20 Of The Best Moments For Female Athletes

20 Of The Best Moments For Female Athletes In The Past 12 Months

by | Aug 27, 2020

While there’s still a long way to go, the past 12 months has seen huge strides towards equal recognition, respect and reward for female athletes. So this International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting some of the innumerable moments that have cemented women in sporting history. 

Here are 20 of the most fist-pumping, goosebump-inducing achievements for women in sport in the past year. 

1. Gymnast Simone Biles made history hitting the “hardest move in the world”

Simone Biles continues to raise the bar in competitive gymnastics. The four-time Olympic gold medalist made history last year when she landed a triple-double during her floor routine at the United States championships. No one else has ever landed a triple-twisting double somersault in competition. This feat came after Biles became the first person to land a double-double as part of a dismount on the balance beam. There’s not much this woman can’t do. 

Watch the incredible move below…

2. Allyson Felix breaks medal record 10 months after having an emergency C-section

Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix broke Usain Bolt’s record 10 months after having an emergency C-section. She’s the only athlete (man or woman) to win 12 gold medals at the track and field World Championships. Beyond impressive.

3. Tyler Wright’s return to surfing after a virus left her bed ridden for over a year

The past two years have been testing for Tyler Wright, to say the least. The two-time world surf champ developed the flu during a tour of South Africa in July 2018, with the infection leading to post-viral syndrome – a debilitating neurological condition that can cause weakness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, stiffness and aches and pains. 

After 14 months being bed ridden, Wright returned to the WSL circuit at the Maui Pro in late 2019 and made it to the final facing off against Steph Gilmore who took out the title. The feat proved that not only was she back to full-fitness but that a third World Title was very much in her sights.

4. Fans chant ‘equal pay’ after the U.S Soccer World Cup

After the U.S. claimed the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, the crowd’s cheers of jubilation slowly turned into chants for equal pay. The footage shows fans chanting ‘equal pay’ from the stands, reportedly as FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino took the stage following the game. The 2019 cup was the fourth win for the U.S. women’s team, who took home a large slice of the $30 million prize money ($42 million AUD) – this is less than 10 per cent of the $400 million ($572 million AUD) prize money on offer for the 2018 men’s World Cup. 

Despite pay setbacks, the USA Women’s team proved their bankability with their World Cup shirt becoming Nike’s bestselling jersey of all time with the company selling more of the women’s shirt online than any other in a single season. 

Watch the goosebump-inducing chant below…

5. Sam Kerr’s history making hat trick

Leading her team to victory against Jamaica at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Matildas captain Sam kicked all four goals and became the first Australian – male or female – to score a hat-trick in a final.

6. Matildas’ landmark equal pay deal

Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia announced a landmark collective bargaining agreement that closes the pay gap between Australia’s national teams. This historic deal sees the Socceroos and Matildas receive an equal 24% share of an agreed aggregate of national team generated revenues in 2019-20 and the women will receive an increased annual salary from around $66,000 to $100,000 – the same amount as the top Socceroos.

7. Ellyse Perry smashes records across the board

It seems like Ellyse Perry’s feats on the cricket pitch makes headlines every second day and we ain’t mad about it. The top-ranked all-rounder made sporting history last July when she became the first cricketer of either gender to reach the all-round milestone of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in the Twenty20 Internationals.

See behind the scenes on Ellyse Perry’s Women’s Health cover shoot…

8. Cricket Australia announce game-changing parental leave program

Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association announced that players will receive up to 12 months of paid parental leave and a guaranteed contract extension the following year when they return to play. The support doesn’t stop there: they’ll also receive travel support for their child until the age of 4. As Clea Smith said at the launch of the landmark policy earlier today, “It will see our champions stay in the game a decade longer.” Why? Because becoming pregnant always “raised [questions] whether your contract would get renewed”, Alyssa Healy said at the launch, but now women won’t have to choose between their careers and motherhood anymore. And that’s a MASSIVE win.

9. Tayla Harris takes on the trolls

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been a year since the now iconic image of AFLW star Tayla Harris kicking went viral for all the wrong reasons. When the picture posted on 7AFL’s Twitter account was swamped by misogynistic online trolls, before being controversially removed by the network, it ignited an important – and overdue – conversation around sexism in sport.

“My hamstring is okay, but sexist and derogatory comments aren’t,” Harris said.

You can watch Tayla Harris’ epic kick below…

10. Brigid Kosegei breaks women’s marathon world record

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has taken more than a minute off the women’s world record time for the marathon in Chicago but she’s not done yet.

“I’m still focusing to reduce my time again,” she added after the race. “If it’s possible.”

11. Lauren Parker’s return to paratriathlons 9 months after horrific accident

Having been a successful triathlete, coming second in the gruelling 2015 Ironman World Championships, her career crumbled in one five-second moment in 2017, when two weeks out from a race she was an accident that left her instantly paralysed from the waist down. Less than a year later, she was back doing the sport she loves, taking the bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She was recently recognised at the NSW Sport Awards and, in September 2019, Lauren secured her own piece of para-triathlon history, winning the PTWC World Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland.

12. Coco Gauff beats her hero Venus Williams

The youngest ever Wimbledon qualifier, 15-year-old Cori Gauff, beat Venus Williams in straight sets and in her post match interview she had nothing but respect for her idol.

“She [Venus Williams] said congratulations,” Gauff said. “I told her, ‘Thank you for everything that you did. I wouldn’t be here without you.’ I always wanted to tell her that.”

13. Ash Barty’s dominance 

Currently ranked #1 in the world singles by the Women’s Tennis Association, hers is one of the greatest (and most inspiring) sporting stories of recent times. At the age of just 23, this year Barty became the first Australian to the French Open in 46 years, since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley. This incredible achievement made her only the second Aussie woman ever to take top spot on the world tennis rankings, rising from #623 to #1 in just three years. But it’s not just the high that have awarded Barty acclaim it’s how she handles the lows too. The tennis star was praised for her humble post-loss press conference during the 2020 Australian Open. 

“My sister just had her about 11, 12 weeks ago. Yeah, this is what life is all about. It’s amazing,” Barty said. “Perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing. She brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court. I got to give her a hug. It’s all good.”

Watch Ash Barty’s press conference below…

14. Tia Clair Toomey wins her third Crossfit Games Title

Aussie weightlifter and CrossFit Games athlete has well and truly cemented her status at world’s fittest woman after she became first female in history to win the Crossfit Games three years in a row.

15. NRL appoint their first female ref

In a move 111 years in the making, the NRL have announced Belinda Sharpe was to become the first ever female top flight referee to officiate a match. 

“I just loved rugby league growing up and I played touch football, ended up refereeing touch footy and made the transition from there,” the Queenslander told NRL.com. “The game has been my passion and now I’ve turned that into a full-time career.”

16. Hannah Green wins Australias first golf major in 13 years

For some, Hannah Green’s PGA Championship win at the Hazeltine National Golf Club seemingly came out of nowhere, but the news was by no means a surprise to anyone who’s seen her swing. After turning pro in 2016, she worked her way through the Symetra tour in the US in 2017 winning three events, claiming rookie of the year and gaining her ticket to the LPGA. When the 22-year-old took out the major, she became the first Australian woman to win a golfing major in 13 years and one of only three Australian women to ever do so. 

17. Sam Kerr gets signed to Chelsea

Aussie football star Sam Kerr joined English club Chelsea on a two-an-a-half-year deal worth more than $600,000 a season, making her one of the highest paid female footballers in the world. An undoubtedly well deserved pay packet. 

WATCH what Kerr thinks about being a role model…

18. Kim Clijsters makes her tennis comeback after a seven-year hiatus 

Seven years and three babies later, Kim Clijsters has returned to the tennis circuit, coming out of retirement at the age of 36 to play in the WTA Tour in 2020.

“For the past seven years I’ve been a full-time mum, and I love it. I really, really do. But I also loved being a professional tennis player. And honestly… I miss that feeling. So… what if I tried to do both? Could I be a loving mum to my three kids and be the best tennis player I can possibly be? Let’s do this, let’s come back one more time.”

19. Sarah Thomas becomes the first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop

One year after being treated for breast cancer US woman Sarah Thomas became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times non-stop. Finishing the epic challenge in 54 hours, Thomas dedicated her swim to “all the survivors out there”.

20. “Spider Woman” Aries Susanti Rahayu breaks women’s speed climbing world record

Indonesia’s Aries Susanti Rahayu – who was nursing a nagging hand injury, FYI – finished the 15 metre course at this weekend’s IFSC Climbing World Cup in just 6.995 seconds. 

WATCH her incredible climb below…

Recommended to you

More From