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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.

rank athlete sport
1 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Track & Field
2 Babe Didrikson Zaharias Track & Field
3 Billie Jean King Tennis
4 Sonja Henie Figure Skating
5 Martina Navratilova Tennis
6 Chris Evert Tennis
7 Bonnie Blair Speed Skating
8 Wilma Rudolph Track & Field
9 Nadia Comaneci Gymnastics
10 Tracy Caulkins Swimming
11 Florence Griffith Joyner Track & Field
12 Mia Hamm Soccer
13 Nancy Lopez Golf
14 Steffi Graf Tennis
15 Cheryl Miller Basketball
16 Margaret Court Tennis
17 Mary T Meagher Swimming
18 Olga Korbut Gymnastics
19 Peggy Fleming Figure Skating
20 Joan Benoit Samuelson Distance Running
21 Dawn Fraser Swimming
22 Teresa Edwards Basketball
23 Julie Krone Horse Racing
24 Ann Meyers Basketball
25 Jean Driscoll Wheelchair Racing
26 Fanny Blankers-Koen Track & Field
27 Mary "Mickey" Wright Golf
28 Maureen Connolly Tennis
29 Janet Evans Swimmer
30 Althea Gibson Tennis
31 Mary Decker Slaney Track & Field
32 Dorothy Hamill Figure Skating
33 Suzanne Lenglen Tennis
34 Lyubov Egorova Cross-Country Skiing
35 Kathy Whitworth Golf
36 Larissa Latynina Gymnastics
37 Grete Waitz Distance running
38 Katarina Witt Figure Skating
39 Amy Van Dyken Swimming
40 Michelle Akers Soccer
41 Pat McCormick Diving
42 Gertrude Ederle Swimming
43 Wyomia Tyus Track and Field
44 Nancy Lieberman-Cline Basketball
45 Picabo Street Skiing
46 Anne Donovan Basketball
47 Tenley Albright Figure Skating
48 Lynn Hill Rock Climbing
49 Rosi Mittermaier Skiing
50 Susan Butcher Dogsledding
51 Nera White Basketball
52 Helen Wills Moody Roark Tennis
53 Ruffian Horse Racing
54 Chamique Holdsclaw Basketball
55 Lisa Fernandez Softball
56 Anita DeFrantz Rowing
57 Mary Lou Retton Gymnastics
58 Marion Jones Track & Field
59 Annemarie Moser-Proll Skiing
60 Paula Newby-Fraser Triathlete
61 Shirley Muldowney Auto Racing
62 Jenny Thompson Swimming
63 Dawn Riley Sailing
64 Carol Blazejowski Basketball
65 Ann Trason Ultramarathon
66 Lynn Jennings Middle Distance Running
67 Shirley Babashoff Swimming
68 Kornelia Ender Swimming
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
74 Silken Laumann Rowing
75 Alice Marble Tennis
76 Lisa Andersen Surfer
77 Manon Rheaume Hockey
78 Tegla Loroupe Running
79 Willye White Track and Field
80 Ailleen Riggin Soule Swimming and Diving
81 Lynette Woodard Basketball
82 Donna de Varona Swimming
83 Helene Mayer Fencing
84 Donna Lopiano Athlete and Administrator
85 Kristin Otto Swimming
86 Sheila Young Speedskating and Cycling
87 Sheryl Swoopes Basketball
88 Juli Furtado Mountain Biking
89 Louise Suggs Golf
90 Cynthia Cooper Basketball
91 Camille Duvall Waterskiing
92 Fu Mingxia Diving
93 Lyn St James Auto Racing
94 Marion Ladewig Bowling
95 Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding Figure Skating
96 Cammi Granato Ice Hockey
97 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli Cycling
98 Ila Borders Baseball
99 Margo Oberg Surfing
100 Dorothy Kamenshek Baseball

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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