There are a lot of perks that come with being a s professional athlete. Fame, fortune, and the opportunity to retire at a relatively young age are just a few of the benefits afforded to those who are fortunate enough to play a sport at the highest level possible.
Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks that come with being famous – like dealing with the paparazzi. When one achieves a certain level of notoriety, in many cases, they find that privacy is no longer an option when going out in public. For whatever reason, this seems especially true for female athletes.
Many of the sports world’s leading ladies can’t even walk to their own mailbox without having cameras pointed in their direction. Moreover, there seems to be an unrealistic expectation that these amazing athletes will always be camera ready. This is also due in large part to the fact that many of today’s top female sports figures also happen to be some of the most beautiful women in the world. That being said, as we are about to see, these ladies still mange to have sevral less than ideal images of them captured by the paparazzi.
With that in mind, it’s like to take a look at 15 awkward shots, which for whatever reason, are nearly impossible to look away from.
15 Ronda Rousey: Romance & PJs
Sometimes even the most famous athletes in the world don’t feel like dressing up every time they leave the house. Here we see Ronda Rousey looking ultra casual in her sleeveless BJ Penn shirt and pyjama bottoms. However, it isn’t her attire that makes this photo awkward; it’s her reading selection. Despite her bad girl persona and reputation as one of the toughest females on the planet, it would appear the Rousey enjoys a good romance novel from time to time.
This just goes to show that everyone, even Ronda Rousey, has a soft side.
Player Profile: Ronda Rousey went from being an Olympic bronze medalist (in judo) to becoming one of the most famous mixed martial artists on the face of the planet. The Blonde Californian used her signature armbar to make short work of her opponents –finishing most of them in the very 1st round. Rousey’s popularity helped convince UFC President Dana White to create the company’s very first women’s division. She won her first 6 fights in the UFC on her way to becoming the face of women’s MMA. However, following consecutive losses to Holly Holm and current champ Amanda Nunes, Rousey has decided to step away from the Octagon and begin her career as a professional wrestler.
14 No Privacy For Aly Raisman
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman appears to be learning that once you become a star, privacy is often a thing of the past. The young athlete was enjoying a leisurely stroll when she ran right smack into the paparazzi, with their cameras at the ready. Judging by the look on her face, it’s doesn’t appear that Raisman is enjoying the attention in this instance. Taking a quiet walk is something that most folks probably take for granted, but it’s likely that Aly Raisman doesn’t.
For better or worse, dealing with the paparazzi comes with being an Olympic superstar.
Player Profile: Alexandra “Aly” Raisman is a 5-foot-2 gymnast who is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. She is known as the team captain of both the 2012 and 2016 US Gymnastics teams known as the “Fierce Five” and the “Final Five” respectively. As captain, she led both squads to team gold. Moreover, she has also had a great deal of success on her own. In 2012 Raisman captured gold in the floor exercise and bronze on balance beam. During her 2nd run in 2016, she took home 2 silver medals in the floor exercise and the balance beam. Outside of gymnastics Raisman also appeared on the television show Dancing with the Stars.
13 Lindsey Vonn Kiss Miss
For celebrities, public displays of affection can often come off as rehearsed or insincere. However, there are also times when they are clearly spontaneous – as is the case here. The subjects in this photo are Olympic alpine skier Lindsey Vonn and her now ex-boyfriend, NFL coach Keenan Smith. Vonn appears to be going in for a smooch, much to Smith's surprise. It almost looks as if the former Olympian was trying to kiss his lips, but missed the mark.
Whatever the case may be, the incident resulted in this incredibly awkward and somewhat humorous photo.
Player Profile: Lindsey Vonn is a 33-year-old alpine skier who originally hails from St. Paul, Minnesota. She has been the face of the Winter Olympic Games for several years and easily among the most famous skiers in the world. The 5-foot-10 blonde’s career highlights include winning a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and winning 2 gold medals at the world championships in 2009. She is also one of only 6 women in the history of the sport to win World Cup Races in all five alpine skinning disciplines. Vonn recently made what will likely be her final Olympic appearance in 2018; capturing a bronze medal in the downhill event.
12 Genie Bouchard And Her Super Bowl Date
In February of 2017, tennis star Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard made headlines off the court when she lost a bet to a twitter fan regarding the outcome of Super Bowl LI. As fans may remember, this was the Super Bowl when the New England Patriots overcame a significant halftime deficit to win the game. Bouchard, who bet against the Patriots, honored the wager and went on a date with a man named John Goehrke – pictured here. In this image we see the young fan standing next to Bouchard, making an odd facial expression while this photo was captured.
If Goehrke is going to be hanging with one of the most popular tennis players on the planet, he better get used to the paparazzi.
Player Profile: Genie Bouchard is WTA player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 5-foot-10, blonde is widely considered one of the most beautiful women competing in professional sports, which has helped her remain popular, despite struggling on the court in recent years. While she is currently the 164th ranked woman in the world at press time, she was once the number 5 ranked player in the world back in 2014. Bouchard is just 24 years of age, so there is still plenty of time for her to turn things around.
11 Allison Stokke
Here we see pole vaulter Allison Stokke dealing with a wardrobe issue as she awkwardly balances her pole on her shoulder. She became something of an internet phenomenon when her images were shared online and attracted significant media attention from that point, which in turn resulted in a few awkward photos like the one we see here. There’s no question that Stokke is a photogenic young woman, but she probably would have preferred to have the cameras off when this particular photo was taken. That being said, the paparazzi played a significant role in her rise to fame.
Player Profile: New Port Beach, California’s Allison Stokke is pole vaulter and fitness model who competed was a member of the California Golden Bears track team, while attending Berkeley. When she was just 17 years of age, there were relatively tame photographs of Stokke shared online, that resulted in her becoming something of an internet sensation. Her rise to stardom, based largely on her physical appearance, sparked a national debate on how sportswomen are portrayed on the internet. Her fame also helped her land a modeling gig with Nike. Looks aside, the 29-year-old is an outstanding track and field athlete with an impressive resume. She broke the US record for highest jumps by female freshman and sophomore in high school. Moreover, the 5-foot-7 brunette became a Divison I collegiate All-American in 2011.
10 Caroline Wozniacki With Austin Powers
Here we see tennis star Caroline Wozniacki standing next to everyone’s favorite fictional 1960s special agent, Austin Powers. It’s a bit of an odd pairing and makes for an awkward photo. That being said, Wozniacki is known for having a good sense of humor and is also something of a practical joker, so she can probably appreciate the “International Man of Mystery” to a certain degree. The Danish WTA standout's smile appears genuine, even if Powers looks a bit silly in the photo.
It’s a strange pairing to be certain, yet for some reason, it’s hard to look away from this particular image.
Player Profile: Caroline Wozniacki is a 5-foot-10 tennis sensation out of Odense, Denmark. The blonde stunner is one of the most successful female competitors to have ever set foot on a professional tennis court. She is currently, as of February 26, 2018, the number 2 ranked singles player in the world and has held the number one spot on multiple occasions. In terms of winnings, the 27-year-old has already taken home over $30 million – which puts her in 4th place on the list of all-time female earners. When she isn’t playing tennis, Wozniacki has had success modeling; having been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition several times in recent years.
9 McKayla Maroney
Based on this shot, it would appear that McKayla Maroney is “not impressed” with paparazzi. The casually dressed gymnast almost looks like she’s rolling her eyes after getting out of her SUV. The 23-year-old ‘s body language strongly suggests that she would prefer not to have her picture taken at the moment. Usually, when a celeb is wearing shorts and a t-shirts and isn’t dressed like they are going to an awards ceremony, they aren’t thrilled to see the media.
This shot serves as a reminder that sometimes people, even famous gymnasts, just want to be left alone.
Player Profile: California’s McKayla Maroney is a retired Olympic gymnast who is best known for her appearance in 2012 Olympic Games which were held in London, England. Maroney has an excellent showing in 2012, having captured team gold and a silver medal on the vault. However, it was her actions after winning silver, that made Maroney on of the most talked about athletes of 2012. While on the podium, she made a pouty facial expression that came to be known as the “not impressed” face. Maroney doing the “not impressed” face became the subject of countless memes – making the gymnast something of an internet sensation.
8 Maria Sharapova Wanting To Be Left Alone
When you are arguably the most famous female tennis star in the world, it can be hard to avoid the paparazzi. However, when you are a female tennis legend, who also happened to be well over 6-feet tall, as is the case with Maria Sharapova, then it’s virtually impossible to avoid the media. In truth, Sharapova is usually very cordial with media and can often be seen smiling in paparazzi shots. However, based on her facial expression here, it appears that Sharapova would like a little privacy while putting a shirt on. Even doing the simple things is cause for a photo op, when one is a famous as Maria Sharapova.
Player Profile: Nyagan, Russia’s Maria Sharapova is one of most recognizable female athletes in the world. At 6-foot-2, the tennis standout is also among the tallest women currently competing in professional sports. Since she first appeared on the WTA tour back in the early 2000s, the Russian has won every Grand Slam tournament as a singles player – thus making her a career Grand Slam winner. The 31-year-old blonde also captured an Olympic Silver medal in London in 2012. Over the course of her career, Sharapova has managed to take home over $37.5 million in prize money.
7 Danica Patrick's Game of Hide and Seek
Semi-retired racer Danica Patrick is always in outstanding physical condition and desired by men all around the world. At the moment, she's with star QB Aaron Rodgers and they naturally like to go on dates whenever their schedule permits. In this case, when the photographer shows up, Danica tries to hide behind Aaron's large shoulders, leading to an adorable, and somewhat awkward, photo.
Player Profile: Beloit, Wisconsin native Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of professional racing. The 5-foot-2 brunette is the only female to win an IndyCar Series race – having done so at the 2008 Indy Japan 300. She is one of only 14 drivers to have held the lead in both Indianapolis and Daytona 500. Patrick has also had a great deal of success off of the race track, having landed numerous endorsement deals and modeling gigs. She appeared in a total of 14 Super Bowl ads, which is more than any other celebrity.
6 Michelle Wie Is Bored
When it comes to sports, everyone has their own opinion as to which is the most exciting to watch. While golf is a very popular sport, with a fan base that spans the globe, there are also some folks out there who find it a tad boring. While not everyone may think golf is particularly interesting, we would expect those playing it at the highest level, to be enjoying themselves – at least to some degree. However, as we can see here, sometimes even the players get a little bored. In this pic, we have LPGA standout Michelle Wie yawning during a contest.
Fortunately, she managed to stay awake throughout the remainder of the contest.
Player Profile: Michelle Wie is a 6-foot tall Golfer who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Due to her impressive height, she is sometimes referred to by her nickname Big Wiesy. Wiesy generated a great deal of buzz back in 2005 when she became the youngest player to participate in an LPGA event – she as just 16 years of age at the time. Still only 28-year-old, Wie won her first major back in 2014 at the U.S. Women’s Open. She has also competed against men at various points in her career.
5 Kissing Sania Mirza
This photo features two well-known tennis stars in Sania Miraz and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. This pic was taken when the pair played together as teammates and Mattek-Sands had become the number 1 ranked doubles player in the world.
While Miraz was no doubt happy for her friend and teammate, the kiss depicted here came off as a tad awkward.
Perhaps it’s the angle or the uneasy smile, but whatever the case may be, the moment came off as somewhat cringe-worthy.
Player Profiles: While she is fairly well known in North America, Mumbai, India’s Sania Miraz is a major star in her home country. The 31-year-old is also a pretty darn good tennis player. The 5-foot-8 star is doubles specialist who has been ranked number 1 in the world. She was also won a total of 6 Grand Slam tournaments in doubles action. So far she has managed to win almost $7 million on the tennis court.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands is another doubles specialist who is originally from Rochester, Minnesota. The 5-foot-6 blonde has captured 5 doubles Grand Slam titles and was the number 1 ranked player in the world (in doubles) for a period. Mattek Sands also captured a gold medal in mixed-doubles play in 2016 Olympic Games.
4 Ronda Rousey Airport Candid
Ronda Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm back in November of 2015 was one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Prior to the bout, there were some MMA pundits who believed that Rousey had a good chance of retiring undefeated. In her 12 bouts prior, the future WWE star hadn’t lost a single round, much less an entire fight. The image here shows the 5-foot-7 blonde with her head buried, while standing next to her boyfriend at the time (now husband) – UFC heavyweight Travis Browne. Rousey didn’t take the loss particularly well and kept a very low profile following the contest. Despite the hoodie, the paparazzi still recognized Rousey and her 6-foot-7 significant other. They also managed to take this less than flattering photo.
Player Profiles: Following two consecutive losses in the UFC, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey has decided to try her hand in professional wrestling. She made her impressive in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34 last April, where she made her rival Stephanie McMahon tap out.
Travis Browne is a Heavyweight fighter who currently competes in the UFC. He was notable wins over fighters like Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett. However, after 4 consecutive losses, his future in the UFC is in doubt.
3 Serena Williams In Green
Serena Williams is known for making some interesting fashion choices, both on and off the tennis court. Here we see one of the greatest (if not the greatest) female tennis players sporting a rather loud, green outfit and some flashy fur boots. However, as her fans already know, Williams is an extremely confident individual regardless of what she’s wearing.
The photo is definitely a little awkward, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Player Profile: Saginaw, Michigan’s Serena Williams is the standard bearer in the world of women’s tennis. She has captured an eye-popping 39 Grand Slam championships over the course of her career in singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles play combined. Williams has been the number 1 ranked player on numerous occasions for a total of 319 weeks – which is a 3rd longest period in the Open Era. Having won over $84.5 million in prize money, which doesn’t include her many lucrative endorsement deals, she is the number 1 on the all-time earnings list. In fact, she ‘s number one by a very wide margin. Her sister Venus Williams is number two on the list having won around $40.5 million, and 3rd ranked Maria Sharapova has brought in roughly $37.5 million.
2 Hope Solo Photo Bomb
At first glance, this looks like a charming image of soccer star Hope Solo having her photo taken with a fan. However, the man in the background, Solo’s husband, former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, is doing a little photo bombing in this instance. Moreover, with his cape, the former football star looks a bit like a disheveled Jedi from a Star Wars movie. He also could be a little sad, which may be because he wasn’t recognized and asked to be included in the photo. In the fan's defense, Stevens retired back in 2010, so it’s been awhile since he’s appeared on television.
Player Profiles: Hope Solo is a soccer goalie who is known for being a member of the United States teams that won Olympic gold and the World Cup. In fact, the Richland, Washington native actually has 2 Olympic gold medals to her credit. The 5-foot-10 brunette served as the starting goalie for the United States women’s national soccer team for several seasons. While she was controversial and outspoken, Solo was always an exciting player to watch.
1 Caroline Wozniacki Sitting On Her Ex
Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki is widely considered one of the most beautiful stars in professional tennis – a sport that features some of the best-looking females on the planet. However, at 5-foot-10, with an athletic frame, the blonde WTA star is no small womsn. Here we see Wozniacki sitting on her boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) Irish golfer Rory Mcllroy's lap. Judging by the look on the golfer's face, he doesn’t appear to have been very comfortable at the exact moment this image was captured. Mcllroy expression makes an otherwise charming photo seem a bit awkward. The two dated from 2011 until 2014 and were even engaged at one point. However, they never wed, with the Irishman claiming he wasn’t ready for marriage at the time. These days Wozniacki is engaged to retired NBA player David Lee.
Player Profile: Up until very recently, Caroline Wozniacki was easily among the greatest singles player to have never won a Grand Slam title. She has made it to the final round of the US Open on multiple occasions but came up short. However, she would finally get it done in January 2018, when the Danish star defeated Simona Halep in the final round of the Australian Open, on her way to capturing her first Grand Slam Championship.