If 2015 was the hottest year on record, then 2016 so far shows no signs of cooling down. Wherever viewers turn on their television screens, their tablets or mobiles to watch the sporting action this year, one thing they can be guaranteed for sure is being entertained with stunning talent that looks just as good off the field as they do on it.
Female sports are on the rise across every discipline – motorsports, soccer, MMA/UFC, tennis; so long as it’s heated competition then the ladies will come out to play and people will be tuning into the action in the millions. In a huge year that will see Rio do it all over again to host the 2016 Olympic Games, no less than two years after doing such a stellar job with the 2014 FIFA World Cup, all eyes will be on Brazil in the summer.
Best known for showing off the sexiest beaches on the planet, the Copacabana crowd will be treated to endurance, strength, discipline and mind-blowing skills from a host of gifted athletes. You name it – judo, triathlon, water polo, table tennis, rowing, rugby, handball, golf, fencing – sports fans can gorge on the fun when South America turns it on.
Regular readers here at TheSportster know a sexy sports star when they see one. In racing, soccer, hockey, golf and WWE Divas, a gorgeous female athlete will provide a different dimension to an engaging spectacle. Far from being their one and only talent, professionals like these are double threats that have fans and sponsors falling over themselves to get a piece.
Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, our essential 20 will probably split opinion. Some names will be pleasantly familiar with a few surprises for good measure. These are the top 20 hottest sports stars of 2016.
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20 Hope Solo
The undoubted Golden Girl of female soccer with The Midas Touch. Hope Solo is not just an awesome name for a sports star on the world stage, but an icon of strength and elegance all in the one package. The USA’s 2015 World Cup champion also won gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games for her nation and, as well as radiating during a red carpet event or photo shoot, Solo’s stint on Dancing with the Stars demonstrates that how multifaceted the keeper is. But the sexy star is no stranger to controversy, having been involved with various domestic assault cases, one of those leading into the 2015 tournament.
19 Alicia Fox
The old saying “once bitten, twice shy” does not apply to sexy WWE Diva Alicia Fox. Her very public confrontation with ex-boyfriend Bad News Barrett last year gave fans the chance to see a vulnerable but strong woman who won’t back down under any circumstance. That red hair and devilish smile creates a cocktail of seduction as the former wedding planner has gone on to star in WWE over the lastdecade. The sassy girl from Florida now forms part of Team Bella and we feel we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the near future!
18 Anna Prugova
Topping the pile of sexiest female hockey players on the planet, Anna Prugova should easily hold top honors. And having a look at what the 22-year old has to offer, it is hard to build a case against the assertion. Sexy poses – tick. Gorgeous blonde in bikini – tick. Great with a stick – tick. The youngest member of the women’s hockey tournament in 2010 happens to be a social media star for good measure – showing off those curves and reflexes to great effect.
17 Courtney Force
Sister to famous driving sibling Ashley, Courtney is a 27-year old force to be reckoned with on and off the track. The NHRA driver from Calif has eight career wins to date and in 2014 became the first female Funny Car driver to notch up four victories on the circuit within a single season. But the blonde bombshell makes just as many headlines posing nude on the bonnet of a hot car and strutting down the red carpet.
16 Sydney Carter
Something of a journeywoman in her brief WNBA career to date. 25-year old Texas product Sydney Carter has struggled to keep a regular roster spot and although her PPG stats have been heading on a downward trajectory, her radiance and sexiness is evident for all to see on social media. Her regular Instagram selfies and poses don’t tell the story of a woman struggling to deal with the pressures of cracking the top woman’s league in the world.
15 Maria Sharapova
Now one of the most controversial sports stars on the planet, Sharapova’s positive drug test at the 2016 Australian Open has dramatically altered public perception of the tennis player. Until a verdict is handed down, she remains a multiple Grand Slam winner, entrepreneur and socialite – just some of the guises Maria Sharapova takes on during her hectic schedule traveling the world on the WTA circuit. Since collecting two French Open titles since defeating Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004 to put her name up in lights, the Russian-born athlete has become very comfortable in the spotlight to front numerous marketing campaigns to begin an incredibly lucrative modeling career away from the court. One of the hottest sports stars, but now one of the most controversial.
14 Kaylyn Kyle
Golfing before the Super Bowl, tanning by the pool, selfies with the hubby – Canadian soccer star Kaylyn Kyle is undoubtedly one of the most stunning athletes in the world of sports right now. The 27-year old midfielder with 101 national caps gets plenty of attention for obvious reasons, taking on a leadership role that takes on more importance with every passing tournament. With plenty of years at the top level to come, Kyle is more than worthy of being the face of the Canadian women’s soccer team.
13 Felice Herrig
Demonstrating how depression doesn’t discriminate on wealth, status or success, MMA fighter Felice Herrig’s stunning admission that she battled personal demons outlined how confident the athlete is now in her own skin to confront the issue so publicly in 2015. The diminutive 31-year old is small in size, but large in stature, accumulating 10 wins and 6 losses from her time in the cage so far. Her racy photo shoots show that even if she struggles to find win number 11, there will be plenty of modeling work in retirement.
12 Natalie Gulbis
An LPGA world ranking of 381 might not seem that impressive, but throw in total package of career earnings over $4.89 million and Natalie Gulbis’ 1 career victory is looking more lucrative every day. Off the course is a different story altogether. Much like Anna Kournikova in the tennis arena, the 33-year old American has set pulses racing with bikini cover shots that don’t leave much to the imagination, evening heading out on the green to sex up a usually placid and conservative setting. Looks like a Fox News host, but can seriously swing a golf club!
11 Maria Kirilenko
The proud new mother was humbled by the love she received upon giving berth to her first child last year, but she won’t let the new addition to the family completely interrupt her goals on the WTA tour. The diminutive Russian’s six career titles have pocked the player a neat $6.8 million in prize money alone. The covers on Sports Illustrated, showing off her figure in a tight bikini on the beach, demonstrate that Kirilenko is willing to branch out of her comfort zone to maximize her earnings while she is still prominent on the circuit. Smart call.
10 Paige VanZant
A bloody beating brought the beautiful 21-year old Paige VanZant crashing back to earth late last year, admitting that the bashing at the hands of Rose Namaiunas was a lesson in UFC fighting to the extreme. The good news for her fans is that she is treating it like a pro, going on social media to poke fun at her own expense and showing off her killer bod as though the setback didn’t mean a thing. The seventh ranked Strawweight is getting used to turning from sexy diva into a ruthless machine in the cage and being so young, VanZant will come back stronger. Beware!
9 Skylar Diggins
At 25 the most marketable and sexiest face in the WNBA is the one, the only Skylar Diggins, who is a consistent performer for the Tulsa Shock. Her prowess with the ball is matched by her veracious personality that comes through on Instagram – showing off that million-dollar smile, neat jump shot and commitment to her craft through a regime of diet and exercise. Sounds exhausting!
8 Caroline Wozniacki
Star-studded romantic match ups with J.J. Watt and Rory McIlroy never materialized to much, to the chagrin of the collective tabloid media and paparazzi pack, but Danish tennis sensation Caroline Wozniacki is on a mission to crack her first grand slam title. While she's been ranked number one on the WTA tour, she still hasn't managed to win one on the grandest of stages. Regardless, the regular semi finalist is considered a winner off the court, showing off that gorgeous smile and tantalizing physique that is to die for.
7 Becky Lynch
This redhead from Ireland doesn't share her countryman Conor McGregor's level of insanity, but is becoming as big of a name. But Becky Lynch might be off the market on account of another UFC star – reported to be Luke “Cool Hand” Sanders if the dating rumors are to be believed. The girl from Dublin trained to fight since the age of 15 and two years ago she graduated to ranks of NXT. Lynch is now a smoking hot edition to the world of wrestling and will be involved at this year's WrestleMania.
Daughter to the one and only Ric Flair, this member of WWE royalty is a blonde babe keen to create her own legacy in the sport that runs through her veins. The 29-year old was involved in an ugly contest against our number 7 – Becky Lynch, drawing blood in Minnesota this month. Fortunately a swift recovery has ensued, meaning the gorgeous bombshell can try and build on her inaugural Divas Title win. Whether Charlotte is shot in lingerie around the house or suiting up in purple in a WWE ring – she impresses.
5 Laura Robson
Young, hungry, fearless – these are just some of the apt descriptions that fit the characteristics of junior British tennis champion Laura Robson. The 22-year old is starting to make waves in the professional WTA set up, but she is also striking a chord with fans off the court. Her girl-next-door appeal contrasts to her never-say-die attitude on the court, where she has already managed over $1 million in prize money in her brief time on the circuit. She will be a regular in the tennis scene for a long time to come.
4 Toni Duggan
Squashing rumors of a love affair with fellow Manchester City player and Argentine star Sergio Aguero as “ridiculous” last year, the stunning 24-year old Brit Toni Duggan cannot deny how many admirers she is receiving on way to building her profile as a soccer star. The carefree striker is always in a good mood on her Instagram account, positing images of her in games, training, fooling around with teammates and traveling the world for one of the richest sports clubs on the planet. Life is good if you’re Toni Duggan!
3 Michelle Waterson
This is not a soccer mom you want to cross! UFC Fighter Michelle Waterson, with an imposing record of 13-4 in the cage, hails from Aurora and at the age of 30 she is reaching peak physical conditioning to devastate other women in the Strawweight division with lethal speed and cunning accuracy. Her social media presence makes three things abundantly clear – she loves her family, her support team and the sport of UFC. Waterson also happens to be incredibly attractive for good measure.
2 Ronda Rousey
Although the Holly Holm defeat threatened to tarnish her legacy and standing in the sport of UFC, Ronda Rousey’s intimidating persona inside and outside the fighting arena puts her on a different level for a modern day athlete. Rousey uses her softer side to market her beauty to perfection, posing topless on Sports Illustrated covers and changing gears to suit the scenario at hand. At 29, she is far from a spent force and remains one of the sexiest athletes on the planet.
1 Eugenie Bouchard
Few Canadians have made a splash like Eugenie Bouchard. The super sexy tennis pro has everything still ahead of her at 22 and unlike some other aesthetically pleasing players in the past like Kournikova, Bouchard has the swagger to back up the hype. Her 830,000 Instagram followers and counting are treated to her tongue-in-cheek attitude and her lust for life is evident. Her ranking of 42 is going up every year and Eugenie is worthy of taking top honors for the hottest sports star of 2016!
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