Female athletes who will change society

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These 45 female athletes inspire us: they fight for the climate, for the rights of female athletes, for gender equality and show with their daring adventures that they are in no way inferior to men. From B for gymnast Simones Biles to Y for swimmer Fu Yuanhui.

Here comes Part 2 of 3 on female athletes who are changing the world.


Anne Haug, triathlete (born 1983)

Even at 40, Germany's best triathlete is still not thinking about retiring - "I don't think age is a limit," she told Stern. She won the Ironman in Hawaii in 2019 and came third in 2022. However, she is not only a role model for women of all ages in terms of sport, but after a corona infection she developed diabetes, after a change in diet she is fit again and thus encourages other sufferers.


Margo Hayes, sport climber (born 1998)

At just 20 years old, Margo Hayes set out to close the gender gap in climbing. In 2017, she became the first woman to climb a 9a+ route that only around 60 men worldwide have climbed. And after this female first ascent of the Spanish La Rambla, she immediately followed up with the French biography. As a high fashion model, she also brings sport and fashion together.


Sarah Hunter, rugby player (born 1986)

The Englishwoman has a long history of suffering behind her: for five months, doctors were unable to find a reason for the nerve pain in her neck. It took 13 months before she was able to return to professional league. Giving up was not an option for her, and Hunter triumphed at the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup: in her 138th international match, she overtook Rochelle Clark as England's rugby player with the most appearances of all time.


Ana Ivanovic, tennis player (born 1987)

The Serbian-born UNICEF ambassador was appointed in 2007 during her active career. Today, Bastian Schweinsteiger's wife still works in this role to promote the interests of children. The former world number one is also an ambassador for the British Quercus Foundation, which works to improve the living conditions of children and young people.


Piper Kelly, climber (born 1999)

The talented US speed climber Piper Kelly has made a name for herself with her unexpected qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games. Piper said after her performance at the Pan American Games: "I'm totally overwhelmed ... I can't believe I actually did it." She beat her personal best time, highlighting her determination and anticipation for the competitions in Paris. Her story proves that dreams can become reality with passion and hard work. We love it!


Billie Jean King, tennis player (born 1943)

In the 1960s, the US-American fought for financial equality for women in professional sport, and in 1981 she came out as homosexual. Together with other female tennis players, she founded the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) in 1973, which still exists today. And she recently promoted women's flag football at the Super Bowl.


Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, mountain climber (born 1984)

No mountain is too high for her. Pasang has already climbed K2 and Mount Everest, following in the footsteps of her namesake Pasang Ljamu Sherpa, the first Nepalese woman to climb Everest. Both women stood out for their social commitment and their love of mountaineering. For her efforts for Nepal, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Aktik was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic in 2016.


Amazin LeThi, bodybuilder

The Vietnamese woman experienced sexual discrimination at an early age and wants to inspire others with her story. She is currently the first and only Asian LGBTQ athlete to simultaneously hold multiple roles as a sports ambassador in the world. She advises governments, Fortune 500 companies, sports and international organizations around the world (including the United Nations).


Tegla Loroupe, marathon runner (born 1979)

Running to school every day laid the foundation for this extraordinary talent from Kenya. Tegla Loroupe is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of famous top athletes who are committed to promoting peace in the world through sport. In addition to running a school, she also runs an orphanage, is an ambassador for the Special Oympics and Unicef, has her own foundation and is involved in many other social projects, including refugee aid. She was awarded the ISPO Cup in 2020 for her commitment.


Manuela Mandl, snowboarder (born 1988)

The city girl from Vienna is Austria's first snowboard freeride world champion - and loves nature. That's why she is not only a POW ambassador (Protect Our Winters) and is currently campaigning for a climate protection law in Austria, but is also doing her bit for climate protection herself: the snowboarder traveled to every Freeride World Tour competition using public transport.


Sarah McNair-Landry, adventurer

Sarah McNair-Landry is the youngest person to have reached both poles under her own steam, and she is the first woman in the world to be able to call herself a Master Polar Guide. She was born on Baffin Island, an island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and grew up with many sled dogs as the daughter of two polar guides. In 2018, the Canadian and her partner Erik Boomer repeated an epic journey that her parents had undertaken decades earlier - the circumnavigation of Baffin Island by dogsled.


Martina Navratilova, tennis player (born 1956)

She is one of the best players of all time. She was a fighter on the tennis court and in real life. Her outing over 40 years ago (1981 - just like Billie Jean King) caused a sensation, and she is still fighting for LGBTQ rights with determination and commitment today. It was recently revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer again.


Nouria Newman, kayaker (born 1991)

The Frenchwoman is a unique athlete: dedicated, very humble and always ready to take on the craziest challenges. For example, she is the first female kayaker to plunge down a 30-metre waterfall - that was in early 2021, when she crossed the Don Wilo waterfall, breaking the world record for women. Her social commitment is of course linked to her passion: she teaches children in Morocco, Argentina and Iran how to kayak.


Naomi Osaka, tennis player (born 1997)

Naomi Osaka is the rising star in tennis heaven: the Japanese player is considered an exceptional talent (the first Asian woman to be ranked number one in the world) and is a style icon with millions in advertising revenue every year. At the same time, she takes a political stand against racism and police violence and openly admits to suffering from depression. All this makes her a role model and figurehead for her generation.

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