Ah!, the beauty of women's sport. The elegant physiques, the flowing hair, and the outfits that truly look uncomfortable. Women's sport is not just about the beauty of women, but about their competitive spirit, drive, determination, talent, and to be honest, marketability. But that's not what we are focused on today. We all know these women are insanely talented athletes and we laud them for all their hard work, but some of them are just plain hot.
There are some athletes that automatically turn heads as soon as they step on to the playing field. These women usually turn into models after age hampers their athletic career (see Anna Kournikova). But some of these athletes are diamonds in the rough, and fly under the radar of the mainstream media, in a sad display of an underappreciated attractiveness. Here's where we come in to remind some observers of female athletics that these women have been overlooked for far too long.
So today, this one is for the female athletes that don't get enough recognition but are deserving of every bit of it. It's time they get their due. Continue on for the 20 female athletes that are hotter than you realize.
20 Amanda Beard - Swimming
The seven-time Olympic medalist and former world record holder of the 200 meter breast stroke comes in at No. 20 on our list. If you watched any of the Olympic games, you know it's tough to judge someone's attractiveness when they are wearing a rubber swim cap, goggles, and a nose clip. But when Amanda would get out of the pool, you could really tell her true beauty.
A few magazines saw what not many did and gave Beard a modeling contract back in the mid 2000s. She has appeared in the magazine FHM and in the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Fans were not satisfied, and wanted more, prompting playboy to do a spread with Amanda, completely nude. If you have the time, I highly suggest going to check it out.
19 Hope Solo - Soccer
Through that determined stare, Hope Solo has been defending our Women's National Team's goal since 2000. She has won two Olympic gold medals and a world cup. She is known for coming through in the clutch, shutting down opposing offenses, and being super hot. Many people will disagree, claiming Hope has too many "mannish" features, but come one people! She does have a pronounced jaw line and muscular body, but she is still one of the most underrated hot athletes.
In 2014, Hope came into some controversy, being arrested on two charges of assault against her half-sister and nephew. In typical US court fashion, the charges were dropped, then reinstated, then dropped. No one wants to see Solo behind bars, only in front of the goal.
18 Caroline Wozniacki - Tennis
Okay, so maybe her hotness is not underrated, but Caroline Wozniacki deserves to make our list. The former WTA No. 1 overall is great to watch on, and off the court. She is really good friends with rival Serena Williams (who did not make this list because she is clearly beautiful the light needs to shine on some others), but Serena has edged her 10-1 in all their head-to-head matches.
In 2011, Wozniacki began dating golfer Rory McIlroy, and the couple was engaged a few years later. Rory called off the relationship in 2014 saying he wasn't ready for marriage (What an idiot!). She went on to light up the world with her 2015 SI Swimsuit pictures, and I'm sure Rory regretted his decision. Wozniacki is currently dating former NBA player David Lee.
17 Ronda Rousey - MMA
Let's face it. It's hard for any women to look attractive in the octagon when you are focused, trying to bash an opponents face in. But outside the octagon, Rousey is a stone cold fox. The former Olympic Judo bronze medalist and UFC fighter comes in at No. 15 on our list. She won six straight fights in the UFC (most of them from submission via arm-bar) but got knocked out by a brutal kick from Holly Holm in November 2015. She admitted later to Ellen Degeneres that she experienced suicidal thoughts after that match, seeing she was the clear favorite.
Rousey has had a few appearances in movies and television since, including The Expendables 3, Furioius 7, and a small role in Entourage. Wherever she is at, Ronda truly lights up the room with her smile and beauty, but you have to be careful, she still has a lot of warrior in her.
16 Maria Kirilenko - Tennis
Russian Women! The motherland provides several beautiful female athletes, and Maria Kirilenko is one of them. She won her first WTA event in 2005 at the China Open and has reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals throughout the course of her career. In 2013, she reached her highest career ranking of World No. 10, but she only hits No. 16 on our list.
In 2011, rumors swirled that Kirilenko was dating Washington Capitals Captain, and fellow Russian, Alexander Ovechkin. At the end of 2012, the couple announced that they had gotten engaged. But the relationship took a turn for the worse and in July 2014, and Kirilenko called off the wedding, stating there was "a lot of reasons" for the split. Some friends in the DC area have said that Ovechkin had every 20-year old in the PG on speed dial, so maybe Maria caught him creepin'. We will never know!
15 Gretchen Bleiler - Snowboarding
Ever since a young age, Gretchen aspired to be a snowboarder. She helped to revolutionize the women's halfpipe and brought popularity to the even in the early 2000s. Gretchen even landed the first Cripler 540 in a women's event (whatever that move is). Throughout the millenia, she won several gold medals in the X-games, but only took silver in the 2006 Winter Olympic games in Turin. Either way, she is one of the most influential and popular women's snowboarders of all-time.
Not only does she snowboard, but Gretchen enjoys surfing, mountain biking, environmental philanthropy and pretty much any outdoor activity possible. She is on our list because most people can't see her beauty since it usually hid behind a helmet, goggles, snow pants, and a parka.
14 Gina Carano - MMA
The predecessor to Rousey's MMA dominance, Gina Carano truly paved the path for women's fighters. Starting in Muay Thai, Corana made her way through the ranks and put women's MMA on the map (she was even titled "the face of women's MMA," but humbly rejected that label). In 2009, Corana was name to the Maxim’s Hot 100 list and made it to the cover of ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue the same year.
Currently, Gina is pursuing a career in acting, appearing in blockbusters such as Fast & Furious 6 as a member of the DSS and in Deadpool as the character Angel Dust. Most people remember Corana for is her dominance and perseverance in the octagon, but what everyone reading this should remember her for is the shear underrated beauty that she possesses.
13 Lauren Sesselmann - Soccer
As with any soccer player, it is hard to tell their true hotness when they are drenched in sweat and running full speed down the pitch. But as soon as they step off the field, their beauty lights up the room. Lauren Sesselmann is one of those beautiful soccer players.
Sessleman is an American-born Canadian Defender who was a standout at Purdue University. She helped lead the Canadian national team to a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics and is a workhouse on the field. In 2015 though, she had an embarrassing moment in the quarterfinals against England in the FIFA Women's World Cup, where she slipped and fell, resulting in an English goal. Currently, Sesselmann plays for the Santa Clarita Blue heat and makes our list at No.12.
12 Skylar Diggins - Basketball
Skylar Diggins a perfect combination of beauty and beast (on the court). At Notre Dame, she helped bring the Fighting Irish back to a national powerhouse, and was drafted by the Tulsa Shock, 3rd overall, in the 2013 WNBA draft. In Tulsa, she has been a two-time All Star and has been named All-WNBA First Team once (2014).
Diggins not only embraces her beast-mode personality on the court, but she also embraces her femininity. She said “I love being strong and being fierce intense and in my competition and being able to excel on the court but also being able to mix it up and to wear a different hat and, you know, to put that makeup on or put heels on or put a dress on." Well Skylar, we thank you not only for your basketball talent, but for your underrated hotness.
11 Anna Sidorova - Curling
Russia makes our list again, and a curling athlete nonetheless! Just like many Russian athletes, Sidorova was a figure skater until the age of 13, but suffered a serious leg injury, ending her hopes to compete professionally (and bring glory to the motherland!). But her love for the ice was too much, and she decided to take up curling. On the Russian team, Anna won several medals at the European games and World Champions, but only helped the Russian team get to 9th place in the 2014 winter Olympics.
Sidorova was the youngest skip (a position in curling for the person who calls the shots) in the 2014 Winter Olympics. In 2018, look out for this Russian ice queen to slide those big rocks down the ice as she looks damn fine doing it.
10 Lindsey Vonn - Skiing
Lindsey Vonn is known for being a hottie, but people do not know how truly sexy she is, making her the No. 5 underrated athlete hottie. Vonn has too many skiing accomplishments to count but her most famous accolade was winnng the gold medal in Downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She has multiple world titles, and appears everywhere from 2010 Maxim's hot 100 list (ranked 59th) to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Everywhere you turned in 2010, Vonn was there.
In 2013/2014, Vonn missed several events due to injury, even suffering a horrific crash in the Super G event (do yourself a favor and skip head to 47 seconds). She helped to commentate the skiing events in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Vonn started dating Tiger woods in 2013, but ended the relationship in 2015. She has lived an interesting life, even winning a cow in Austria in an event in 2005. Nonetheless, under that skin tight racing suit lives a gorgeous skier.
9 Alicia Sacramone - Gymnastics
Alicia dominated the gymnastics circuit throughout her career. She is the second most decorated gymnast ever at the World Championships, bringing home ten medals. In 2008, she was with the United States Gymnastics team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, but they only took home the silver. Many media members criticized Alicia, blaming her for the second place finish since she fell on both the floor and and beam routine in the finals. Sacramone herself even said, "It's kinda hard not to blame myself."
During her time in gymnastics, Sacramone was sponsored by giant brands such as Under Armour, CoverGirl, and Gatorade. In 2013, Alicia got engaged to former NFL quarterback, Brady Quinn and the couple welcomed their first child, Scott Quinn, in August of 2016.
8 Carmen Jorda - F1 Racing
Where did this bombshell come from? Jorda was born in Spain and currently is a development driver for the Renault F1 Team (formerly Lotus). The Spaniard got her start in 2010 with Andersen Racing in the Firestone Indy Lights Series. She never did too well in that series and ended up moving to the GP3 with the Ocean Racing Technology team in 2012. Throughout her career in GP3, she failed to score any points.
When Renault signed Jorda in 2015 as a development driver, some critics were furious. They felt that Jorda was completely unproven and they only hired her because she was hot. Former rally driver Michele Mouton described her as a "marketing gimmick", citing "Simona de Silvestro, Danica Patrick, Susie Wolff or even Beitske Vesser" as better choices. Even though other members of Renault have defended her, she is yet to prove anything on the track.
7 Becky Hammon - Basketball
Beautiful and smart, Becky does it all! Even at 40, Becky looks great. She started her WNBA career in 1999 and went undrafted to the New York Liberty. Since then, the former point guard has received every award in the book: six-time WNBA All-Star, two-time first team WNBA, 2007 WNBA assisst leader, and she even had her jersey retired by the San Antonio Stars. In 2011, she was named in the Top 15 WNBA players of all-time. That is one hell of a resume!
Hammon also made headlines in 2014 as the first female assisstant coach in the NBA, under Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, and won the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League as head coach of the spurs. All that talent, basketball IQ, and knowledge, and she still looks so fine. Keep it up Becky!
6 Anastasia Ashley - Surfing
The surfer and model, Anastasia Ashley makes our list at No. 7 mostly because surfing is an underrated sport and most people have not heard of her. Ashley started surfing at the age of 6, using a board she found in the trash. By the age of 7, she was so good, that she got a sponsor to replace her run-down board. In 2003, Ashley won the Triple-Crown Rookie award and has since been featured in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Maxim.
Not only is this pro surfer an amazing athlete, and an underrated hottie, but she is also a businesswoman. In 2014, she started her own jewelry line, Gypsy Jet Set, and has been giving business talks around the world on how to balance the competitive edge of surfing and maintain a positive social media presence. She even has made a guest appearance on Hell's Kitchen, teaching the winners of the cooking challenge how to surf.
5 Alana Blanchard - Surfing
Another surfer makes the list! I mean, they are in bikinis and wet suits for most of their career, so it helps with publicity if they look hot surfing. Alana is good friends with the famous surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack on Tunnels Beach in Kauai. Blanchard was actually there when it happened! They based the 2011 movie, Soul Surfer, after this incident. And that is why I don't go in open water!
Aside from winning surfing competitions from Hawaii to Spain, Alana designs and models Rip Curl swimwear, which creates wet suits specifically for surfing. She is in a relationship with Australian pro surfer Jack Freestone and the couple announced they are expecting their first child together in June 2017.
4 Darya Klishina - Track & Field
The third and final Russian to make our list, Darya Klishina, is a long jumper from Western Russia. At an early age, Klishina excelled at volleyball, but changed her efforts to track & field at the age of 13. In 2010, Darya set the Russian Junior record for long-jump, leaping 7.03 meters (just over 23 feet)!
In 2016, the Russian Track & Field team was banned from the Olympics in Rio due to a huge doping scandal, but Darya was granted special permission by the IAAF to compete in the games. But just days before her event, she was banned again. Klishina professed her innocence and immediately appealed the decision. On the eve of the long jump event, they decided to let her compete, but she only finished 9th, marking the first time in 20 years that a Russian woman did not medal in the long jump event (probably because they were doping the whole time!)
3 Lolo Jones - Track & Field / Boblsed
Lolo Jones! The famed hurdler, bobsledder and virgin, comes in at No. 3. She is one of the few athletes that have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. Life was not always a cake walk for this beauty though, as she was bullied as a child and moved to several cities because her mother was single, trying to raise six children. Luckily, Lolo was able to overcome this adversity and become one of the more prominent figures for the United States Olympic team.
With success, comes controversy. Many believe Lolo was getting too much attention for her looks (she is of Native American, African, and Norwegian descent) because she was not performing too well on the track. When selected to the bobsled team in 2014, Katie Eberling competed with Jones for a spot on the team and stated "I should have been working harder on gaining Twitter followers than gaining muscle mass." Even if her hotness got Lolo a job, so be it, and I think American fans were thankful they got to watch her.
2 Alex Morgan - Soccer
Does anyone else have the image of Alex Morgan wearing only body paint burned into their brain? This rising women's soccer star has been everywhere and back over the last few years. She has been in two SI swimsuit editions, ESPN the Magazine, Vogue, Health, Self, Elle, Fortune, and even Time Magazine. Lucky for us, we will be seeing plenty of Alex Morgan in the years to come.
When it comes to soccer, saying Morgan is pretty good is an understatement. Morgan was hampered by injury early in her career but she helped lead the USWNT to their third World Cup in 2015. Apart from soccer, Morgan has written a series of children's books, the first appearing on the New York Times Best Seller list, and has even appeared on the cover of the video game FIFA '16. She has a bright future, and let's hope she ages like a fine wine.
1 Leryn Franco - Javelin
What? Who? Why? I know what you are thinking, "who the hell is this and why haven't I seen her before." Well relax, there will be plenty of information to follow. Leryn Franco is an Olympic Javelin thrower from Paraguay with a kick-ass body. Okay, the term athlete here is loose, because she never was that good at Javelin and was just famous for being hot. But no matter how much fame she gains, she is definitely underrated.
Franco is now a model (as you can see from a quick google search) and tops our list at No. 1. She was featured in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was runner-up in Miss Universo Paraguay 2006. While she may not be throwing a javelin anymore, she sure as hell makes everyone's day better with her photos.