All sports fans find beauty in their favourite sports. Whether it’s something more easy to appreciate in a conventional way, like a perfectly executed free kick in soccer or a silky hockey penalty shot, or something that is beautiful in its ruggedness like a great tackle in football or a huge but clean block in a basketball games, as sports fans, we watch for the moments of beauty that come from athletes at the top of their game, executing a play that they’ve spent a lifetime learning to perfect.
And then there’s the other kind of beauty in sports: women athletes obviously always in great shape. It’s attractive to see someone following their passions in any field, and it’s accentuated when someone is playing a sport that is delicate and precise. Of course, some women’s sports have outfits that seem designed to be optimally attractive. When looking at tennis skirts, the swimsuits worn in women’s beach volleyball, or the increasingly risque outfits some young golf players wear these days, it’s hard to imagine that these outfits haven’t been picked out for maximum viewing enjoyment.
So what makes a sport have ideal eye candy? There’s a kind of Venn diagram I’m picturing here that consists of the skimpiness of the outfit worn, the body type of the athletes that excel in the sport, and then there’s a kind of X-factor involved as well. What is it about Russian tennis players, for example, or American soccer players, or Brazilian beach volleyball players? Let’s take a look at 15 sports that have got the best eye candy.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world on a global level, so it makes sense that it also boasts some of the most attractive athletes in any sports. Soccer is known worldwide as “the beautiful game” based on the appreciation its fans and players have for simplicity and skill instead of aggression and flashiness. Alex Morgan, pictured above, holds the distinction of being perhaps the most attractive female soccer player and the highest paid American female soccer player. As is the case with Sharapova, much of her income comes from endorsement deals that are based on the fact that she’s attractive. It pays to be beautiful. She’s also an accomplished author and has written for TV, and, as she’s still under 30-years-old, it doesn’t seem like there’s much she isn’t capable of.
It’s kind of surprising when the most attractive athlete in a sport is the most attractive. Maybe Tom Brady is both the most handsome NFL player and the most accomplished, but his generally unpleasant way of being probably negates that for most ladies. The same likely goes for Cristiano Ronaldo, who is undoubtably handsome but also truly annoying. In women’s skiing, however, there seems to be no doubt that Lindsey Vonn is both the most decorated and the most beautiful women in the sport. She has a charming personality, and savvy business sense, as she has managed to turn her talents into huge endorsement deals and global fame. Lindsey Vonn has the looks to be a ski bunny, which must make it all the more infuriating for her opponents that she looks so good while constantly winning.
Maybe my association between swimming and beautiful women can be traced back to that iconic scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, when the character played by Phoebe Cates comes out of the pool dripping in slow motion for what feels like an eternity. Anyway, swimming is without a doubt a beautiful sport. The singular opposition between one person’s body and the water is simple and universal, and competitive swimming seems like a truly personal venture, in which athletes are competing with themselves as much as their opponents. It’s also remarkably physically demanding, producing athletes who are in better shape than anyone. When they’ve got beautiful faces too, it winds up being a perfect combination.
On lists of the sports with the most beautiful female athletes, basketball players do not always appear. There are some logical reasons for this. For starters, basketball is mainly seen as being a male or manly sport. Unfairly, the WNBA is often laughed at by basketball fans, who like to make jokes about how almost none of the players can dunk and have to do flashy layups when they’ve got large breakaways. However, women’s basketball still has some beauties to boast. Take the woman pictured above, Antonija Misura. She’s a point guard for the Croatian national women’s team, and plays professionally in Poland. Sure, Antonija gets more attention for her looks—being named, among other beauty-based honours, the most attractive Croatian athlete and the hottest woman at the 2012 Olympics—but she has called the attention paid to her looks “annoying” and has turned down modelling offers.
While Maria Sharapova may currently be the most famously hot female tennis player, there is an absolute plethora of websites and lists out there dedicated to the world’s hottest women tennis stars. Who is the hottest of the female tennis players is a serious topic of discussion online, mostly because there are so many that could take the title of number one. Unlike Antonija Misura above, Sharapova and many others have made use of their looks to increase their career earnings, taking on lucrative modelling and endorsement deals. Sharapova makes way more money posing for ads and magazines than she does in tournament winnings, particularly lately. As a sport, tennis seems build for attractive women; it doesn’t require excessive aggression or muscle, and there is a large culture surrounding clothing and appearance that is as much a part of the game as anything else.
Golf is another sport like tennis where there is a big enough pool of beautiful female athletes that fans can weigh in and debate who the hottest of them all really is. There’s no shortage of women golfers who have drawn more media and press attention for their good looks than for their play, and the queen of these is Paige Spiranac, who has become practically a household name while certainly not winning at the level of her peers. Spiranac became famous when she spoke out against new LPGA rules last year that prohibited players from wearing plunging necklines, revealing skirts, or leggings. She has continued to post provocative photos on her Instagram and has racked up well over a million followers so far in doing so.
I think it’s fair to say that track and field is not something that most casual sports fans keep up with in a real way. Most of us seem to tune in every four years while the Summer Olympics are going on to take a look at the athletic feats and root for our countries, and it’s always a pleasant surprise when we’re treated to some beauties along the way. You’ve probably seen Michelle Jenneke before, even though she hasn’t made it past the heats in her Olympic career so far. She became famous after a video of her warm-up dance—where she jumps from side to side, shaking her hips—went viral all over the world. She was able to turn that attention into some modelling contracts, but is still an active hurdler, at only 24-years-old.
This one is definitely a matter of preference. Some men are not attracted to women who are too muscular or strong, as they prefer a girl who is more delicate and ladylike. Others, though, really enjoy the idea of a woman who is strong and tough. Weird BDSM-type stuff aside, there’s something kind of cool about a girl who could kick your rear if she wanted to. Ronda Rousey is, of course, retired from MMA fighting presently, but she was considered to be the face of the sport while she was active, as she combined beautiful looks, charisma, athleticism, and a captivating attitude. While she was active in the sport, she constantly made lists of the most beautiful female athletes in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
If you pay any sort of attention to the news, you know that the US Olympic gymnastic program is currently surrounded by a massive, upsetting abuse scandal, which puts a bit of a damper on the attractiveness of its athletes. McKayla Maroney, perhaps the most famous gymnast in recent memory, seems to be having a particularly hard time after retiring from competitive gymnastics, as her social media posts have stirred up controversy, and her attempts at launching an acting and music career have been the subject of some ridicule. Still, the dedication and athleticism of female gymnasts is awe-inspiring, providing a source of constant surprise as to what the human body is capable of. Over the years, there have been many beautiful gymnasts who have caused viewers at home to swoon.
There’s something almost mystical about the sensual female surfer. They spend almost all their time at the beach, in the water, hanging out and waiting for the next good break. They’ve got to be laid back, brave, and in good shape. Surfer girls have been the subject of an endless stream of songs, and they seem almost untouchable to the average person based on the coolness of their profession and their willingness to stare danger in the face on a daily basis. One beautiful surfer at the peak of her game right now is Malia Manuel, who is 24 and from Hawaii. She won the U.S. Open of Surfing when she was only 14, making her the youngest champion of that competition ever.
Curling is definitely not a super popular sport, and it’s easy to see why. It’s pretty slow paced, and the potential for high drama is pretty low. Even the commentators often don’t seem all that enthused, often speaking in bored whispers. But for some reason, female curlers are pretty beautiful against the board. Maybe it has something to do with the mystique; it’s a sport usually played in cold, Nordic countries. Most of us don’t know anyone who curls, on an amateur level or professionally, but it has been gaining in popularity ever since becoming an Olympic sport back in 1998. If the above photo from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi is any indication, it might be worth it to brush up on the rules and starting to pay a little more attention to what is called “chess on ice.”
4. Beach Volleyball
When it comes to sports with the most eye candy, women’s beach volleyball is almost comical. Which is to say that the players are fully consciousness of the sensual undertones that fans perceive the sport as having, and they’re willing to play around with it, as teams often pose seductively in group photographs. Even if you’ve only messed around for a few minutes on a beach with some friends, you know that beach volleyball is a very difficult sport. The heat, the necessity of quick reflexes, and the difficulty of mobility in the sand make it a demanding sport that results in killer bodies. Pair that with the outfits that are some of the skimpiest of any sport and what you’re left with is a pleasant viewing experience, no matter who you’re rooting for or what the score is.
Softball does not have a great reputation when it comes to the attractiveness of its athletes, male or female. It’s seen as being a bit of a slow sport, that rewards power over precision, and it’s true that it may be a sport that is adopted by people without the athleticism to succeed in other sports. Still, there are some gorgeous women who play softball, like Caitlin Lowe, pictured above. She was a star player in college for the University of Arizona, and was a first team all-American four times in a row. She also represented her country on a national level before deciding to retire from the sport fairly recently. Softball doesn’t require as strict a training schedule as other sports, meaning it can be played by less ambitious athletes, and there’s something attractive female softball players being relatable.
Wakeboarding is probably the most obscure sport on this list, and it’s definitely a strange one. For starters, it’s pretty prohibitive by nature. In order to become a pro wakeboarder you’ve got to live somewhere pretty near a lake—or another calm water source—and you’ve got to have enough money to have access to a boat and expensive gear. As such, wakeboarders tend to be a similar kind of person. On the other hand, it’s a sport for which you’ve got to be in great shape, flexible, and brave as hell. It largely involves sitting in the back of a boat, in a bathing suit, probably drinking during downtime. Wakeboarding is by no means a super popular sport, but there are some beauties behind those boats to be sure, like Nicola Butler, pictured above, a budding wakeboard star from Florida.
Why are female snowboarders generally more attractive than their skiing counterparts lately? It may be because of the ever increasing popularity of snowboarding with young people compared to skiing, giving the sport a larger sample size, drawing the possibility of more beautiful snowboarders gaining our attention. It could also be because they seem more brash than skiers, with a collective better sense of style. Whatever the case may be, if you tune into any women’s pro snowboarding competition you’re sure to see some beauties, like Silje Norendal. She’s 24 and from Norway, and has racked up a few X Games goals in recent years and will definitely be a threat at the next Winter Olympics.
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