10 Famous Black Female Athletes

These ten famous black female athletes dominate many sports, from tennis to Olympic competitions. These women are champions, role models and many have gone on to become celebrities outside their individual sports. These females remain as popular as anyone competing in athletic competition today.

  1. Venus Williams – Venus Williams is a tennis player that reached the top of the list of famous black female athletes along with her sister. She reached No. 1 in the Women’s Tennis Association three times as of September 2010. In 2001, "Ladies Home Journal" named her one of America’s 30 most powerful women.
  2. Serena Williams – Serena Williams is the sister of Venus Williams, and the two are the most popular pair of famous black female athletes. She reached No. 1 in the Women’s Tennis Association five times as of September 2010. Serena has appeared in television shows and posed twice for the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issues.
  3. Marion Jones – Marion Jones has been a famous black female athlete since she won a record five track-and-field medals at the 2000 Olympic Games. She recently achieved notoriety when the IOC stripped her of all five medals when the BALCO case implicated her of steroid use. She spent six months in prison for perjury in the case.
  4. Florence Griffith-Joyner – Joyner holds the record for both the 100m and 200m races, both set in 1988. She won three gold medals in 1988 at the Summer Olympics. She won the AP female athlete of the year in 1988. Despite dying of heart failure at the age of 38, she remains one of the most famous black female athletes of all time.
  5. Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Jackie Joyner-Kersee won six medals in the Summer Olympics, including three gold medals. “Sports Illustrated for Woman” voted Joyner-Kersee the top female athlete of the 20th century. Joyner-Kersee helped found Athletes for Hope, an organization helping athletes get involved in charitable causes.
  6. Sheryl Swoopes – Sheryl Swoopes became the first player drafted by the WNBA. Swoopes won an NCAA Championship playing for Texas Tech in 1993 during her senior year. She also won a gold medal in 1996 as a member of the U.S. Olympic team. More proof that she is one of the most famous black female athletes is the fact that she is the first woman to have a basketball shoe named after her.
  7. Cheryl Miller – Cheryl Miller is a member of the first ever Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class. In 2010, she also became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame for her international play. In college at USC, she earned All-American honors all four years she played. The older sister of Reggie Miller, Miller won three gold medals as one of the most famous black female athletes ever.
  8. Cheryl Ford – The daughter of Karl Malone, Cheryl Ford played for Louisiana Tech before Detroit drafted her in 2003 to the WNBA. She led Detroit from a losing season to the Championship in her first year. She became a famous black female athlete when she became the first woman to win a championship and Rookie of The Year in the same year.
  9. Dominique Dawes – Dominique Dawes was an American gymnast for ten years, winning a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics. She became the first black female athlete to win an individual medal in Olympic artistic gymnastics. She is also the first black athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic gymnastics.
  10. Vonetta Flowers – Vonetta Flowes started her career as a sprinter in college but when she couldn’t qualify for the Olympics, she began bobsledding. In the 2002 Winter Olympics, she became the first black athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
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