When it comes to women, the world of sports and fashion often collide. No matter what space they occupy in the sports world, women are under a bit more pressure than their male counterparts to look their best at all times.
Maybe it's a double standard, but many female athletes, members of the sports media and WAGs earn a big portion of their income in the fashion industry—which means many of them are contractually obligated to hit the red carpet on the regular and look stunning while doing it.
Sexy sports sirens often steal the show at the ESPYs and attract attention from the front row at fashion week. Let's take a look at 25 of the most stylish women in sports.
American figure skater Sasha Cohen's career was cut short by nagging injuries, but she was one of the sport's best dressed throughout her eight-year career.
Since her retirement, Cohen has occasionally worked as a guest correspondent on Inside Edition and done guest spots on a number of television shows, including a guest-judge appearance on Project Runway.
After failing to make the Olympic team in 2012, American gold medalist Nastia Liukin's career as a professional gymnast officially came to a close. It may have been a disappointing end, but it's not like she's going to be hitting up the unemployment line.
Not only has Liukin inked lucrative sponsorship deals with Visa, Adidas and AT&T, she's also found early success in the fashion industry. Liukin has designed and modeled for a few companies and was among the first athletes chosen to be CoverGirl models.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is one of the most famous female athletes in the world. Despite marginal success on the track, Patrick has leveraged her looks into countless endorsements and modeling campaigns that have made her one of the highest paid female athletes in history.
Even though she often disappoints on race day, Patrick rarely fails to finish first on the red carpet.
With the departure of both Erin Andrews and Michelle Beadle, the baddest blondes in Bristol for nearly a decade, ESPN's Charissa Thompson was charged with filling some very sizable stilettos.
Thompson might just be the best of both worlds: a striking statuesque blonde with an eye for fashion who comes fully loaded with a quick wit and an acid tongue that allows her to go toe-to-toe with national irritant Colin Cowherd.
Thompson hasn't made many red-carpet appearances to this point, but expect her to be front and center for the worldwide leader moving forward.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice failed to duplicated the success she had at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The scandal-prone Rice may not have been a hit in the pool in London, but at least she's a hit everywhere else.
Rice's penchant for short skirts and bold colors always turn heads on the red carpet. Her model good looks and confidence while donning next to nothing have made her a natural fit for swimsuit and underwear designers looking for a new face to hawk their wares.
It's not often that you see three-time Olympic medal-winning alpine skier Julia Mancuso in something other than a snowsuit. But when Mancuso does manage to part from the slopes, it's often for a modeling gig or to hit the red carpet at the ESPYs or the runway at Aspen Fashion Week.
She may be a jock by trade, but she definitely doesn't consider herself a tomboy. Mancuso dons her lucky plastic tiara for big races and has designed her own line of lingerie called Kiss My Tiara.
Along with her controversial teammate Hope Solo, Alex Morgan is one of the standout stars of the gold-medal-winning American women's national soccer team. The two of them stepped into the national spotlight together in 2011, and both dressed like soccer players who were forced to put on a dress at gunpoint.
But in just over a year Alex Morgan has transitioned from fashion victim to stylish superstar, knocking it out of the park every time she's in front of a camera. Expect to see more and more of Alex Morgan in the wake of her gold-medal performance at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The LPGA sure doesn't get much love in terms of television ratings or coverage by the sports media, but maybe that will change if blonde beauty Blair O'Neal ever earns her tour card. O'Neal has attracted some attention on the LPGA Futures Tour and as the runner-up of the Golf Channel's reality competition show The Big Break.
But it's Blair's work as a Ford model and features in magazines like Maxim, FHM and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that she's best known for at this point in her career.
Serbian stunner Ana Ivanovic is a red-carpet regular who looks equally at home at a black-tie event as she does on the tennis court.
Ivanovic's head-turning good looks and natural sense of style have landed her on the cover of a number of international publications and is why she's the face of a number of international fashion campaigns. Ivanovic also has lucrative sponsorship deals with Adidas and Sony Ericsson.
Jennie Finch, a two-time Olympic medalist as pitcher for the U.S. women's national softball team, has been one of the most buzzed-about female athletes in the country since her appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2005.
Finch is more mom than model these days, but when she hits the red carpet with her husband Casey Daigle, a minor league pitcher, she always steals the show.
The on-the-court fashion of tennis great Serena Williams has always attracted plenty of attention. You may not often like what she's wearing, but there's no question that you'll notice it. Off the court, Williams' style is a bit more classic and polished.
She's already had a lot of success as a designer and is a regular at fashion week—Williams is well prepared for life after tennis.
Like her sister Serena, Venus Williams' second love to tennis is fashion. But, unlike her sister, Venus' tennis career is winding down, and she seems poised to make the transition to a full-time career in the fashion industry.
Venus recently re-launched her line of athletic wear, and her new collection will be debuting at New York Fashion Week in September 2012.
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen has been the most successful model of the last decade and is on pace to become the world's first billionaire model. Considering Mrs. Tom Brady's earning power in the fashion industry, it might be more appropriate to call her husband, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, "Mr. Gisele Bundchen" instead.
Bunchen's unparalleled success on the runway has not gone unnoticed by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who has called Gisele the "model of the millennium." Actually, it hasn't gone unnoticed by anyone at this point—Gisele is a global fashion icon.
The 2012 Olympics in London were the first Summer Games since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta that didn't include legendary Chinese diver Guo Jingjing. She retired from the sport in 2011 with six Olympic medals, more than any female diver in history.
Jingjing is a superstar in her native China and has forged a successful modeling career out of the pool. She's a red-carpet regular in Hong Kong and is engaged to tycoon Kenneth Fok Kai-Kong, the son of one of Hong Kong's richest families.
It's hard to believe that Russian tennis goddess Anna Kournikova has been retired from professional tennis since 2003. That's probably because nearly a decade later, Lady Kournikova remains one of the most popular female "athletes" in the world. But let's get real—she has always been more well-known as a model and an international sex symbol than a professional athlete.
Kournikova is a red-carpet regular at fashion and charity events around the globe and has been featured in countless international publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Vanity Fair. Naturally, she's also graced the pages of any and every men's magazine out there.
Spanish television presenter and sports journalist Sara Carbonero was voted The Sexiest Reporter in the World by FHM magazine in 2009.
When Carbonero and her fiancé, Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, are spotted together out on the town, they look as though they have been lifted from the pages of GQ. Carbonero is style personified, and her faced has graced countless national and international publications.
American alpine skier Lindsey Vonn is one of the most successful female skiers in history, but she doesn't need snow to attract attention. The shots from Vonn's steamy appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's Winter Olympians feature in 2010 launched her into the public eye, and she decided to stay.
This snow bunny obviously gets tired of donning a snowsuit most of the year, because off the slopes she's rarely photographed in anything other than a skin-bearing micro-mini dress. Vonn's "skin is in" fashion philosophy can easily veer into the trashy territory, but she's able to walk that fine line and never fails to impress.
Brazilian beauty Adrian Lima, wife of former NBA player Marko Jaric, has been Victoria's Secret's sexiest angel for over a decade. Lima's exotic look and icy stare have proven irresistible to some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Armani, Louis Vuitton, Versace, BCBG, Valentino and GUESS.
She's also been featured on the cover of ELLE, GQ, Vogue, Esquire and Harper's Bazaar, among others. And then there's the fact Lima looks better six months into her second pregnancy than most of us girls will on the best day of our lives. That's just unfair.
Model-turned-actress Brooklyn Decker, the better half of underachieving tennis player Andy Roddick, rose to fame in 2005 after landing the coveted cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Decker was named the Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire magazine in 2010, and along with BFF Erin Andrews, is always one of the standout red-carpet stars of any sports event she graces with her presence.
They don't call her Posh Spice for nothing. Victoria Beckham, the wife of soccer superstar David Beckham, found life after pop stardom in fashion.
Beckham has been the international face of designer brands like Emporio Armani, a fixture at fashion weeks around the globe, and has forged a successful career as a designer.
Despite never finishing higher than 34th in the javelin throw in each of the last three Summer Olympics, Paraguayan beauty queen Leryn Franco has become one of the most buzzed-about female athletes in the world.
But most of that buzz stems from Franco's successful (and scantily clad) career as a fashion model, rather than her track and field endeavors. Franco is a runway regular in South America with a jaw-dropping bikini body that she doesn't mind bearing.
Beloved sideline reporter (and national treasure) Erin Andrews may not be a fixture on ESPN anymore, but she is still a fixture at New York Fashion Week.
Andrews is often spotted on the red carpet and the front row of some of the most buzzed-about fashion shows.
Despite relatively little success in the sport, Australian golfer Anna Rawson has been a regular on every list of the hottest female athletes in the world since joining the LPGA Tour in 2008. Rawson's career as a professional golfer seems to have ended in 2010, around the same time she and Ted Chervin, a top-level talent executive in Los Angeles, became engaged.
She actually got her start as a model at age 16 and has been working as a model and designer in recent years. Rawson launched her own line of designer golf wear in 2009; with her impeccable taste, it's no wonder she always looks flawless on the red carpet.
Tennis great Maria Sharapova has been Russia's finest export since making her professional debut in 2001. She has been one of the preeminent sex symbols in sports for over a decade, but unlike her fellow blonde Russian tennis goddess Ana Kournikova, Sharapova has also had plenty of professional success on the court as well.
She has become a bona fide global superstar, and thanks to countless endorsements, routinely tops the Forbes annual list of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. Sharapova is a red-carpet regular at the ESPYs and Fashion Week, as well as premieres and parties around the world.
Russian supermodel Irina Shayk took the world by storm after landing the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2007. After appearing on the cover, Shayk landed work with Intimissi, Victoria's Secret, Lacoste and GUESS.
It wasn't long after that when she landed one of the world's most eligible bachelors, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Shayk and Ronaldo met in 2010 through their modeling work with Armani Exchange.