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  • Kenneth Cotterill

BCMG's Top 20 Female Athletes Of The Last 20 Years: Part Two

The first twenty years of the century are coming to a close and we have seen some incredible athletic performances and achievements in that time. So the boys at Blue Collar Media Group decided to make a list of the top male and female athletes of the last 20 years. This list is an amalgamation of six lists submitted by BCMG's writers and contributors from the US, Canada, and Great Britain. People-based their list off of their own criteria of what an athlete is with the top spot earning an athlete 20 points all the way down to the 20th spot earning them one point. You can find part one here. And here are numbers 15 through 11 of our list.

15. Carli Lloyd, Soccer (29 points)

I was unsure about Carli Lloyd being this high on this list when first looking at it, but then I remembered hearing former USWNT coach Jill Ellis speak live about Lloyd. She spoke so highly of her and the impact that she had on the 2015 and 2019 championship teams for the USWNT that it was a no brainer for her to make the list. Since 2005, Lloyd has made 294 appearances for the US national team, scored 123 goals and won the FIFA Player of the Year twice - in 2015 and 2016. Not only was Lloyd consistent but she always showed up in the biggest games and the biggest moments, with the most notable moment being the gold medal winning goal against Brazil in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

14. Mia Hamm, Soccer (30 points)

If this list had covered most of Hamm's career, she would certainly be much higher on our list. But even in the four years she played in this century, Hamm had a tremendous impact on the women's game. She made 276 total appearances for her country and scored 158 goals. Hamm never won the women's world cup in this century, but she did win Olympic silver in 2000, finished third at the World Cup in 2003 and capped off her spectacular career with Olympic Gold in Athens in 2004. She was athletic, dynamic, technically gifted and overall the best of her time. She truly paved the way for players like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and many others to succeed on the biggest stage in women's soccer. Mia Hamm will never be forgotten as an athlete and was an absolute pleasure to watch compete.

13. Hayley Wickenheiser (34 points)

The woman who put women’s hockey on the map. Frankly, she is too low on this list. But that’s bound to happen when combining lists from people all over North America and Europe. Simply put, Wickenheiser is the greatest female hockey player of all time. Wickenheiser is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, seven-time World Championship gold medalist and the first woman to register a point in a professional men’s hockey league while playing in Finland. She retired as the all-time olympic point leader among all hockey players - men and women - with 51 points in 26 games played. On top of hockey, Wickenheiser was also an outstanding softball player and was named to the Canadian Olympic team for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. After a Hall-of-Fame hockey career, she switched gears and set her sights on medical school all while holding the position of Toronto Maple Leafs assistant director of player development, proving that she is, without a doubt, the ultimate role model for young girls everywhere.

T-11. Alex Morgan, Soccer (35 points)

People may be starting to think this is just a list of soccer players with a couple other athletes sprinkled in, but it is pretty tough to deny the amount of soccer talent we have seen in the last 20 years. After spending four years at University of California, Berkeley where she played for the Golden Bears, Alex Morgan went to the pros and has never looked back. She has played for countless teams in the US, in France for Lyon and now is in England as a member of the Tottenham Hotspurs. However, much like Lloyd and Hamm, where Morgan has truly shone, is with the USWNT. She has appeared for the national team 170 times, scoring 107 goals in that span. She has won an Olympic gold, two women's world cups and has been a true goal-scoring machine in all those tournaments. Morgan's greatness cannot be understated and that is why she comes in at a tie for eleventh on our list.

T-11. Venus Williams, Tennis (35 points)

Obviously this list wouldn’t make much sense without the Williams Sisters. Venus and her sister Serena, who you’ll read about later, ushered in a new era of athleticism in women’s professional tennis. Even if you don’t know tennis, you know these two. Venus has won Wimbledon’s Singles five times including winning in back to back years twice. In 2000 and 2001, the first time she went back to back at Wimbledon, she also went back to back at the US open. She also won Singles at the Australian open in 2003 and then again 14 yeas later in 2017, showing fantastic longevity in a very athletically demanding sport. You'd be hard pressed to find a better year for any athlete than the year 2000 for Venus. On top of her Grand Slam dominance, she also won two Olympic gold medals in Singles and Doubles at the Summer Games in Sydney. Williams added two more Olympic gold medals to her resume in Doubles at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Believe it or not, I could keep on listing big wins in her career but by now you get the point. Venus Williams didn’t just have success in the last 20 years, she outright dominated at least half of it.

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