These women are the very best of the best in the world of Track and Field. Some of them have competed in the Olympics, or won events around the globe, winning medals in areas like 400 or 800 meters, or even pole vaulting or hurdles! They are strong, highly trained, and incredibly impressive at what they do. We love their skills, we love their style, and we can’t wait to hear what they’re going to do next!
Hilary Knight – Then
Hilary Knight became a member of the US national ice hockey team when she was just a teenager, and managed to show herself off at the Four Nations Cup in 2006. At 17-years-old, she was the youngest player for Team USA, but she didn’t let her age hold her back. In 2011, she managed to score the game winner during overtime to ensure a victory for the US Women’s National Team against Canada, earning the team its third consecutive world title.
Hilary Knight – Now
This stunning ice hockey player has been part of the World Championship winning team for the last three consecutive years (2015-2017) and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Alongside her efforts for the national team, she also moved to the NWHL team, Boston Pride, back in 2015. During her first ever game with the team, she scored the first goal and would then finish the season as the scoring champion of NWHL. And she’s still only 28!
Allyson Felix – Then
You’re looking at one of the fastest sprinters on the planet, best known for running in competitions which include the 200 meter, 400 meter, the 4x 100 meter relay race, and the 4 x 400 meter relay, too. She has been sprinting since she was in High school, and ran the fastest ever record at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships which took place in Mexico City. She also managed to achieve second place at the US Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Allyson Felix – Now
There’s literally no slowing down if you’re Allyson Felix. For the past 12 years she has been achieving medals at every event she competes at, and has even represented the United States in four separate Olympic games! In Athens in 2004 she scooped the silver medal, and then got both a gold and silver in Beijing, too. In 2012 she beat that with 3 gold medals, and most recently in Rio in 2016, she achieved two golds and a silver!
Maggie Vessey – Then
If you followed track and field in the early 2000’s, you can’t have missed Maggie Vessey, the gorgeous and talented 400 meter and 800 meter athlete. She has a ton of great achievements under her belt, winning 5th place in the US Olympic team trials, with an incredible time of a little more than two minutes for her quarter mile dash. In 2009, she won the gold medal for the 4×800 which took place in Nassau.
Maggie Vessey – Now
Although Maggie is still an athlete, running and competing in track and field, she is also now turned her attention to the world of business. She has launched her own line of sportswear for other athletes, and it’s doing pretty well! Many women her age are retiring from the world of sports, especially with a skill which takes such a toll on the body, but Maggie Vessey is not many women! She’s a total inspiration.
Lolo Jones – Then
Lolo came from a poor background, and her family even had a time where they didn’t have a roof over their heads. She was one of six children, and she remembers how without a home, they slept in the basement of the building of the Salvation Army. Despite these immense obstacles, Lolo, who was born Lori Jones, is now one of the most talented and impressive athletes in the whole of the United States, and has won 4 gold medals, from four separate competitions!
Lolo Jones – Now
Unfortunately, Lolo’s luck doesn’t seem to spread to the Olympics! However, she did manage to achieve something pretty cool, being chosen to be on the women’s bobsled team in Russia at the Winter Olympics. She also competed in the Beijing Summer Olympics back in 2008, but sadly fell in the middle of the hurdle race, ending up finishing the race seventh. This was even more tragic, considering that she had been pegged to take first place!
Michelle Kwan – Then
When it comes to strong female athletes, Michelle Kwan is at the top of the list. At just eighteen years old, Michelle made it to the 1998 Olympics where she took home a silver medal for the USA. But you know what they say, unless you can do it again, it’s a fluke. So that’s what Michelle did; she won another Olympic medal, this time bronze, and went on to win five World Championships. Unfortunately in 2006, Michelle sustained an injury and had to quit the world of figure skating.
Michelle Kwan – Now
Since ending her figure skating career, Michelle has kept things interesting. First stops , the University of Denver and Tufts University to study. After that, she put those degrees to go use and was the coordinator for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Stroke of luck, it was here Michelle met her husband, Clay Pell, a White House National Security member. Though, recently in 2017, the couple decided it wasn’t meant to be and have filed for divorce.
Sara Galimberti – Then
Another rising star in the world of track and field, you can’t miss Sara Galimberti. At only twenty-six years old, she is just getting to the pinnacle of her athletic career, and has been endorsed with some major sponsorships, keeping her in the limelight and making her a pretty penny, too! She is often called one of the hottest female athletes in the business, and she has won awards for both her athletic ability, and her looks too!
Sara Galimberti – Now
Born in Lombardia, Italy, she has won the regional Italian championships five times, in both the 800 meter and the 1500 meter competitions. She was also 3rd in the Italian Junior competitions. But it’s not just sports that she wins trophies for. She was crowned Miss Lombardia in 2009, the province which includes the fashion power capital of Milan. A beauty queen and a skilled athlete, a catch by anyone’s standards!
Anna Chicherova – Then
At the turn of the millennium, Anna Chicherova hit the ground running, literally soaring to great heights as a Russian High Jumper who made everyone pay attention. One of the first times she competed in her field she managed to achieve a silver medal! At the next Indoor Track and Field Championships the year after in Hungary, she won silver again. But the real headlines began when she moved to compete in the Beijing Olympics.
Anna Chicherova – Now
Rumors began to circulate that Anna Chicherova was using some kind of performance enhacing drugs in order to achieve her athletic prowess. And during the Olympics, these allegations were shown to be true! Anna was immediately disqualified from the games, and to her credit, she went on to become completely clean from drugs, and even won gold fair and square in the London Olympics in 2012. Good for her!
Jessica Ennis – Then
This British Heptathlete has been in the world of track and field since she was a teenager in high school, entering her first international competition 15 years ago, back in 2003. This was based in Canada, and she managed to achieve 5th place. She then moved onto the commonwealth youth games, winning second place in the 100 meter hurdles, and also the high jump. In 2012, she headed to the Olympics to make her debut.
Jessica Ennis – Now
Can’t stop won’t stop was an expression that could have been created for Jessica Ennis specifically. She has won competitions in more countries than most of us have even visited, from Turkey to Australia, to Spain, the UK, and more. In the 2012 Olympics she won gold in the Heptathlon, and then four years later, she won silver in the next Olympics held in Rio de Janero. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Grete Sadeiko – Then
Estonia is not known for it’s super athletes, but you’re looking at one of the few! Grete Sadeiko is an Estonian Heptathlete, which means she competes in seven different events at once, an incredible feat. She cares about her education as well as her sporting career, and after competing in the World Juniro Championships in both Canada and Spain, she headed off to Florida State, to work on getting a degree at the same time.
Grete Sadeiko – Now
In 2015, Grete competed in her home country, at the European U23 Championships, and she walked away with a very respectable 5th place. After this she has taken a step away from the sports limelight to focus on her private life. She is engaged to Robert Griffin the third, and they have a baby girl called Gloria. Despite shockingly not receiving an invite yet for the big day, we can’t wait to see the wedding pics.
Amy Acuff – Then
Since 1996, Amy has been ruling the high jump event, representing the United States of America in 5 Olympic games for their track and field team. In 2004, she won the bronze for them, by jumping 1.99 meters, only 0.02 off her all time record of 2.01. Unfortunately, 2.01 was at a meet in Switzerland, so isn’t one for the record books or that won her any medals. Also unfortunately, her Olympic days are now behind her.
Amy Acuff – Now
At 42 years old, you won’t see Amy Acuff long jumping again any time soon, and she has made a huge career change, moving into high tech. She now works in coding, after working hard to get educated in computer technology and developing. She even creates apps, some for sports, like her latest creation iAnalyze which is aimed at athletes and their coaches, as well as others, like one for locating the right vaccinations which kids need. Wonder woman!
Yelena Isinbayeva – Then
Born in Russia, this Olympic gold medallist is one of the best in the game when it comes to pole vaulting. She won her gold medals in 2004 and 2008 as well as winning the World Championship and incredible three times, too. She also has some records to her name, including being the first ever female pole vaulter to ever manage to get over the 5 meter barrier. In 2007, she got an incredible honor, which wasn’t surprising…
Yelena Isinbayeva – Now
As she is clearly one of the best pole vaulters in history, she was inducted into the FICTS Hall of Fame, for incredible sportspeople. This was after her retirement, as she has now left the game, and even served on the Athletic Commission committee for eight years. Every 8 years they choose 12 people to join, and it’s an incredible honor which she was proud to accept, showing that she has earned a place amongst athletic history.
Sanya Richards-Ross – Then
Born in Jamaica, Sanya competes for the United States, and is an incredible track and field athlete. She has won gold medals in two Olympic competitions, including the gold for the 400 meters in the 2012 Games, and also the 4 x 400 meter relay back in 2004. Between 2005 and 2009, she was consistently named the number one best runner in the 400 meters, worldwide. Now that’s something to brag about!
Sanya Richards-Ross – Now
Injury can happen to anyone, even if you’re as accomplished as Sanya was. And in the trials for the 2016 Olympic games, Sanya hurt her right hamstring badly enough that she had to retire from the game. She couldn’t compete in the games, so announced she was leaving. But she didn’t leave sports altogether, she then commentated for the track events in 2016, which must have been so hard for her when she wanted to be out there in the action!
Ebba Jungmark – Then
High jump is a pretty impressive athletic event, and Ebba Jungmark knows exactly how difficult it can be. She was born in Sweden, and has worked her way into the top athletes in the world, winning 5th place at the 2006 World Junior Championships, and then a Bronze medal just one year later at the European under 23 tournament. Her record was achieved back in 2011, which is 1.96 meters, pretty impressive we have to say!
Ebba Jungmark – Now
In 2013, not long after she won the silver medal for the European Indoor Championships, Ebba’s career hit a huge roadblock when she suffered an ankle injury. While she tried to keep in the game, her career never recovered, despite eight months of intensive rehabilitation. By 2015, she had decided to pursue a different career path, and she now models for Adidas, something women all over the world would love to do!
Camila Giorgi – Then
This Italian tennis player is renowned for being one of the hardest hitters on the court. Camila Giorgi made her debut in 2006 at the ITF Women’s Circuit, before winning her first ITF title in 2009. Since then, she has had professional wins at the 2013 US Open, along with the BNP Paribas Open and Aegon International, both in 2014. Camila Giorgi has defeated some of the best tennis players in the world, winning more matches against the Top 10 than she has lost.
Camila Giorgi – Now
Camila Giorgi has been surrounded in controversy over the years, particularly when it was discovered that her father was involved in scams in sharing success fees to support the tennis player’s career. She has also found herself in trouble for ‘ball abuse’ after hitting her tennis balls a bit too hard into the stands… However, Camila Giorgi takes it all in her stride and was last seen at the Western & Southern Open in 2017. An injury has meant she’s currently resting.
Ellen Hoog – Then
This Dutch field hockey is probably one of the most famous hockey players on the planet – and not just because of her skills! Ellen Hoog first became part of the Dutch national team in 2004, and has gone on to play 127 games since then. Her biggest achievements were winning Olympic gold medals back in 2008 and 2012, along with winning the 2006 Women’s Hockey World Cup. In August 2005, she became the European Champion in Dublin… She’s not bad then!
Ellen Hoog – Now
Unfortunately for Ellen, the Dutch national team didn’t quite make it all the way in the 2016 Olympic Games – and so she walked away with a silver medal, instead of her usual gold. However, she did manage to take the winning shot in the semi-finals against Germany, during that 2016 Olympic Games, when it went to a penalty shootout. She earned The Netherlands that silver medal, effectively! Ellen is often seen in magazine shoots nowadays, thanks to her stunning looks and talent.
Melanie Adams – Then
Imagine knowing what you wanted to do with your life before you even get to middle school, it seems crazy! But Melanie Adams knew just that, when she decided to be a pole vaulter! She started at 11, and then won two competitions for under 21 pole vaulting, competing in the 2012 Olympics in London, UK. She doesn’t pole vault any more, but she has taken a very interesting move, not entirely away from the world of competitive sports!
Melanie Adams – Now
In fact, Melanie Adams has moved into the business side of the sports world, launching her very own fitness brand, and becoming quite the model. Hey, if you’re busy working out and you’re enjoying tanning in the gorgeous sunshine, why not take some pics and make a career out of it? She would like to make her future in the modelling world, and with her Australian heritage, she even dreams to represent Australia in Miss Universe!
Louise Hazel – Then
We wouldn’t want to pick a fight with Louise Hazel, as she’s probably one of the strongest women out there competing today. She is well known as a Heptathlete, which means she can do seven different sporting events, from the 100 meter hurdles, shotput and javelin, to the 800 meters and high jump too. She played on behalf of the UK in the 2012 Olympics, and she even won the top spot in the 2010 commonwealth games!
Louise Hazel – Now
At 32 years old, most athletes are saying goodbye to their professional careers, but Louise Hazel is still going strong. She didn’t manage to make the team for the 2016 Olympics which were held in Rio de Janero, so maybe it’s time for her to explore other ways of staying in the game. Luckily, she’s already on it, appearing on The Challenge: Champs vs Pros, as well as on the celeb edition of Ninja Warrior UK.
Christina Vukicevic – Then
Born in Norway, Christina Vukicevic started competing in her chosen event, hurdles, right out of high school when she was just 18 years old. In 2003, she won gold at her very first ever professional competition! In Lithuania in 2005 she followed this up with a silver award for the European Junior Championships. It looked to all the world that she had a stellar athletic career ahead of her. But that wasn’t the case at all.
Christina Vukicevic – Now
In 2011, Christina won third place in the European Indoor Championships, but this bronze medal was to be the end of her professional career. She suffered an injury which she never recovered from, despite using the help of the controversial doctor, Srdjan Djordjevic. Her personal life seems to be going well though, as off the track she has now got married to Vadim Demidov, a Russian soccer player. Must be hard to sit in the audience for a change!
Allison Stokke – Then
When Allison was still in high school, she took part in a pole vaulting competition, and was immediately noticed as head and shoulders above the competition, no pun intended. This skyrocketed her to her athletic success, although she didn’t quite manage to make it into the UK Olympics in 2012. Luckily, Pole Vaulting wasn’t the only thing she was popular for, which opened up some other doors…
Allison Stokke – Now
In fact, Allison was so popular, that she needed to get herself a media consultant to deal with the interest! Endorsement offers and modelling contracts flooded in, from companies as widely known as GoPro and Nike. She is now a famous sports and fitness model, and we bet she doesn’t miss her pole vaulting days even one little bit, now that she has millions of YouTube hits and an adoring fanbase to boot!
Darya Klishina – Then
Unsurprisingly, this long-legged beauty is a master of the long jump event! She was born in Russia, and stands tall at five foot eleven inches, and she is a true superstar when it comes to her chosen competition. While she started in Volleyball, she then decided to change over to track and field, and she was right to do so! She has won more than half a dozen gold medals in competitions around Europe.
Darya Klishina – Now
In 2016, Darya’s name was dragged through the mud during the scandal in the Rio Olympic games. The rumors were that the entire team had been boosting their performance with the help of illegal substances, Oh dear. As a result, the team was banned from competing, but Darya came in front of the Olympic committee to tell them that she had been in the US at the time that this had allegedly taken place. They let her compete, but she must have been frazzled as she only managed ninth place.
Leryn Franco – Then
A sport seen by dangerous to many, Leryn is an expert at the Javelin throw! She actually started it in high school, but was quickly noticed from the rest of the school and began to compete internationally. In 2998, she entered the South African Junior Championships, and walked away with the gold medal! She’s headed all over the world to compete professionally and excel at her sport, from Venezuela to Brazil.
Leryn Franco – Now
Leryn is still racing ahead of the competition, playing her part in competitions all around the globe, even representing her home country of Paraguay in the Olympics! She was in Athens for the 2004 games, went to China for 2008, and even came to London in 2012. But she isn’t just an ace javelin thrower, she’s also a model, as her beauty and charm caught the attention of some of the top modelling agencies in the world.
Nancy Kerrigan- Then
Nancy Kerrigan is with no doubt one of the most famous figure skaters of all time, with a dramatic baggage to her name. Everyone probably remembers that she was attacked by a man hired by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband. Thankfully though, she got over her injuries rather quickly and went on to win the silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics. What a strong woman Nancy is!
Greg Smithey – Now
Since the attack, thankfully, Nancy did not have much drama to go through. She has since made several appearances in a number of movies such as Blades of Glory, and was featured in season 24 of Dancing With The Stars. She didn’t leave things there. She has also worked as an executive producer of the show “Why Not Lose 5 Pounds?” Recently though, she does live a quieter life than she did before, though still pursuing her career interests.
Tara Lipinski – Then
Tara Lipinsky brought home the gold medal in the women’s figure skating 1998 Winter Olympics, at only 15 years of age. She made history and absolutely shocked the whole crowd by becoming the youngest figure skater to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Even so, her success was not shocking for everyone, since she had been skating since she was only six years old.
Tara Lipinski- Now
Lipinski decided to pursue other career interests just after achieving some of her biggest goals in the ice skating ring. She moved on to tour on shows like Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice. Further on, she went on to present and commentate for the NBC show which previously had with them, Johnny Weir. The duo has been credited not only for their talent but also for making the sport much more appealing to the younger generation.