Looking back at the 2000s there were many great things about the turn of the calendar. Forget the Y2K scare that never really happened. There was the Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series win, their first in 86 years. The first iPod was released in 2001. Janet Jackson put everyone in a tizzy as a result of her wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl. Napster. Facebook was introduced to the world. And let's not forget The Sopranos.
While there are a few members of this list who are still active in their respective sports, many of the following 15 beauties have walked away from their competitive fields to find work elsewhere. But that doesn't mean that we have to forget them. Trust in the fact that thanks to Google and social media, each of these ladies still has a large following of fans. While who the hottest of the list is arguable, what isn't is the fact that each of these women at one point in their respective careers where among the hottest female athletes on the planet.
We welcome you to flip and flop the list around to your liking, is one of your favorites sitting outside the top 10? Is your dream girl not in the top five? Are you in disagreement of who we placed at number one (if you are, you're nuts!). No matter which way you look at this list, all fifteen of these ladies were some of the hottest athletes in their respective lines of work during the 2000s.
15 15. Hope Solo
A polarizing figure in the world of soccer and Olympic sports, Hope Solo was a notorious winner as she backstopped her nation to a gold medal twice. However, Solo’s stock has taken a but of hit in recent years and its caused her name and presence to go unnoticed. Following her comments after the US’s World Cup defeat, Solo was suspended by the team for six months. It now remains a mystery if she’ll return in the future, at the age of 36, that remains unclear.
Taking a quick look at her social media accounts, Solo is doing her best in helping several charitable causes. Solo’s Instagram is littered with some great stuff that she’s been involved with off the field. At least we know she’s smiling and in a good place nowadays.
14 Laila Ali
As the daughter of "The Greatest" Muhammad Ali, it wasn't surprising that Laila had success in the ring. What was surprising is that her pops wasn't exactly a fan of her decision to follow in his footsteps. At the age of 21, young Laila won her first bout, knocking out April Fowler. Of her 24 fights, Ali walked away with an unblemished record, which included 21 knockouts.
During her career that spanned between 1999 and 2007, Ali captured five different championship belts. After retiring from the ring, Ali found herself filling various roles on TV including, co-hosting American Gladiators, competing on the short lived reality show Stars Earn Stripes and recently as a co-host of Everyday Health. Aside from her television commitments, Ali has two young children at home that occupy her time.
13 Candace Parker
During her rookie season with the Sparks, Parker not only claimed WNBA Rookie Of The Year honors, but she also walked away with the league MVP title as well (this before a brilliant career prior). Although the Sparks have managed only one title appearance since Parker has joined the club, it isn't as though the Missouri native hasn't held her own with career averages of 17 PPG, nearly nine PPG and a shade under four APG.
Unfortunately for Parker, her quest for multiple WNBA Championships still continues as the Sparks recently fell to the Minnesota Lynx dynasty in the 2017 WNBA Finals. As for those who don't think that WNBA players are sexy, just check out the 2012 ESPN The Body Issue and Parker's photo-shoot will tell you otherwise.
12 Danica Patrick
As the most successful female in the auto racing world, Danica Patrick has been living the life of the "fast and furious" since childhood, breaking ground once arriving on the scene in the mid 2000s. After starting her career as an Indy Car driver in 2005, in which she became the first female driver to lead the infamous Indianapolis 500, Patrick captured the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Of the Year award as well as the IndyCar Series Rookie Of The Year.
For the next seven years the beautiful, yet feisty brunette from Wisconsin, would compete in over 100 races, reaching the podium seven times. In 2010, Patrick added NASCAR racing to her resume. While she hasn't had the same success on the stock car circuit the former Go Daddy spokeswoman recently captured her first top ten finish in over two years. She's also a big yoga activist as documented by her social media accounts.
11 Branca & Bia Feres
Let's just call it what it is, there is nothing sexy about synchronized swimming. At least the event itself that is. Nose plugs, swim caps, one piece swimsuits. Meh. Now as far as the ladies that compete in the sport, well that's a completely different story. Two of the hottest come from Brazil and just happen to be beautiful blonde twins!
After competing in the 2007 Pan Am Games, there was talk that the two would take part in the 2008 Olympics, but much to the despair of fans, the twins were a no show. Following a brief retirement from the sport in order to "enhance their figures", Branca and Bia returned to much fanfare as they competed in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. If you thought nothing could top ladies beach volleyball, check the viewership ratings when the twins competed in the pool. With over half a million Instagram followers to date, the models and aspiring actresses continue spending their time away from the pool pursuing other aspirations.
During the early 2000s, you were either a fan of team Trish or a member of team Lita. When the red headed punk rocker appeared on television as the valet for the little known Essa Rios, fans were treated to a female who appeared to have little fear of performing high risk moves.
Lita would have equally as memorable career in and out of the ring as Stratus (who can forget the rated R celebration!), capturing the belt on four separate occasions and joining the Hall of Fame in 2014. While Lita has made a few recent appearances on the indie circuit, she has played an ambassador role with the WWE Women's Division and most recently a role as a color commentator for the Mae Young Classic. Upon her return to the ring during an indie event, many speculate she might have one match left in her with the WWE.
9 Gina Carano
You know how the WWE is currently going through a Women's Revolution? Well, back between the period of 2006 to 2009, Gina Carano helped lead the charge of Women's Mixed Martial Arts into being a spotlight event. At the time, Carano was one of the most famous female fighters in the world based on her performance in the ring and her looks outside of it.
After dominating the EliteXC Women's Division, Carano entered into a bout with Cris Cyborg as part of the Strikeforce PPV main event. Unfortunately, this was Carano's final match as Cyborg sent her into retirement with a first round TKO. While her career in the octagon was finished, the Texas native found a different outlet to stay relevant as she pursued ventures in acting and modelling. With roles in big time feature films such as Fast and Furious 6 and Deadpool, Carano has continued to find lots of success outside the world of fighting as she did in it.
8 Jennie Finch
If baseball is America's past-time, then Finch may have well been America's sweetheart during the early 2000s. As a two time Olympian, Finch helped Team USA to a gold medal in 2004 and another podium appearance in 2008 as the silver medalists. After dominating the NCAA scene as a member of the Arizona Wildcats, Finch left the program with a number of NCAA records to her name, including an incredible 60 game winning streak.
After graduating, Finch joined the National Pro Fastpitch League, playing for the Chicago Bandits where, as it does in Arizona, her number 27 jersey is retired. Following her retirement from the game, Finch has appeared on a variety of different sports related shows including This Week in Baseball and Pros vs. Joes. With three children at home, Finch now spends her time focusing on her family as well as her youth softball camps and various charities.
7 Trish Stratus
Arguably the greatest female wrestler of all time, there is no debate that the seven time WWE/WWF Women's Champion is also the hottest of all time. Let's face it folks, after arriving on the scene as a manager for Test and Albert (T&A, how fitting for Stratus' first role), the beautiful Canadian became a must see on Monday Night Raw each and every week. Whether it was a ringside role or a backstage promo, the former fitness model had fans drooling over her tightly packed 5'3", 125lb frame.
Long before Sasha Banks and Charlotte made fans stand on their feet and applaud women's wrestling, Stratus was putting on a show worthy of main events against the likes of Lita, Mickie James and Victoria. Be it in a regular match, a bra & panties match or a mud match, Stratus was the reason to watch women's wrestling.
After officially retiring following her final match at Unforgiven 2006, Stratus would come back to make a number of special guest appearances, along with the practicing of her yoga company. Nowadays, Stratus spends most of her time as a proud mother of two young children.
6 Natalie Gulbis
She may not be the most successful golfer in the LPGA, but the 34 year old California native is certainly one of the hottest. For over fifteen years, Gulbis has been roaming the fairways chasing little white balls around, but yet has little to show for it in terms of trophies. With only a single LPGA Tour victory, Gulbis currently doesn't even rank on the Rolex Charts and has missed the cut in all of her last five tour events. But that doesn't matter her. What does matter is how smoking hot she is.
However, the LPGA thinks that sexiness is a problem, David Sternlike set up a dress code for all the ladies to adhere by. Yes, sadly that means the voluptuous lovely lady lumps have been mandated to be covered up even more. Apparently the higher powers of the LPGA think that male golf fans will tune in just to watch the skills (which no doubt the ladies have). But we all know that sex sells and Gulbis (and her painted on bikini) has that down like a birdie putt from 60 feet away.
5 Lindsey Vonn
Unfortunately for Vonn, her most recent level of popularity was due to her relationship with Tiger Woods. However, that can all change next February at the Winter Olympics as Vonn looks to make her presence with the USA Ski team after missing out on the 2014 Games with a knee injury. Winner of three straight World Cup titles during the period of 2008-2010, Vonn was one of the hottest (in more ways than one) skiers on the slopes during the 2000s. After capturing a pair of gold medals in the Downhill and Super-G events at the World Championships in 2009, Vonn would make a return to the podium in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 winning a gold and bronze in her respective events.
Upon returning from her knee injury, Vonn would go on to win a pair of bronze medals at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships and has since been battling a variety of injuries as she prepares to return to the podium in South Korea. Currently Vonn is in a battle with the International Ski Federation as to whether or not she's able to compete against men at an upcoming World Cup event in Lake Louise in 2018.
4 Kim Glass
When it comes to team uniforms, women's volleyball shorts are easily found atop the list of hottest and when you put one of the sexiest women to hit the court in a booty clinching pair it easily draws some attention. After spending four years at the University of Arizona, Glass left the program as a three time All-American and a four time All-Pac10 recipient.
The 6'3" stunner from California would move on to play professional volleyball overseas while also competing for Team USA as part of international competition, including the 2008 Olympics in which she was helped the team to a silver medal. Off the court, Glass is an aspiring model who has tried out for America's Next Top Model five times, apparently Tyra Banks and friends didn't realize what they were missing! Currently a personal trainer and volleyball coach, Glass' body of work is something to be enjoyed both on and off the court.
3 Allyson Felix
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Currently still a key component to the USA Track and Field team, Felix and her abs are one of the hottest tickets for the sprint competitions. Recently the 31 year old sprinter was awarded a trio of medals at the 2016 Olympics for the 4 x 100m relay and 4 x 400m relay (Gold) and 400m (Silver) as well as three podium appearances at the 2017 World Championships (two golds in the relays and a bronze in the 400m).
While most athletes (except the prep to pro NBA era) head off to the NCAA's before turning professional, Felix bypassed her college competition after she signed a contract with Adidas, who not only paid her to compete, but also forked over for her tuition at USC. With nine Olympic medals to her name, and 16 World Championship medals, Felix is the most decorated female track star of all times. Nowadays, she's also profiting nicely from various endorsement deals, like the one you see above.
2 Heather Mitts
When you get voted the "Hottest Female Athlete" by ESPN, you better believe that there is a spot on this list. Add to that a spot on SI's Swimsuit Issue and it is a guaranteed lock. As a defensive star for the USA National Soccer team for over a decade, Mitts earned All-American honors at the University of Florida while helping the Gators win a National Championship. After graduation, Mitts would join the pro ranks as part of the W-League, the Woman's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer Association in addition to her commitments to Team USA.
Prior to her retirement in 2013, Mitts had helped Team USA win three straight Olympic gold medals in 2004, 08 and 2012. After officially hanging up her cleats in 2013, Mitts, who still looks stunning at 39 years old, currently juggles her time between her family (including two kids), her youth soccer camps and her NCAA broadcasting commitments for women's soccer.
1 Anna Kournikova
During her time with the WTA, there may not have been a more popular player in women's sports than Anna Kournikova and the Google search engine can prove it. However, more fans were interested in the Russian tennis star more for her body of work off the tennis court than on it. And let's be honest, who can blame them.
As hot as Kournikova was off the court (and equally on the court in some of her playing attire), her world ranking only reached eight in the world during her singles career, but fortunately she found more success as a doubles player reaching a number one ranking with Martina Hingis. Currently hitched to Enrique Iglesias, Kournikova spends her time as a global ambassador for a number of different health and wellness programs while occasionally hitting the court for tennis charity events.