Girls on Fire

Photo By: West Point – The U.S. Military Academy

 

Take a step back, gentlemen, it’s time for the ladies to shine. Today, we see ladies from all walks of life soar to greater heights in their respective industries. It’s not news to anyone that this is no longer just a man’s world.

 

This uprisal of strong women is naturally a common sight in the sports industry too. From the depths of the ocean to the highest peaks of grand mountains, brave women unabashedly continue to make a name for themselves. 

 

In light of International Women’s Day, allow us to introduce just some of the most inspirational women in the world of sports.

 

Photo By: Sport SG

 

Theresa Goh, 33, Paralympic Swimmer, Singapore:

 

Despite being paralysed from her waist down due to a medical condition called spina bifida, the self-proclaimed “Unicorn of the Sea” has seen a lot of success in her 20-year career. From being the first female local swimmer to compete at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens to bringing home the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2014, Goh was inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame, and this almost definitely ensures that her legacy will live on.

 

Although she retired in September 2019, Goh continues to use her voice on her social media platforms to advocate and fight for equality and inclusivity of disabled persons. On her birthday, she set up an online fund-raiser for The Courage Fund, further promoting the message of kindness among her fellow Singaporeans.

 

The More You Know:

Be sure to support the Singapore National Paralympics Council as they take part in many major events this upcoming year, including the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the ASEAN Para Games 2020

 

Photo By: Sabre Blade | Flickr

 

Ronda Rousey, 33, MMA Fighter / Professional Wrestler, USA:

 

Starting off at a very young age, Rousey spent her early years as a Judoka and even represented the USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Despite falling short on clinching a medal, she continued on into the world of Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) and earned herself the title of being the “Baddest Woman on The Planet”. If we were to list down all her accolades, this article may never end. 

 

While her professional fighting career might still be up in the air, be it in the world of MMA or Professional Wrestling, Rousey is no stranger to fighting for social causes as well. During her career, we have seen her speak out on body image issues. She also spends a fair bit in support of charities that deal with world hunger and mental health issues

 

The More You Know:

Popularity of the MMA scene in Singapore is rising exponentially. Today, there are many gyms that offer MMA classes. Whether you’re in need of an outlet for your aggression or you’re looking to learn something new, why not?

 

Photo By: Edwin Martinez | Flickr

 

Serena Williams, 39, Tennis Player, USA:

 

After 73 single titles, 23 double titles and two mixed double titles, one would think that this extremely decorated player would have had enough and hung up her tennis shoes. However, that is not the case for one of the all-time tennis greats. In an interview published by CheatSheet, Williams joked that she’s only looking to consider retirement in 20 years. 

 

With that said, Williams looks to inspire her fans off the court as well. Throughout her career, the tennis legend has loudly advocated for equality, vowing to fight for equality till her dying breath. To this day, she has played her part in supporting many charities and events, even helping to open schools in Jamaica, Kenya and Uganda.

 

The More You Know:

In 2018, Serena Williams launched her own fashion line that promotes inclusivity for all. Her brand focuses on ensuring that everyone (specifically women) are cheered on and supported through the hashtag #BeSeenBeHeard.

 

Photo By: Colston Julian

 

Vinesh Phogat, 26, Wrestler, India:

 

When it comes to this young lady, the calibre of great wrestling seems to be simply hereditary. Phogat was trained at a very young age by her uncle, Mahavir Phogat, who was a former wrestler in his own right. She clinched the bronze medal at the Asian Wrestling Championship in 2013, marking the start of her very illustrious career. Her breakthrough came when she won the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

 

The story of her family was immortalised in the form of a movie, Dangal. The movie showcased her initial struggles as she found her way into the sport, due to societal perception and boundaries. Despite the early pressures in their careers, many praise the Phogat women for their rebellious spirits.

 

The More You Know:

If your interest towards wrestling has been piqued but you’re unsure of where to start, we suggest taking a lighter look at the sport with Professional Wrestling. Take a chance and catch one of Singapore Pro-Wrestling’s shows. Better yet, train with them!

 

Photo By: Wojciech Migda

 

Park Inbee, 32, Golf, South Korea:

 

The LPGA’s announcement to name Park as the player of the decade, comes as no surprise. In the entire duration of her career, ever since turning pro in 2006, Park has won seven major championships and has seen 19 LPGA Tour victories. Park was also unsurprisingly named Rolex Player of The Year and was awarded the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

 

Although her successful career alone is beyond awe-inspiring, it is her undying thirst to constantly be her best that has earned the world’s respect. Park’s resolve was put on a test as she overcame back and hand injuries to claim her first Olympic gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Golf Course in 2016.

 

The More You Know:

In the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Park looks to defend her title despite having a rough 2019. Will her losing streak continue or will she repeat history once again and uphold her legendary status?

 

Photo By: Honour Singapore

 

Mary Klass, 85, Sprinter, Singapore:

 

Bent on making a name for herself, Klass brought home the silver medal in the 1954 Asian Games in Manila and even represented Singapore’s Senior Team during the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. In 2016, the trailblazer was inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame.

 

The start of Klass’ running career was not the smoothest one. In a short film by Honour Singapore, we saw how Klass earned herself the moniker of “Queen of Sprint” despite facing financial hardship and strong societal pressures. When asked about her hopes for today’s athletes, she says: “What I have done, don’t follow me. Do better than me.”

 

The More You Know:

One of Klass’ inspirations to start her career was Tang Pui Wah, Singapore’s first female Olympian. Tang first represented Singapore in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, making her the torchbearer for female athletes in Singapore.

 

Photo By: Shailee Basnet

 

Seven Summits Women Team, Mountain Climbing, Nepal:

 

While these ladies may not have been the first to conquer the World’s 7 Summits, what they’ve accomplished is simply no easy feat. Earning the recognition of the Nepalese Government and even the White House, this band of ladies have definitely made their monumental mark in our history books. 

 

After a successful first climb, the team founded the Global Inclusive Adventure Organization (GIA). The organisation focuses on education, empowerment and environmental awareness. In late 2014, GIA started training survivors of sex trafficking in hopes that they could provide these (often) young women with a dignified, empowered and economically prosperous life.

 

The More You Know:

The first woman to conquer the 7 Summits was a trailblazer in her own rights. Besides the mountains, Junko Taibei also overcame society’s aggressive views on what a woman should be. In 1969, she founded her own climbing club for women.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

As with all good things, this article must come to an end. However, our list is in no way representative of all the women who continue to break down dated barriers. In fact, we’d love to hear from you too! If you have a sportswoman in mind who you feel deserves the world’s recognition, let us know by uploading a post on Facebook and/or Instagram and tag us!

 

 

 

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