The Tokyo Summer Olympics may have been postponed to 2021, but that doesn’t diminish the light that shines on these talented female athletes.
Regan Smith – Swimming
Smith broke onto the swimming scene at the 2016 Olympic trials at the age of 14 and fell just short of qualifying. Her chances this time around are much greater. She recently broke Missy Franklin’s 200-meter backstroke world record and went on to win her first world championship title. She currently holds the world record in 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke as well as part of the 4×100 medley relay.
Vashti Cunningham – Track and Field
That’s no ordinary sports dad in Vashti Cunningham’s corner trying to will her to high-jump gold after a disappointing finish in Rio in 2016. It’s her coach, legendary former NFL QB Randall Cunningham who has his 21-year-old daughter following the same training and weight regimen he did in the pros. The result: a bronze at the 2019 Worlds and a spot among track and field’s great hopefuls, with redemption in her sights and her father in her ear.
Emma Coburn – Track & Field
The 2016 steeplechase bronze medalist made history by becoming the first American woman to win a world championship in the steeplechase. She has appeared in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, SI Fittest 50, and has been an outspoken advocate for clean sport by calling out cheating in professional running.
Elena Delle Donne – Basketball
Delle Donne is an American professional basketball player who led the Washington Mystics to their first ever WNBA Championship in franchise history. Delle Donne has won two WNBA Most Valuable Player awards, been selected to six all-star teams and became the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club.
Chloe Dygert – Cycling
Dygert is an American professional racing cyclist who has won five gold medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and a silver medal at the Olympic games. This September, the 22-year-old became the youngest woman to win an elite world time trial championship.
Carissa Moore – Surfing
Moore is a Hawaiian professional surfer and 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2019 Women’s World Tour Champion. She’s spoken openly about the dangers of binge eating, sexism, and body shaming. In 2019, the Hawaiian claimed her 4th World Title on home soil in Maui; it also meant that Moore would represent Team USA at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, fitting for one of surfing’s greatest in and out of the water.
Morgan Hurd – Gymnastics
Hurd is an American artistic gymnast and a four-time member of the US women’s national team. She is known for her strength across all four events, as well as her dramatic and creative floor routines. She is the 2017 all-around world champion and balance beam silver medalist, the 2018 all-around world bronze medalist and floor exercise silver medalist, and a five-time world medalist.
Rachel Garcia – Softball
Garcia an All-American softball player and pitcher for the UCLA Bruins. She led the Bruins to the 2019 Women’s College World Series where she was named the MVP. The American was also a two time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-American in 2018 and 2019.
Margo Hayes – Climbing
Hayes is an American professional rock climber from Boulder, Colorado. She is known for being the first woman to climb a route graded 9a+. In 2016, she won the Bouldering and Lead Climbing events at the World Youth Championships in Guangzhou, China.
Brighton Zeuner -Skateboarding
Zeuner is an American professional skateboarder. She has two X Games gold medals in the skateboard park with her first title at age 13, making her the youngest champion in X Games history. She is also the youngest ever X Games competitor, having skated at the age of 11.