International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame

Founded in 1980, the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame honors history-making female athletes and coaches. International athletes are selected based on personal achievements, breakthroughs, innovative style and ongoing commitment to the development of women’s sports.

The Women’s Sports Foundation is owner and operator of the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.


The Hall of Fame recognizes the athletic achievements of those who have competed at least 25 years prior to the present year in the Pioneer category. Athletes whose accomplishments came within the past 25 years are inducted into the Contemporary category. In 1990, the Coach category was added and honors both active and retired coaches.

P = Pioneer
C = Contemporary
H = Coach

Patty Berg, Golf (P)1980
Amelia Earhart, Aviation (P)1980
Gertrude Ederle, Swimming (P)1980
Althea Gibson, Tennis, Golf (P)1980
Janet Guthrie, Auto Racing (C)1980
Billie Jean King, Tennis (C)1980
Wilma Rudolph, Track & Field (C)1980
Eleanor Holm Whalen, Swimming (P)1980
Mildred "Babe" Didrickson Zaharias, Track & Field, Golf (P)1980
Chris Evert, Tennis (C)1981
Peggy Fleming Jenkins, Figure Skating (C)1981
Sheila Young Ochowicz, Speedskating (C)1981
Wyomia Tyus, Track & Field (C)1981
Glenna Collett Vare, Golf (P)1981
Mickey Wright, Golf (C)1981
Francina Blankers-Koen, Track & Field (P)1982
Sonja Henie, Figure Skating (P)1982
Olga Korbut, Gymnastics (C)1982
Carol Mann, Golf (C)1982
Annemarie Moser-Proell, Skiing (C)1982
Tenley Albright, Figure Skating (P)1983
Donna de Varona, Swimming (C)1983
Col. Micki King, Diving (C)1983
Andrea Mead Lawrence, Skiing (P)1983
Helen Stephens, Track & Field (P)1983
Marion Ladewig, Bowling (P)1984
Suzanne Lenglen, Tennis (P)1984
Pat McCormick, Diving (P)1984
Martina Navratilova, Tennis (C)1984
Eleanora Sears, Polo, Golf, Squash (P)1984
Kathy Whitworth, Golf (C)1984
Ann Curtis Cuneo, Swimming (P)1985
Dawn Fraser, Swimming (C)1985
Larisa Latynina, Gymnastics (P)1985
Ann Meyers-Drysdale, Basketball (C)1985
Tracy Caulkins-Stockwell, Swimming (C)1986
Margaret Court, Tennis (C)1986
Charlotte Dod, Tennis, Archery, Golf (P)1986
Flo Hyman, Volleyball (C)1986
Betsy Rawls, Golf (P)1986
Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, Tennis (P)1986
JoAnne Carter, Golf (C)1987
Maureen Connolly, Tennis (P)1987
Marie Marvingt, Aviation, Mountaineering (P)1987
Madeline Manning Mims, Track & Field (C)1987
Louise Suggs, Golf (P)1987
Ludmilla Tourischeva, Gymnastics (C)1987
Debbie Meyer Weber, Swimming (C)1987
Margaret Murdock, Shooting (C)1988
Irirna Rodnina, Figure Skating (C)1988
Aileen Riggin Soule, Diving, Swimming (P)1988
Wilye White, Track & Field (C)1988
Theresa Weld Blanchard, Figure Skating (P)1989
Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Tennis (C)1989
Joan Joyce, Softball (C)1989
Ilona Schacherer-Elek, Fencing (P)1989
Nadia Comaneci, Gymnastics (C)1990
Willa McGuire Cook, Water Skiing (P)1990
Nell Jackson, Track & Field (H)1990
Connie Carpenter Phinney, Cycling (C)1990
Pat Head Summitt, Basketball (H)1990
Constance Applebee, Field Hockey (H)1991
Vera Caslavska, Gymnastics (C)1991
Christl Cranz, Alpine Skiing (P)1991
Alice Coachman Davis, Track & Field (P)1991
Muriel Grossfield, Gymnastics (H)1991
Cheryl Miller, Basketball (C)1991
Ludmila Belousova-Protopopova, Figure Skating (C)
Bessie Coleman, Aviation (P)1992
Carol Heis Jenkins, Figure Skating (P)1992
Irena Kirszenstein Szewinska, Track & Field (C)
Margaret Wade, Basketball (H)1992
Sharron Backus, Softball (H)1993
Kornelia Ender, Swimming (C)1993
Mary T. Meagher, Swimming (C)1993
Kit Klein Outland, Speedskating (P)1993
Mary Lou Retton, Gymnastics (C)1993
Toni Stone, Baseball (P)1993
Chi Cheng, Track & Field (C)1994
Liz Hartel, Equestrian (P)1994
Rena "Rusty" Kanokogi, Judo (H)1994
Jody Conradt, Basketball (H)1995
Judy Devlin Hashman, Badminton (P)1995
Betty Hicks, Golf (P)1995
Barbara Jacket, Track & Field (H)1995
Annichen Kringstad, Orienteering (C)1995
Grete Waitz, Marathon Running (C)1995
Florence Chadwick, Swimming (P)1996
Dianne Holum, Speedskating (H)1996
Lydia Skoblikova, Speedskating (C)1996
Mae Faggs Starr, Track & Field (P) 1996
Evelyn Ashford, Track & Field (C)1997
Diana Golden Brosnihan, Skiing (C)1997
Gail Emery, Synchronized Swimming (H)1997
Barbara Ann Scott-King, Figure Skating (P)1997
Shirley Strickland de la Hunty, Track & Field (P)1998
Margaret Osborne DuPont, Tennis (P)1998
Florence Griffith Joyner, Track & Field (C)1998
Dorothy Hamill, Figure Skating (C)1998
Tara VanDerveer, Basketball (H)1998
Tina Sloan Green, Lacrosse (H)1999
Sandra Haynie, Golf (C)1999
Betty Jameson, Golf (P)1999
Joan Benoit Samuelson, Marathon Running (C)1999
Shirley Babashoff, Swimming (C)2000
Chris Carver, Synchronized Swimming (H)2000
Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Track & Field (P)2000
Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, Synchronized Swimming (C)2000
Bonnie Blair, Speedskating (C)2001
Janet Evans, Swimming (C)2001
Mabel Fairbanks, Figure Skating (H)2001
Agnes Keleti-Biro, Gymnastics (P)2001
Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Track & Field (C)2002
Betty Cuthbert, Track & Field (P)2002
Nikki Tomlinson Franke, Fencing (H)2002
Jayne Torvill, Ice Dancing (C)2002
Min Gao, Diving (C)2003
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field (C)2003
Heather McKay, Squash, Racquetball (P)2003
Linda Vollstedt, Golf (H)2003
Maria Esther Bueno, Tennis (P)2004
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Swimming (C)2004
Beverly Kearney, Track & Field (H)2004
Lusia Harris Steward, Basketball (P)2005
Katarina Witt, Figure Skating (C)2005
Marjorie Wright, Softball (H)2005
Nawal El Moutawakel, Track & Field (C)2006
Shane Gould, Swimming (P)2006
Diana Nyad, Swimming (P)2006
C. Vivian Stringer, Basketball (H)2006
Hassiba Boulmerka, Track & Field (C)2008
Sue Enquist, Softball (H)2008
Hisako "Chako" Higuchi, Golf (P)2008
Shannon Miller, Gymnastics (C)2008

2019 Sportswoman of the Year, Team

Megan Rapinoe

When the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) captivated the world during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Megan Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain, was front and center both on and off the pitch.

The Olympic gold medalist, two-time Olympian and two-time FIFA World Cup champion, is a driving force for change. It was during the lead up to the tournament, the spirited matches in France, the highly-debated goal celebrations, and the animated media scrums where Rapinoe cemented her legacy as one of the greatest soccer players to ever play for the USWNT and champion for equal rights.

Heading into the 2019 FIFA World Cup, all eyes were on the USWNT after the team filed a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The stakes were high. When the tournament kicked off, the athletes were motivated to win, and fans around the world were inspired.

Rapinoe and her teammates rose to the occasion, leaving their mark on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. With six goals and three assists in seven games, Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Ball as the most outstanding player at the World Cup, while also earning the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer. She scored the team’s only two goals against Spain in the round of 16 and went on to do the same against France in the quarterfinals.

While the World Cup may have provided the biggest stage for Rapinoe to shine, her performance in France followed an impressive season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), during which she played for the Reign FC in Seattle. During the 2018 season, she scored seven goals with six assists, finishing fourth in the league for assists. She was also named the July NWSL Forward of the Month and announced as the 2018 NWSL Best XI. In addition, Rapinoe helped win the 2018 CONCACAF Women’sChampionship with the USA.

Rapinoe’s reach goes far beyond sport. From the “U-S-A! Equal pay!” chant that permeated the sold-out stadiums to the team’s on‐field statements and the all-out celebration of female athletes with a ticker tape parade through New York City, Rapinoe continues to be at the helm of the conversation.

2019 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award Recipient

Marta Vieira da Silva

World-renowned Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil, who is widely regarded as the best female soccer player of all time, recently solidified her dominance at the 2019 Women’s World Cup by becoming the first soccer player (male or female) to score at five different FIFA World Cups as well as the highest-scoring player (male or female) in FIFA World Cup history with 17 goals scored. She currently plays as a forward for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and on the Brazilian national team. Between 2006 and 2018, she was named FIFA’s Women’s World Player of the Year six times.

Dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment across the world, Vieira da Silva now inspires women and girls to follow their dreams as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for women and girls in sport as well as a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.

Born in Brazil in 1986 and growing up in a poor family, Vieira da Silva played street soccer without shoes and was often shunned by the boys she could outplay. Until 1979, it was against the law for women to play soccer in Brazil, leaving Vieira da Silva’s generation to challenge stereotypes and overcome barriers despite the change in law.

Forced to find somewhere else to play, she left her family at 14, taking a three-day bus trip to Rio de Janeiro to join her first club, Vasco de Gama. This bus journey would eventually lead her all over the world: to European championships, World Cups, and the Olympic Games to play in front of tens of thousands, and most importantly, to make the game available to girls in a way that it wasn’t made available to her.

In her own words, “All over the world, there are other girls who feel the same. Girls who get stares, girls who get asked why they’re out there, girls who get pulled from tournaments and called names. But that loneliness, it won’t last. And it won’t be long before you’re all playing together. My message to girls everywhere in this world: believe in yourself and trust yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”

The 2019 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award was presented with the Richard and Pamela Ader Foundation.

2019 Billie Jean King Leadership Award Recipient

Sheila C. Johnson

Sheila C. Johnson is an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose accomplishments span the arenas of hospitality, sports, TV/film, the arts, education and community development.

As Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Johnson oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties including the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, which has been awarded the esteemed Forbes Five Star rating. The collection features two of the top golf resorts in Florida: Hammock Beach in Palm Coast and Innisbrook in Tampa Bay; the Henderson- in Destin, Florida; Hotel Bennett in Charleston, South Carolina; and Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

As Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Ms. Johnson is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, for which she serves as President and Managing Partner. She also served five years on the Executive Committee of the United States Golf Association.

In 2016, she co-founded WE Capital, a venture capital consortium to support and empower female-led enterprises. She also serves on the board of the Greater Washington Partnership, which seeks to strengthen the region’s global position as a center for commerce and innovation.

Ms. Johnson has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, starting with her work as founding partner of Black Entertainment Television. She has served as executive producer of four documentary films, and also helped finance the Screen Actors Guild nominated feature film The Butler. She is founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival.

Ms. Johnson serves on the Board of Governors of Parsons The New School for Design in New York and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She is a former member of the Leadership Council at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

Ms. Johnson served as the global ambassador for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that combats global poverty by empowering women. She has received many awards in recognition of her humanitarian efforts, including being honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal and the distinguished Lincoln Medal.

2019 Champion For Equality Award Recipient

John Burke

A leader by example, John Burke has spent his career advocating for women in sport.

Since 1997, John has been the president and CEO of Trek Bicycle Corporation. Founded in 1976 by his father, Richard Burke, John joined the family business in 1984. The company has been at the forefront of technological innovation in cycling since its inception, and, under John’s guidance, Trek has continued to blossom.

Trek made their targeted push for the women’s market in 2000, when they launched WSD (Women’s Specific Design) line of bicycles and accessories. Trek began an event called “Ladies Night Out” for women to learn about cycling, discover new products and ultimately, encourage them to ride by joining the Trek Ride Club.

Trek is deeply invested in creating parity between men’s and women’s cycling and brought the issue of inequality to the forefront in 2017 when it announced that it would become the first Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Cyclo-Cross World Championships organizer to offer equal payout to both fields at an event hosted at Trek’s headquarters in Waterloo, Wis. Responding to Trek’s leadership, UCI – the sport’s governing body – mandated that as of 2020, all World Cup races must offer equal payout to both fields.

With its new Trek-Segafredo women’s cycling team, Trek has shown the world what the future of professional women’s cycling can look like, with 13 riders from 10 nations. In addition to comprehensive maternity benefits, each rider receives the same level of support as the men, including equipment, coaching, logistics, management and nutritional and medical guidance.

Looking to close the gender gap in the business of cycling, John has led the push for Trek retailers to include more women in the hiring process. Trek has also created a team of women’s advocates who welcome and inspire more women to join cycling. The initiative began in 2016 at Trek’s inaugural Global Women’s Summit and has grown to over 100 women advocates internationally.

In addition to leading Trek, John served as chairman of President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is a founding member of People for Bikes.

2019 Sportswoman of the Year, Individual

Claressa Shields, Boxing — USA

Claressa Shields continues to make history in 2019. At arguably the biggest women’s boxing bout of all time, the 24-year-old American emerged as the first undisputed women’s middleweight boxing world champion in the sport’s history, beating Germany’s Christina Hammer in Atlantic City, N.J., on April 13, 2019. Following her victory, she became one of the only seven boxers to simultaneously hold all four major world titles in boxing (IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC) in addition to claiming the inaugural Ring Magazine female middleweight title.

Shields’ professional career record is nine wins and no losses with two victories by knockout. In the last 12 months she not only notched three wins and remained undefeated, but also became world champion in her second weight division. She kept a remarkable professional winning streak as she entered 2019 after being named to the USA Boxing Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame in August 2018 and the Boxing Writers Association of America Female Fighter of the Year in December 2018.

These historic accomplishments have earned her the 2019 Sportswoman of the Year, becoming the first two-time recipient of the award since 1995. Shields was previously honored in 2016.

Shields became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games, where for the first time the 10 men’s boxing events were joined by three women’s events: flyweight, lightweight and middleweight. Four years later, Shields won a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She is the only American — male or female — to win back-to-back gold medals in boxing. Shields is also a two-time World Championship gold medalist and a Pan American gold medalist.

Shields points out that she has had strong influences who helped guide her along the way, and she has never let circumstances dictate her actions. The first member of her family to graduate from high school, her story of overcoming adversity to become the greatest female boxer in the world fuels her advocacy work in her hometown of Flint, Mich., and her passion to inspire more girls to participate in sports.

WATCH: WSF and ESPN Host Girls’ Basketball Clinic in Connecticut

On April 27, 2019, the Women’s Sports Foundation, ESPN Women’s Group and SOMOS volunteers combined forces to host a basketball clinic for 60 girls from our Sports 4 Life community program, Hispanic Coalition. WSF President and three-time Olympic medalist in bobsled Elana Meyers Taylor, WSF Athlete Ambassador and WNBA All-Star Layshia Clarendon, ESPN Reporter and Host Jen Lada and Waterbury Police Detective Andréa Saunders made up our stand-out panel prior to the clinic.

The Fight for Equal Pay in Women’s Sports

April 2 – Equal Pay Day – marks the day U.S. women have finally earned the same amount of money as the average man did in 2018. Sports have long mirrored society, and the gender pay gap has persisted in athletics just as it has in the professional realm. And in sport, just as in society, women are fighting back, working towards the day when pay equality is achieved.

Here are five athletes, teams and leagues that are leading the charge:

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT)

The USWNT has long been associated with leading the way in the fight for gender equity in soccer. Most recently, in advance of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the United States women’s squad took a stand against “institutionalized gender discrimination” against the team. Twenty-eight members of the current national team pool announced in March that they are suing U.S. Soccer, seeking equitable pay and treatment, including damages for back pay.

The women’s team has far exceeded the success of their male counterparts, who failed to even qualify for the FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2018. Meanwhile, the women have placed in the top three teams in every Women’s World Cup since 1991 (when the women’s tournament began) and has three titles. In the six Olympic Games that have included women’s soccer, the U.S. has captured four golds and a silver.

“It’s a heavy responsibility, but it’s one that we gladly take on,” Becky Sauerbraunn told ESPN following the 2019 SheBelieves Cup. “And it’s something we’re going to keep trying to push and push and push until we feel that everything is equal. That’s far away from here, but that’s what we’re fighting toward.”

At the same time, The Guardian recently reported that in the 2018 fiscal year, USWNT head coach Jill Ellis was paid less than several U.S. Soccer men’s coaches, including U-20 coach Tab Ramos.

The U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team

Before winning a historic gold medal in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team was battling off the ice for equal pay. In 2017, the team threatened to boycott the 2017 IIHF World Championships if a settlement was not made with USA Hockey for equal treatment to the men’s team. Per The New York Times, the women’s players were barely making living wages and were left out of pre-Olympic marketing plans despite their success on the ice.

Ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Championships, after a yearlong battle, USA Hockey conceded to many of the players demands. The team went on to earn the gold at the world championships, then captured its first Olympic gold in 20 years by defeating Team Canada in PyeongChang.

Of her team’s fight for equal treatment, star forward Hilary Knight said: “We’re passionately pursuing something for the greater good.”

WNBA Players

WNBA stars including A’ja Wilson, Brittney Griner, Liz Cambage and Skylar Diggins-Smith have all spoken out about WNBA salaries compared to their NBA counterparts. In order to make a living playing basketball, most WNBA players compete overseas during the offseason to supplement their WNBA income.

It is important to note that the WNBA athletes are not asking for the multimillion dollar contracts that are prevalent in the NBA; they are simply asking for equity. Where the NBA pays its players between 49-51 percent of the league’s revenue, WNBA players take home a maximum of 22.8 percent.

“As athletes, we have to fight. As women, we have to fight,” Diggins-Smith told Bleacher Report. “And we need more people at our table to fight with us,” she told Wealthsimple. “There need to be more women and more people of color hired so we can curate our own sports stories. And we need men speaking out about these things.”

Big Wave Surfers

In 2016, six female big wave surfers – Andrea Moller, Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Karen Tynan and Sabrina Brennan – founded the Commission for Equity in Women’s Surfing (CEWS). The organization exists to increase “the number of events and the number of awards for women, as well as offering equal prize money … to achieve meaningful equity in competitive surfing.”

In 2018, much of CEWS’ work paid off, as the World Surf League announced equal prize money for all WSL-controlled events in 2019 and beyond, a huge step for what has been a traditionally male-dominated sport.

“”We feel strongly that if it hadn’t been for our consistent advocacy, the WSL would not have made that announcement,” Brennan told ESPN. “But we are so glad they did, and we’re thankful because they could have done less … But they did the right thing and did it across all of their events.”

Venus and Serena Williams

While all four of the major Grand Slam tennis tournaments have awarded men and women equal prize money since 2007 when Wimbledon finally evened its pay gap, the game’s biggest female stars have not held back when it comes to speaking out about equal pay.

As with so many other female athletes – and despite being two of the highest paid women athletes in the world – Venus and Serena recognize that they are fighting not only for themselves, but for the generations of women to come.

“We might not get it today, but we want a future better for maybe my daughter, or her daughter, and so that’s what we really are fighting for,” Serena told CNBC. “I feel like we’re getting there.”

Photo credit (from L to R):

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Pierre Tostee/Getty Images