30 greatest female athletes of all time

It's Women's History Month and to honor the great women who have graced the sports world, we've put together a list of the greatest female athletes ever.

Caitlin Clark celebrates a big play for the Iowa Hawkeyes
Caitlin Clark celebrates a big play for the Iowa Hawkeyes / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
21 of 31

11. Lindsay Vonn

When it comes to downhill skiing, there is really one name at the top of the list. Lindsey Vonn was so dominant and still is today. Despite being close to 40 years old, she’s competing with every professional on the planet. Her 82 World Cup victories are 20 more than any other female on the list. She also won competitions in all five disciplines: alpine, cross country, ski jumping, Nordic combined, and freestyle. 

She was first placed in a pair of skis at three years old in her native Minnesota. She started competing when she was just seven years old and went international two years later. It was clear she had a gift from an early age. 

Vonn won a gold medal in the women’s downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Games, becoming the first American woman to win such an event. She did this despite injuring her tibia just a week before the Olympics began. It could have been a disastrous moment for her, but bad weather led to the postponement of the downhill, which gave her just enough time to recover and get on the top of that podium. She would go on to win the bronze medal in the Super-G that same year. 

Her Olympic record should read “incomplete.” The most disappointing part of her career is she missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics with an injury. This was Vonn at the peak of her powers. It’s why some might see her one gold medal and wonder why she’s so high on this list, but she’s truly one of the greatest downhill skiers ever.