Women’s History Month: 10 amazing stories of women who have totally transformed sports

March is Women’s History Month—the perfect time to start celebrating legendary women in sports if you aren’t already on a daily basis.

In a Presidential address to the nation in 1980, President Jimmy Carter said something remarkable that, in the name of celebrating history, deserves to be remembered today:

“Men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Thirty-seven years later, not much has changed when it comes to sports. Most people know the names of dozens, if not hundreds, of male athletes, but how many female athletes are household names? Women athletes haven’t received the same media coverage as their male counterparts—and Excelle Sports is helping to change that. 

Here, 10 stories that we’ve published in the past year that celebrate the game changers, pioneers and powerful women who have shifted perspectives and created opportunity in sports for the females who follow.

1. Donna de Varona paves the way for women in sports 

Olympic swimmer Donna de Varona onstage during the 34th annual Salute to Women In Sports Awards in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for the Women’s Sports Foundation)

2. How Ann Liguori became one of the most successful female sports broadcasters ever

3. South Carolina’s Dawn Staley reveals the secret sauce behind Gamecocks’ newfound success

Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks directs her team against the Connecticut Huskies at Colonial Life Arena on February 8, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

4. How WNBA president Lisa Borders went from ordinary basketball fan to the woman who has transformed the league

WNBA President Lisa Borders honoring the top players in WNBA history (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

5. Paige VanZant is redefining what it means to be a UFC fighter. And she doesn’t care what you think.

Paige VanZant speaks with the media in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

6. Black History Month: 18 African American athletes who have transformed sports

American Wilma Rudolph springs from the starting blocks in a qualifying heat for the women’s 200-meter dash at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. She would go on to set an Olympic record in the heat and win the gold medal in the 200-meter final. September 3, 1960.

7. Rio Olympics: Monica Puig makes history with first gold for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig reacts after winning her women’s singles final tennis match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber at the Olympic Tennis Centre of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2016. (Photo credit MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

8. Serena Williams wins Australian Open, record 23rd Grand Slam title

Serena Williams of the US looks at the championship trophy during the awards ceremony after her victory against Venus Williams of the US in the women’s singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2017. (Photo credit WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Chan Yuen-ting becomes first woman to coach professional men’s soccer team in continental competition

Coach Chan Yuen-ting of Guangzhou Evergrande and of Eastern vie for the ball during 2017 AFC Asian Champions League group match between Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C. and Eastern Sports Club at Tianhe Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo by VCG)

10. Emma Watson narrates short film featuring women’s hurdles final from 1964 Olympics


In celebration of women’s history month, check out Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History ($16.05). The hardcover celebrates dozens of pioneering, forgotten female athletes of the 20th century, with rarely seen photos and new interviews of past and present game changers, including runner Gabriela Andersen-Schiess and soccer’s Abby Wambach.


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