Sports Illustrated Top-100 Female athletes (1900-2000)
Here is a list of the Top-100 Female Athletes from the years 1900-2000, compiled in 2000 by the team at Sports Illustrated. The athletes were selected by Sports Illustrated For Women, Sports Illustrated and CNN/SI editors, writers and correspondents who considered the athletes' on-field performance and achievements plus the athlete's contribution to women's sports.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the greatest
Heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee tops the list, with another track and field athlete from many years before, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, next on the list. These athletes are commonly at the top of such lists, as you can read about in our discussion of the World's Greatest Female Athlete Ever.
Why no Serena Williams? On a current list of the world top female athletes she would be rankled very high. However, this list was made in the year 2000, at a time when she had only won one of her 23 grand slams. The best was yet to come.
|1||Jackie Joyner-Kersee||Track & Field|
|2||Babe Didrikson Zaharias||Track & Field|
|3||Billie Jean King||Tennis|
|4||Sonja Henie||Figure Skating|
|7||Bonnie Blair||Speed Skating|
|8||Wilma Rudolph||Track & Field|
|11||Florence Griffith Joyner||Track & Field|
|17||Mary T Meagher||Swimming|
|19||Peggy Fleming||Figure Skating|
|20||Joan Benoit Samuelson||Distance Running|
|23||Julie Krone||Horse Racing|
|25||Jean Driscoll||Wheelchair Racing|
|26||Fanny Blankers-Koen||Track & Field|
|27||Mary "Mickey" Wright||Golf|
|31||Mary Decker Slaney||Track & Field|
|32||Dorothy Hamill||Figure Skating|
|34||Lyubov Egorova||Cross-Country Skiing|
|37||Grete Waitz||Distance running|
|38||Katarina Witt||Figure Skating|
|39||Amy Van Dyken||Swimming|
|43||Wyomia Tyus||Track and Field|
|47||Tenley Albright||Figure Skating|
|48||Lynn Hill||Rock Climbing|
|52||Helen Wills Moody Roark||Tennis|
|57||Mary Lou Retton||Gymnastics|
|58||Marion Jones||Track & Field|
|61||Shirley Muldowney||Auto Racing|
|66||Lynn Jennings||Middle Distance Running|
|69||Flo (Flora) Hyman||Volleyball|
|70||Hassiba Boulmerka||Track and Field|
|71||Connie Carpenter||Speed Skating and Cycling|
|72||Evonne Goolagong Cawley||Tennis|
|73||Alice Coachman||Track and Field|
|79||Willye White||Track and Field|
|80||Ailleen Riggin Soule||Swimming and Diving|
|82||Donna de Varona||Swimming|
|84||Donna Lopiano||Athlete and Administrator|
|86||Sheila Young||Speedskating and Cycling|
|88||Juli Furtado||Mountain Biking|
|93||Lyn St James||Auto Racing|
|95||Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding||Figure Skating|
|96||Cammi Granato||Ice Hockey|
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- No Serena Williams? Go Real? I'm 61 so have witnessed ALOT of Sports! The 1st part Filipino / White quarterback in the NFL to win MVP IN 1969. I watched live in the colosseum in LA to beat at the time future Hall of Famer Bart Starr in a 4th quarter 2 min. drive. Southern Cali is my home. A transplant from Hawaii-Nae. To witness Lakers, Dodger's Angel's, Ducks, Galaxy, SPARKS,USC, CAL STATE FULLERTON, IRVINE, LONG BEACH STATE, and even at the High School level Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, Servite, Bishop Amat, Cypress High were I graduated, my kids and No.1 grandson. Graduated and met my wife and Soulmate! I am truly Blessed! And to experience all this a NBA AND DODGERS AGAIN. LAST TIME 2002 WAS ANGELS AND DODGERS. (Kewina Redira (Nov 2020)
- Teddy yoyo (2015)
Why you are lying to yourself?????? Are you telling me no African athlete shining on the world stage? It is a shame lists of almost all American Athletes. Not to disrespect, all are great! but the lists are trying to pleased the Americans! But where are the great African athletes who are winning the great Olympics and world athletics competition.
- Teddy yoyo (2015)
is there no African athlete? No Tirunesh Dibaba, Maria Mutola, Catherine Ndereba, Meseret Defar, Derartu tulu, Alice Chelangat, Genzebe Dibaba and many more???????
- Tyler Gibson (2020)
2 different comments about 6 and 14 when Serena Williams is no even on the list? I'm not too sharp on all sports, I.e. bobsledding, waterskiing, fencing or all foreign athletes but Serena is the GOAT in tennis with many outstanding tennis players she passed up. I don't all of the worlds female sports stories but isn't she worth a top 10?
- Rob Admin Tyler Gibson (2020)
I agree that she would be much higher on a current list of the world top female athletes, though you should consider that this list was made in the year 2000, at a time when she had only won one of her 23 grand slams. The best was yet to come.
- Valerie J (2018)
Rubish !!There is even no word about many record braking women ! What about the high jump athletics, for example , Stefka Kostadinova and her unbelievable world record stil standing untachable -more than 30 years ??? But we have here soccer instead ??!! ?!?
- Seriously (2015)
The horse should be taken off this list. It's incredibly sexist. The greatest male athletes would never include Secretariat.
- JimNayzium seriously (2016)
Sports Illustrated list of great male athletes actually DID include Secretariat
- Dan Brown (2015)