some of these women make running, jumping, and flipping on top of a beam that is only 4 inches wide seem easy.
But no matter how good you are, at some point, you are going to make a mistake. That is a given. Human beings make mistakes, that’s what we do. And the same is the case with professional athletes who train to perform at the highest level every day. And when a mistake happens, it is also human nature to be unable to hold your emotions. And Olivia Vivian was most certainly terrified of what was going to happen once she landed this flip.
17 The Best Teammates
“Teamwork makes the dream work.” That might be one of the best sports quotes ever. That is because it works out well for pretty much any sport. With the exception of individual games, teamwork is an essential part of the life of an athlete. How many times have we seen amazing teams full of superstar players lose championships because egos talked louder than the will to compromise in order to achieve greatness?
That is some other level kind of teamwork issue. Sometimes, these problems can be way more innocent, like miscommunication and things that can happen at any point in any game in any sport. Here is one embarrassing and excellent example of how miscommunication can sometimes translate into a lack of teamwork, and ultimately make up a hilariously embarrassing picture.
16 Use a Mask Next Time
We could not help but show you the most common type of embarrassing pictures as it pertains to women’s sports. During the introduction of this article, we mentioned how volleyball might be the one sport in which women get more attention than men most often. So, since volleyball is so important, we have to remind everyone that volleyball is also a gold mine for hilarious pictures of on-the-court mishaps.
And the most common type of embarrassing picture you will find taken on volleyball courts that does not involve shorts or clothing articles is a picture of someone getting smashed in the face with a ball. This happens so often that you could literally find hundreds of these on the web. And no matter how many of them you look at, they are still hilarious.
15 Not So Synchronized
Synchronized swimming might just be one of the hardest sports we have in the world. The most difficult thing in team sports is to have the weakest links of your squad performing up to part with your best players. We see that too often in basketball and football teams, where the mighty are almost too good, and some of the weakest players end up messing things up because they cannot follow the rationale and speed of their better teammates. In synchronized swimming that should be much worse since everyone has to do everything at the same time in the same rhythm.
And we are almost too surprised that we don’t see things like this more often. It seems like this team was not that synchronized as the woman on top clearly did not expect to get “lifted” or hit where she did to make that face.
14 Venus Williams Catches Too Much Wind
Venus Williams is without a doubt one of the most famous tennis players in the history of the sport. She is up there with names like Maria Sharapova and her superstar sister, Serena. Venus’s career is full of accolades. She was ranked the number one tennis player in the world back in 2002, and she has a ton of results to justify a placement like that. In her 14 years as a professional player, she has won five Wimbledon titles, and a pair of US Opens. Those are some ridiculous numbers. Also, her career earnings are somewhere north of $38 million.
But even all of that money and accolades could not keep Venus safe from the one thing that all athletes could eventually fall prey to. Back in 2010, Venus was the victim of a wardrobe malfunction that speaks for itself.
13 Jelena Janković's Strap Breaks
Since we are talking about tennis, let’s keep the little yellow ball rolling. This time, the victim of an embarrassing moment was the Serbian star, Jelena Janković. Just like Williams, Jankovic is quite the impressive tennis player. She has never won a grand slam title, but she did reach the final of the 2008 U.S. Open. That in itself is impressive, and there is also the fact that she was ranked the number one player in the world in August of that same year.
But while Williams suffered one of the funniest wardrobe malfunctions we have seen in tennis, Jankovic came razor-close to an even more embarrassing moment. What happened was that one of her sports bra’ straps broke. Luckily, she realized the problem before it was too late and a kind lady from the audience was graceful enough to help Jankovic fix the problem.
12 Cycling Problems
If we think about old-school sports back in the day, there has always been some kind of concern around the uniforms athletes wear. Fans obviously are the ones who care the most since they are the people who are going to be wearing those clothes every day to a sports bar, or to the mall, or even to work depending on how hard-core you are. However, it seems like these days uniforms can get almost as much attention as the game itself from time to time. And sometimes, an outfit really deserves to get more attention than the sporting event.
Ultimately, we could not think of a better example of a uniform that should get more attention than the athletes, than this ridiculous piece that was designed for a cycling team a few years back. Seriously, wearing something like this might just be more embarrassing than a lot of the wardrobe malfunctions we will talk about in this article.
11 Gymnastics: Take One
We have talked about how some sports are more prone to wardrobe malfunctions than others. But sometimes, it is possible for an athlete to get an embarrassing picture of them snapped even without a wardrobe malfunction taking place. Now we don’t know how you will feel about this one, but a lot of people will probably just laugh and not feel bad at all since this particular embarrassing picture features a North Korean gymnast named Hong Su-Jong.
While her most impressive feat might have been getting permission to leave North Korea to compete, this gymnast was quite successful given her roots. After all, she won a gold medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships. Nevertheless, people online mostly know her for this hilarious picture that was taken during one of her competitions.
10 Elena Dementieva's Aggression Gets The Best Of Her
Another tennis star to grace our list, the retired Russian player, Elena Dementieva, is another tennis star with many accolades who could not escape the fact that having photographers around a tennis court will unavoidably lead to some embarrassing pictures being taken whether an athlete wants it or not.
Dementieva has earned almost $15 million during her career in prize money alone, but one of the things she is known for is this picture that was taken of her during a competition. And, it is kind of hard to pinpoint what is most embarrassing about this picture. There is the fact that her clothing is showing a little more than her or her parents would probably want the world to see, but there is also the fact that the face she is making is not the most flattering we have seen on this list.
9 It’s All about That Leap
We have already mentioned a lot of sports like tennis, gymnastics, wrestling and all other kinds of games that make athletes prone to wardrobe malfunctions purely because of the nature of the sport. Another sport that falls into that category is track and field. Track and field is a special case, however, mainly because this is a sport that can be divided into several disciplines and every single one of those disciplines has its risks when it comes to athletes being caught in embarrassing situations by sneaky photographers.
One of these disciplines is high jump. By its nature, the movements the athletes have to perform in order to leap over the bar without knocking it down are awkward, to say the least. Some athletes make them seem graceful from time to time, but mostly we get pictures like this one.
8 Diving into Your Problems
Diving is one sport that takes courage. Yes, we know that these athletes fall into the water and not concrete, but if you have ever belly flopped or smashed your back against the water' surface after jumping from a somewhat high place, you know how painful the experience can be. Some people even die if they do this from cliff jumping spots or jumping off bridges. Nevertheless, the platforms professional divers jump from are high enough that one mishap could be enough to leave you, at least, in excruciating pain for a while.
On the other hand, like all other water sports, diving is a discipline in which the outfits make it perfect for watching if someone is a fan of wardrobe malfunctions and stuff like that. Here is just one example why.
7 Kerri Walsh Sacrifices To Get The Ball
Next up we have one of the most famous female athlete wardrobe malfunctions around the Internet. Just like this embarrassing picture of her, Kerri Walsh is one of the most famous beach volleyball players around. This 39-year-old from Santa Clara, California, has been everywhere and won everything when it comes to beach volleyball. Walsh has three World Championship gold medals, three Olympic gold medals, and one FIVB World Tour gold medal. She is arguably one of the greatest beach volleyball players who ever lived, and you will not find many people willing to go against that claim.
Nevertheless, even someone who has as high a stature in her sport as Kerri Walsh has had to deal with the fact that once upon a time her bikini bottom decided to let her down.
6 A Classic
This is one of the most classic wardrobe malfunctions you will ever come across. Seriously, at some point, something like this was bound to happen. People who compete in winter sports have to wear those skintight suits that seem like they will pop open at any second. Hence, it is hilarious, but it is not all that surprising that the Scottish bobsled star, Gillian Cooke, found herself in this situation. And we cannot help but kind of feel sorry for Gillian on this one. Poor Gillian was not doing anything wrong. She was just stretching a bit in order to get ready for her bobsled run. How could she have possibly known that she would be the one to have her suit pop open in the back like that?
5 Nebiat Habtemariam Is Too Exhausted To Care
We are all for women empowerment and gals doing whatever they want to do. Her body, her rules, fellas. But there is a limit to everything. For example, as our society developed and women were gradually incorporated into the world of sports, they found ways to adapt their bodies and their clothing to whatever sport they were practicing. The bottom line we are trying to get at is that sports bras exist for a reason. For some women, it might be to stop their assets from getting in the way and taking away from their ability to perform, and for others, it might exactly be to avoid embarrassing moments like what happened to the runner Nebiat Habtemariam at this 1997 competition in Athens. We are sure there are a lot of guys who were not complaining, but still, kids are watching this stuff.
4 No More Skintight Suits
You have heard about the case of the bobsledder who had her skintight suit pop open just before her run in a major competition. Well, to prove that the problem with the skintight suits is not an issue for bobsled alone, we decided to show you an instance in which a swimmer had similar trouble with her suit.
Flavia Zoccari was a promising Italian Olympic swimmer at the young age of 22 when she stepped up to a competition in the town of Pescara, Italy. Like many of the top-class swimmers were doing at the time, Flavia was wearing a £318 top-of-the-line Jaked J01 swimsuit. These pieces of equipment were supposed to minimize water resistance to a ridiculous degree as a swimmer bolted towards the finish line.
Unfortunately, Flavia never made it to the finish line, as her suit split open in the back before she even got a chance to jump into the water.
We will not change that title for anything in this world because there is not a single word that can better describe this entry other than nasty.
Mixed martial arts are as brutal a sport as it comes. Actually, scratch that. Mixed martial arts are the most brutal sport there is. These are literally men and women who are fighting using every single part of their body and skill set in order to take down an opponent. If you think getting tackled by a 250-pound man is the worst thing in the world, you cannot imagine what kind of pain comes along getting smashed in the nose with a flying knee.
Now back to the point, this happened during a fight between Felice Herrig and Justine Kish. And there is no other way to explain it than to say that Kish struggled so much near the end of the fight that she pooped in the octagon.
2 Rosa Mendes Wrestling Time
There are a few sports that seem more prone than any others to provide fans with some of the most ridiculous wardrobe malfunctions. Wrestling is one of those sports where it seems like everything is premeditated, even the wardrobe malfunctions. Here is the biggest example of that.
Layla and Rosa Mendes were getting at it during one of their matches, and things seemed to be as going as normal as anything in the wrestling world goes. At one point, however, the weirdest thing happened. After putting Layla down outside of the ring, Rosa decided it was time to return to the main stage, only to be stopped by Layla halfway up there. But instead of hitting her, or doing anything that would make more sense, Layla decided to pull Rosa down by her bottoms and exposed her butt.
1 Ekaterina Rubleva Loses Her Top
Hey, if you have watched women' sports for long enough you know that these things happen every once in a while. Sometimes, wardrobe malfunctions are as much a part of the game as goals are for soccer and touchdowns for football. Take the example of the ancient Greeks, when everyone started competing in sports they did so naked in order to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. Actually, we have no idea if that is true or not, but it seemed plausible.
Either way, the Russian figure skater Ekaterina Rubleva became a victim of these common sporting mishaps a few years back while she was doing a presentation with her partner and her dress simply decided to give up. The most impressive part of it all though is that even despite what happened, she continued the performance all the way to the end.