At the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio, the United States won more goal medals than any other country, which is generally unsurprising because they spend more money on Olympic funding than any other nation, and because they have one of the world's largest populations. That combination—of a high level of money spent on sports with a large population—is what sets the United States apart from other countries, making it one of the most dominant countries in the world in a number of sports. Many of the most legendary international sports teams of all time—the 1992 Olympic men's Dream Team, the 1980 men's Miracle on Ice team—have been American, and a large number of the highest performing athletes in most major sports are American as well.
Given all this, it's also not surprising that the United States is home to a good chunk of the babes of the sporting world as well. Whether it's tennis, golf, soccer, or dozens of other sports, there are plenty of American athletes who moonlight as models, brand ambassadors, or television personalities. Indeed, quite a few of the ladies on this list actually make more money through their work on commercials and for magazines than they do in their actual salary. When it comes to the world's most beautiful athletes, there's fierce competition. It's hard to compete with, say, Russian tennis players, Australian swimmers, Brazilian soccer players, or the beach volleyball players from any hot country. This list shows that American women athletes can give any nation a run for their money. Here are fifteen photos of the steamiest American athletes.
15 Ronda Rousey
There are a lot of guys out there who seem to really love the idea of a woman who, in addition to being beautiful, is also tough and capable of sticking up for herself. That explains the popularity of Ronda Rousey, who was able to transition from being a judoka—someone who practices judo—into being an MMA fighter, into now being a kind of all-around celebrity who you're as likely to see on a commercial or acting in a movie as you are to see in the ring, although she is still ranked 4th in the world in the UFC at her weight. (You'll also likely be seeing her more often in the WWE, following her debut at the 2018 Royal Rumble). Her toughness isn't just physical either, as she struggled with a speech disorder when she was young, which makes it all the most impressive that she now gets gigs as a voice actor.
14 McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney is probably the most famous gymnast in the world, though she retired from the sport two years ago and is now pursuing other interests. Part of what attracted people to Maroney is her cheeky attitude, which culminated in that "not impressed" face that became a meme, even being replicated by Obama. Since retiring from gymnastics, she has continued to make headlines, after posting risque videos of herself dancing in her underwear on her now defunct Instagram account. She also announced that she was launching a music career, which doesn't seem to have happened yet. There's no doubt that McKayla Maroney is beautiful and extremely driven to succeed, but it also seems as though she may not be making the best decisions of late.
13 Kassidy Cook
Kassidy Cook is a 22-year-old diver from Florida, and she has made a lot of fans over the past few years because she always looks like she's having a good time, even when she's under loads of pressure, performing on the biggest stages in her field. Her career is still young, but she has had some early success, qualifying for the Olympics in 2016 after narrowly missing out in 2012 by only a fraction of a point. She has four siblings whose names all begin with the letter "k" and before she started diving she was a child model. Though she often posts pictures of herself relaxing on her Instagram, she says she trains six days a week, year-round. There were rumours a few years back that she was dating the famous British diver Tom Daley, but Cook denied those rumours, so who knows.
12 Hilary Knight
Women's hockey is another sport, like basketball, where the athletes don't get a lot of press for being attractive. And, to be fair, hockey is not what anyone would call a beautiful sport. It involves a lot of injuries, smelly equipment, and a kind of toughness that often doesn't seem to really coincide with beauty, unless you like them rugged. A huge exception is Hilary Knight, who has got to be the hottest women hockey player out there. She's an Olympic medalist, a member of the National Women's Hockey League, and had a successful college career as well. She's also working on a campaign to promote gender equality in sports, making the case that Olympic-level athletes deserve to be paid fairly for their efforts, which is hard to argue against.
11 Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn seems to be the quintessential American athlete. She's blonde and bold beautiful and probably the best in the world at what she does. She has won World Cup races in every discipline of women's alpine skiing, and she has continued to win throughout her career en route to becoming the indisputable most successful American ski racer ever. She suffered some nasty injuries a few years ago and spent that time doing sports broadcasting for NBC. Of course, aside from her skiing, she's most famous for taking the weird gamble of dating Tiger Woods, which lasted for a few years before ending in 2015. Vonn is in the media a lot for her various endorsement and media-based endeavours, but she says she is also training pretty much all the time, working out six days a week all year.
10 Blair O'Neal
Kind of like Allison Stokke, Blair O'Neal is a talented woman who is and probably will always be more known for her looks than for her athletic ability, for better or worse. She was the winner of a game show that used to be on the Golf Channel called The Big Break, in which aspiring golfers compete for a chance to be awarded entry to selected tournaments. Since winning The Big Break, O'Neal has formed a kind of golf/lifestyle brand around herself, hosting shows on the Golf Channel, modelling for companies like Puma, and doing spokesperson gigs for all sorts of companies. She's by no means one of the world's great female golfers, but she has gotten pretty far on looks and charisma alone.
9 Allison Stokke
There's no doubt that Allison Stokke is one of the most beautiful women in any sport from any country. She's probably the least accomplished athlete on this list, but she belongs here because she's a female athlete who drew national attention solely because of her looks. After a moderately successful high school and early college pole vaulting career—almost a prophetic choice of sport due to the phallic overtones of it—she quickly became very famous as a sex symbol after sports blogs featuring photos of her. Stokke was uncomfortable with the attention, but luckily was able to turn it into a positive, as she signed endorsement deals with huge companies like Nike, and currently works with GoPro, making vaulting videos that get millions of views.
8 Natasha Hastings
Compared to some of the more intense women on this list, Natasha Hastings seems like she also knows how to take it easy once in a while, as seen on her Instagram, where she can often be seen modelling and just generally doing stuff that isn't training or competing. This is surprising considering that she's a sprinter, which is one of the most demanding sports physically. She's 31-years-old and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but lives in Georgia now. Some of her career accomplishments include making the US Olympic Team as a 22-year-old back in 2008, and winning Olympic gold that same year. If you're interested in knowing how a world-class American sprinter lives, she has a YouTube channel where she gives a kind of behind the scenes on her life.
7 Aly Raisman
First of all, Aly Raisman deserves props for being one of the members of the US Olympic gymnastics team who stood up against Larry Nassar, resulting in his recent sentencing which will see him spend the rest of his life in jail for his despicable crimes. Raisman was one of the victims who spoke at the trial, which must have taken great strength. Beyond that, though, Raisman is an incredibly accomplished gymnast, and was the most decorated gymnast at the 2012 Olympics, and followed that up with more medals in 2016. She's 23-years-old and from Massachusetts, and in addition to her impressive career in gymnastics, she has recently started doing charity work for kids as well. She also had a pretty good run on Dancing with the Stars, finishing in 4th place in 2013.
6 Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones kind of seems like the most interesting woman in the world. She's both an Olympic hurdler and bobsledder, which means she is one of the only athletes ever to compete in both the winter and the summer games. She has more followers than any American track athlete on Twitter. She really got a lot of media attention around 2012, when she said in an interview that she is a virgin and saving herself for marriage. She went on to say that staying a virgin is harder than making it to the Olympics or finishing college, which I bet a lot of guys would disagree with. Her career has been controversial in that some people say she gets undue media attention just because of her looks and interesting backstory.
5 Paige Spiranac
Paige Spiranac is currently one of the most talked about female athletes in the world, and it's not because of her athletic prowess. Her own personal website calls her both a "golf phenom" and a "rising golf talent" but she isn't really either of those. She has gotten famous by posting super sexually charged photos on her Instagram account, which has racked up well over a million followers as a result. And rightfully so; she's hot as hell and is making golf more fun for everyone, although she has her fair share of critics as well. She's 24 and from Colorado, and she has successfully pivoted into a whole lot of endorsement and fitness related ventures. She's not going to be making it into the LPGA Hall of Fame, but good on her for knowing how to market herself.
4 Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan caught some heat a few months ago for getting too drunk at Disney World, getting kicked out. Apparently she was highly impaired and was screaming at people. Given the sorry state of the United States men's national soccer team, it's more important than ever that Morgan keeps her act together, as the face of the women's national team. Morgan is 28 and from California, and, like Lindsey Vonn, she kind of has everything going on. She's the highest paid women's soccer player, and she has also written a book and been in movies and video games. A few years back, she had a pretty high-profile marriage to LA Galaxy midfielder Servando Carrasco. As a country, the U.S. is not where it wants to be on the world stage when it comes to soccer, but at least with Alex Morgan at the helm of the women's team, they look better than pretty much anyone else.
3 Emma Coburn
Emma Coburn is definitely pretty, but she also seems like she is very intense. On her social media profiles, she almost exclusively posts photos of herself training or involved in some kind of fitness-related activities. She's 27-years-old and from Boulder, Colorado, and it seems as though maybe growing up somewhere with such a high altitude may have given her an advantage when it came to training when she was young, because the lungs have to work harder higher up when they've got less oxygen to deal with. Her specialty is the 3,000 metre steeplechase, which—if you're not familiar—is an obstacle race that has hurdles and other obstacles. Last year, she became the 3000m steeplechase world champion, and she has the record American time in that event.
2 Malia Manuel
Malia Manuel is a surfer from Kauai, which is probably the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands. And while picking out pretty surfer girls from Hawaii might be a little bit like shooting fish in a barrel, Malia stands out because she has the skills to back up her looks as well. She won her first national title when she was just 11-years-old. When she was only 14, she won the U.S. Open of Surfing, setting herself up for an accomplished career, as she's still only 24. She has a smooth, laid-back style of surfing, and really shines in competitions on her home beaches in Hawaii. The peak ranking of her career so far has been number five, and judging by her Instagram, she's a pretty good snowboarder too.
1 Elena Delle Donne
For whatever reason, basketball players don't get as much love as women who play other major American sports. It could be a height thing, as some insecure guys aren't receptive to women who are taller than them. Elena Delle Donne has said that she struggled with her height at a young age, feeling like an outsider, but she was able to channel it into something positive, becoming a very successful WNBA player over the years. She has achieved this success in spite of having Lyme disease, for which she said she takes around 50 supplements a day. She seems like a truly good person, spending a lot of time caring for her sister who has been dealt the unlucky hand of being blind, deaf, and autistic, in addition to having cerebral palsy.