Social media is not only a useful implement for communication and time wasting, it is also one of the most important developments of the last couple of decades. It's hard to actually determine what was the original start of this phenomenon but it may well have been simple internet forums that started the movement, if it can be called such.
MySpace popped up in the early 2000's and was followed by Facebook in the middle of the decade. Facebook enabled people to accurately keep tabs on people, while it had been more difficult to do so with MySpace. Online creeping became simple and almost the norm with the advent of Facebook. Twitter came along a couple of years after Facebook and of course, Twitter allowed any number of anonymous, self-important jack-wagons (myself included) to voice irrelevant and irreverent opinions to a potentially unlimited audience.
Instagram is the same thing, but with pictures. Sadly, much like the vast majority of Facebook statuses and Tweets, most pictures on Instagram are the product of semi-literate teens snapping shots of whatever barely worthwhile nonsense went on during their unremarkable day. Fortunately however, plenty of gorgeous, fit, and generally wonderful looking athletes are active Instagram participants and that makes all the difference. Here are twenty of the hottest sporty babes on Instagram.
If we missed anyone, let us know, but we probably won't see your comment, we'll be busy checking out pictures of these 20 hotties.
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20 Julia Mancuso
We start off our list with the most decorated American female Olympic skier. Julia Mancuso is now thirty years old and has been competing professionally for about 15 years. She had medaled four times at the Olympics with a single gold and has five medals in World Championship appearances. On her Instagram, you can find pictures of her training, pictures from the slopes and of course beach shots.
19 Lindsey Vonn
Tiger Woods' girlfriend is another skier who is as active on Instagram as she is on the slopes. Also 30 years old and one of the countries greatest skiers, she recently returned to active competition after sustaining a serious knee injury. On her Instagram, one can obviously find skiing related shots but also everything else she does, from cycling to hanging out with her dog. Not too many pictures of Tiger is a bonus.
18 Stephanie Rice
When I made the choice to have my rhinoplasty at the start of last year I had a few people around me advising me to keep it hush hush because I guess a lot of people do. I wasn't really bothered about it because I don't see the big deal, plus to me ... Why lie? But looking back I'm so glad I didn't keep it hush hush and rather owned my decision. 1⃣ because there is no better feeling than owning your decisions and feeling empowered and 2⃣ because speaking out about it has allowed me to guides others who are in the same position I was. I get an email almost every fortnight from my website asking me who my surgeon was and what the surgery was like and I love being able to help them out because it can be pretty daunting. People will always critics but I really don't care hahaha.
This gorgeous Australian swimmer retired last year, having won three Olympic gold medals, and though she's retired, we still put her on the list. You're welcome. Since retiring from swimming, she has started a few of her own projects, but still stays fit and posts plenty of pics of everything from training and nights out to hanging out with her dog.
17 Sydney Leroux
One of the finest (that word can be used to mean two things) soccer players in the United States is an Instagram-er that should be on everyone's "to follow" list. A staple of the United States' national soccer teams for seven years now, the Canadian-born striker currently plays professionally for the Seattle Reign. If you missed her appearance in ESPN's 2013 Body Issue, you can see much of the same stuff on her Instagram page.
16 Alex Morgan
In case you didn't pick up on it with the mention of Sydney Leroux, the US Women's soccer team has some great athletes who are also easy on the eyes. Alex Morgan is probably the most beautiful but feel free to judge for yourself. Hope Solo is up there, but she has a violent streak (allegedly) and not in a good way. One of the most prolific scorers in the game today, Morgan now plays for the Portland Thorns FC. Aside from the obvious endorsements that come with an athletic career, she is also a published author.
15 Michelle Jenneke
Michelle Jenneke is probably as widely known for her unconventional pre-competition warm up as she is for actually being a talented sprinter and hurdler. If you haven't seen it, she basically gets out there and looks like she just has fun getting ready to race. She achieved pseudo-celebrity status back in 2012 which included a few endorsements and mainstream media attention. For the purposes of dudes out there who don't look for credentials, she's a beautiful brunette who is definitely worth a follow on Instagram.
14 Miesha Tate
Tate is currently the number two Women's Bantamweight contender in the UFC. If Ronda Rousey (spoiler alert, more on her later), beats Cat Zingano (very likely) later this week, Miesha might get another crack at the belt. Outside of the octagon, and when she isn't trying to break other women, she is actually great looking, having also been in the ESPN Body Issue before. Her Instagram features training pictures, and also pictures from her everyday life, all worth checking out.
13 Meghan Hardin
Meghan Hardin competes in golf, but doesn't have to as she can make as much money as any young woman will ever need by modelling. She is sponsored by Wilson Staff and has been on a couple of reality TV shows. Check out her Instagram if you want to see some golf pics, along with a gorgeous blonde hair/blue eyes routine that never gets old.
12 Victoria Azarenka
The Belorussian former number one tennis player in the world comes in as our number twelve. The six-footer has been on the professional tours for over 10 years and at age 25, she's by no means the youngest playing in the sport but she has a couple of years left. Check her out on Instagram if you wish to learn the true meaning of the phrase "legs 'til next week."
11 Paula Creamer
And the award for "best last name on the list" goes to, you guessed it, Paula Creamer!
For those of you still reading, thanks for tolerating the horrible joke. Time for another golfer, dear readers. Paula Creamer, who has been competing since 2004, has 10 wins on the LPGA Tour. She got married last year, and while there may be a picture or two of her and a husband on there, steer clear of those and all you'll see is a foxy golfing babe.
10 Blair O'Neal
No list of beautiful athletes can be complete without a few golfers, and Blair O'Neal is the epitome of a beautiful golfer-turned-model. She's been golfing for quite a while but has yet to make it onto the full LPGA, having spent much of her time on the Symetra Tour, the LPGA's developmental tour. Much of her success has come from modelling, and if you don't believe us, check out her Instagram page!
9 Gracie Gold
Any list about beautiful athletes requires at least one figure skater. Gracie Gold is our first. You might remember her from the 2014 Olympics when she won a bronze medal. She was also the US national champ for that same year. On her Instagram, you can find mostly figure skating related shots but plenty more to keep you entertained. While the dancing thing and terrible music choices may not please everyone, a total doll like Gracie Gold is an example of why figure skating is great, even if you hate the sporting aspect of it.
8 Anna Rawson
If one were to say that this article was somewhat "golfer-heavy" I wouldn't take that as a criticism, as these golfers are all gifted on and off the field. Aussie golfer Anna Rawson may be one of the older ladies on this list but she doesn't look it by any means. Her golfing career was never particularly successful as she never won a professional tournament, but working as a model and earning her MBA seems to fit her very well. Her Instagram features images of the golf and swimsuit persuasion.
7 Tiffany Suarez
The 5'11 guard for the Virginia Cavaliers women's basketball team is our only basketball player on the list. Suarez is a gorgeous blond from Miami who is currently in her junior year. Along with the usual sport related shots and a few pics from select dinners, Suarez uses her Instagram to post plenty of motivational and inspirational pictures. Did we mention she's absolutely stunning? That's important too.
6 Ronda Rousey
The UFC's Bantamweight Women's champion, Ronda Rousey is also a champion when it comes to Instagram. While she is no stranger to having her picture taken, especially with regard to her pics in the ESPN Body Issue, her Instagram is very much like her own mindset: training-based. We can't say a bad thing about Rowdy Ronda's Instagram, first because the pictures are awesome, but also because we like our arms unbroken.
5 Angela Rypien
Legends Football League (former Lingerie Football League) quarterback Angela Rypien is the daughter of former NFL QB and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien. The only football player on the list, she is a gifted athlete and one of the most outstanding performers the league has ever seen. On Instagram, you can find her in all sorts of football related attire, but also plenty of the standard "hey, look how beautiful I am" shots which everybody loves.
4 McKayla Maroney
McKayla Maroney may not be impressed with your shenanigans (Google: McKayla Maroney meme) but we are infinitely impressed with the 19 year old American gymnast's Instagram page. The gold and silver medalist from the 2012 Olympic games is one of the most beautiful athletes in the world right now and who can blame her for showing it off. Her specialty is the Vault, and she has won over ten competitions in that event. In the last two years, she has tried her hand at acting, appearing in Hart of Dixie and Bones.
3 Alana Blanchard
For those of you wondering, "where are the surfers, damn it," sorry for the delay, but surfers are always at the end of the list because, well... look at them, they belong in the low numbers. Hawaiian surfer Alana Blanchard has over one million followers on Instagram, so you may already be following her. The page is pretty much what you'd expect from a 24 year old who spends her time at the beach and in the surf. It's beautiful, a word that barely does her any justice.
2 Kaylyn Kyle
Oh Canada indeed. Canadian women's national team midfielder Kaylyn Kyle is our number two and it is well-earned. Born in Saskatchewan, Canada (a flat expanse of fields, roughly equivalent to Canada's Nebraska) she has been playing professionally since 2006, and recently joined the Portland Thorns FC. Her Instagram page has some soccer content but really focuses on the fact that she is gorgeous and has a keen interest in fashion.
1 Anastasia Ashley
For those of you who, after seeing Alana Blanchard on the list, needed to see another surfer, you're in luck and you're welcome. The number one female athlete to follow on Instagram is the gorgeous Californian; Anastasia Ashley. There isn't much too unusual on her page; she spends time at the beach, likes to pose next to boards, and sometimes puts on dresses and has pictures taken. She's another perfect "ten" and if you're into stunning women who regularly pose in bikinis, ride waves and post related pictures online, she should be next on your list.
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