25 Sports Babes We Need Back in Our Lives

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterFebruary 28, 2011

25 Sports Babes We Need Back in Our Lives

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    The life of an athlete is fleeting. Sports stars are relevant just as long as their talent mandates. That becomes a huge issue when the sports star is an extremely attractive lady. It leaves us wanting more, a whole lot more.

    I have gone through and picked out the best-and-brightest retirees that we would love to have back in the sports fold.

    These next ladies would make any convalescent home look sexy. Here are the sports retirees that we wish would reconsider their departure.

    We sports fans miss you dearly; please come back soon.

25. Laure Manaudou

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    Laure Manaudou is a former French freestyle swimmer. She cut her career short in 2009 and gave birth to her first child in 2010. 

    Since that time she has taken to the big screen, starring in the French film The Coach. She also has a role in the movie Jean Bodon.

    I don't speak French, but I do speak sports. Please, Laure, come back to the pool for me. I don't ask for much. 

24. Mary Pierce

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    I want to take a moment to thank tennis. This sport has not only provided us with some very gifted athletes, but with some very hot women as well. Mary Pierce drew us all to the television when she was on. 

    She reached the US Open Final as recently as 2005. Then in 2006, she had a tragic knee injury that forced her into retirement.

    She tried to make a comeback for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but was again sidelined by injury.

23. Mia Hamm

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    Mia Hamm was front and center during the explosion of popularity of women's soccer in the '90s. She proved that this country can indeed care about soccer; we just need a team that is worth watching.

    Her passion for the sport was palpable. Her retirement from the game is a sad note, as the women's team that won gold in '96 and the World Cup in '91 and '99, was a truly special group of women.

    She has since moved on to raise a family and take care of the Mia Hamm Foundation, which supports families in need of a bone-marrow transplant.

22. Tatiana Grigorieva

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    Tatiana Grigorieva is a former Australian pole vaulter. If competing in the Olympics was not enough, she has gone on to a lucrative career after sports. 

    She has modeled and acted. That is par for the course for hot athletes. She was not nearly done there, though.

    She also opened up a Cafe in Brisbane. Her food efforts saw her named an international spokesperson for the fruit bar CheekyChewz.

    There is nothing like a go-getter to make you question your own station in life. The best thing I ever did was buy a box of Girl Scout cookies and clean out the box in the same night. 

21. Anna Bessonova

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    Anna Bessonova was a Ukrainian Olympic Gymnast who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic games.

    Rhythmic gymnastics is also known as that event that no male aged 14-85 misses when it is on. It really is the only reason to tune into the Olympics every four years.

    That is until they invent another event that shows hot ladies bending and stretching for hours. We lost Anna to motherhood. She told the media after Beijing that she was retiring to make a family of her own.

    How selfish of her.

20. Amy Acuff

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    I hope you had your fill of Amy Acuff running and jumping. The American track and field star called it quits in 2009. 

    She dabbled in modeling before taking to the world of acupuncture. Forget pleading with her to come back to sports.

    At this point, I will take a return to the wonderful world of modeling.  

19. Tatiana Golovin

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    I know what you are thinking, I should start watching more tennis. Yes, you should. Can I recommend the female tennis variety? It really is better than the male version.

    Golovin strutted her stuff on the court until 2008 when she was forced to retire because of arthritis.

    She now resides in London with boyfriend Samir Nasri. Yet another reason we hate soccer.

18. Steffi Graf

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    Here is a picture of Steffi Graf running. Why? Because I am one hell of a nice guy. Graf was one of the best tennis players around at her peak. She was also one of the hardest serving.

    Her serve would hit in the upwards of 110 mph. You see, it is possible to be attractive and scary at the same time.

    She retired in 1999, but has come back in recent years to play in exhibition matches. She even played against Kim Clijsters in 2009.

17. Gabrielle Reece

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    Gabrielle Reece is one of the hottest athletes of all-time. She left the sports world some time ago, but has stayed busy since. 

    She currently writes a Yahoo! health column, which I have not yet absorbed. If you have ever seen me in person, you would assume right away that I am not reading health columns in my spare time.

    Now if she wrote on the tastiness of the McRib sandwich, I may subscribe. 

16. Jennie Finch

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    I can say as a former baseball player that I hated striking out. But if I had to whiff at a series of three balls down the middle of the plate, having Finch blaze those heaters would have made it an acceptable defeat.

    Finch retired from the game after the Beijing Olympics. Since that time, she has appeared in baseball television spots like This Week in Baseball.

    She also played in a softball All-Star game in which she struck out Brian Giles and Albert Pujols.

    I can see striking out Giles, but you have to bring the sickness to dismiss King Albert on three pitches.

15. Bianca Cruz

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    Bianca Cruz is a former Arizona State softball player. She has dropped the bat and ball and picked up the modeling career.

    If she plans on putting out more photos like this, I will excuse her absence from the sports world.

    You see? I can be a forgiving bloke when I need to be.

14. Haley Cope

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    Haley Cope is not only a former swimmer, she is a former California Golden Bear. That makes her one of the coolest human beings in the world. Go Bears. 

    Cope has long since retired and given birth to three children. She is still near the pool, though.

    She owns and operates a swimming school in Chico, Calif. There you go. One reason to visit Chico.

    I will let you know if I think of any others. 

13. Amy Taylor

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    Ah, women's soccer. It is the only sport that does not demand a whole lot of scoring to make it watchable. Taylor commanded the attention of an entire nation when she played for Australia. 

    She is now a sideline reporter and TV personality in her home country. As we speak, I am on the phone with Time Warner to demand an Australian feed. 

12. Monica Gonzalez

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    Monica is a former Mexican soccer player. She has since hung up the spikes and taken to coaching. She even founded her own academy for underprivileged Latina girls. 

    A beauty with heart of gold? That is what I call the total package.

    I just wish she would come back to playing the game. Looking that good in a jersey demands an encore. 

11. Gabriela Sabatini

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    Hot women playing tennis is nothing new. From the day the sport was invented, I am sure there was a woman who looked amazing in a skirt standing with a racket in hand.

    During the '80s and '90s, the star of the tennis court was Gabriela Sabatini. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.

10. Jenn Brown

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    Jenn Brown is a former softball player and current ESPN personality. I normally would let her continue her sports reporting career without asking her to return, but it is a must. Just imagine her in the high socks and tight shorts mandated in softball. 

    Glad to see you all agree with me. Pick up the bat and ball Jenn. Your country needs you.  

9. Ana Paula Mancino

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    Ana is a former Brazilian volleyball player and current ridiculously-hot human being. Even her name is spicy hot. 

    She has been absent from the volleyball world, taking up a very lucrative career as a model. She is yet another example of why I must visit Brazil before I die. I imagine it is a place filled with hot women playing sports. Please do not ruin this fantasy for me. It is all I have really. 

8. Tanith Belbin

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    Tanith Belbin retired from competitive figure skating in 2010. Fear not fellow Bleacher Report faithful. This is one retirement we should rejoice in.

    She has stated that she wants to become an active television personality. She even appeared as a color commentator in ABC's Skating with the Stars.

    More Belbin on TV is a very good thing. I now have one more thing to record on TiVo.

7. Milene Domingues

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    Milene is a former Brazilian soccer player. As best I can decipher, Brazil's major export is extremely hot women.

    I am not sure how lucrative that is, but I care very little. Keep dishing out the hottness, please. 

    The upside is that Domingues is now a renowned model. Judging by the photo, she is very good at what she does. 

6. Amanda Beard

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    Amanda Beard is a conundrum wrapped in one hell of a body. She retired two years ago only to return to the pool at the 2010 Swimming Nationals. It is unclear whether she will remain in the sport for much longer.

    If she is indeed done with swimming, it will be a sad day. She has come a long way since her days as a 14-year-old holding her teddy bear at the Olympics.

    She has blossomed into one of the best female swimmers of all-time. I won't mind if she decides to stay a spell longer.

5. Victoria Vanucci

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    Here is yet another hot athlete who spurned the world of sport for a modeling career. Are you starting to see a theme here? 

    Modeling is single-handedly taking away all of our hot women. If Vanucci was any good at tennis, I would have to protest.

    Since she makes better eye candy, I will keep my thoughts to myself. Oh, too late. 

4. Alina Kabaeva

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    Alina Kabaeva is a retired rhythmic gymnast. That means she is not only hot, but super bendy. She dropped that act and took up politics of all things. 

    She is currently a member of the Russian parliament. Fun fact: She is rumored to have been engaged to former president Vladimir Putin.  

3. Stacy Keibler

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    Keibler began her entertainment career as a professional wrestler. She was famous for having the best legs in the business.

    Keibler is the only person in the world that you would not mind putting you into a submission hold.

    She may be retired from WWE, but you have not seen the last of her. She has taken to the small screen in recurring roles in such TV shows as The George Lopez Show and How I Met Your Mother.

    She leaves me with one feeling. Thank god for professional wrestling.

2. Anna Semenovich

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    Anna Semenovich is so hot that there was a general fear she may melt the ice anytime she competed. She retired in 2001 after an injury forced her from the sport.

    She has gone on to a remarkable singing and modeling career that has made her a star in her home country of Russia.

    It is only a matter of time before our great nation gets clued into this gorgeous woman.

1. Anna Kournikova

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    All is not lost when it comes to Anna Kournikova. The hot tennis star stopped playing full time in 2002. Her career was beset by back problems, but she does play in exhibition matches every now and again.

    She may be out of the sports limelight, but her influence is felt to this day. She was the most searched-for athlete as recently as 2008. It is very easy to see why.

    Her mark on tennis may have ended much too soon, but I think it goes without saying that we have not seen the last of Anna.

    That, my friends, is a very good thing.