The Hottest Athlete of Each of the Last 25 Years
In the past 25 years, we have been introduced to some of the hottest female athletes of all time. It might have something to do with our society changing over the years—adding more female sports into the mix (including Lingerie Football), but regardless of how it happened, we are just happy to be a part of it.
You could call it the hot female athlete revolution if you wanted to, and I would not blame you. Many years ago, female athletes were not the same as they are today. In fact, they were better athletes but not as much fun to stare at.
Let's take a look back over the past 25 years of this amazing female athlete transformation with a look at the 25 hottest female athletes from each year. Enjoy.
1987: Katarina Witt
In Germany, Katarina Witt is known better as, "Kati," the dominate figure skater that has won two Olympic gold medals in ladies' singles.
In America, she is better known for her twins, and that time she posed for Playboy. Regardless of how we know her, we can all agree on two things: she is uber talented and is a smoking hottie, even today at the age of 46.
1988: Carling Bassett-Seguso
Before there was an Anna Kournikova or Barbara Schett, there was Carling Bassett-Seguso.
Carling retired from the sport of tennis at the age of 21 in 1988, after only five years of being a pro. She left the sport much earlier than she should have and probably had something to do with her marriage to Robert Seguso in 1987.
1989: Gabriela Sabatini
Gabriela Sabatini is a beautiful Argentine tennis star. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007. As her fame rose, in 1989, so did her tennis game. She climbed up the tennis rankings to No. 3, her highest ranking ever.
Not only is she a hottie, and always has been, but she has earned almost $10 million in her career—so we know she has thick pockets too.
1990: Kristi Yamaguchi
Kristi Yamaguchi? Seriously?
Yes, she was on everyone's radar back in the early '90s. We all can remember the time when, although no one admitted it, we all watched figure skating and were amazed by Kristi. She might have had big hair, fluffy shoulder pads, and a makeup stylist from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but she was still a hottie.
1991: Nancy Kerrigan
In 1991 Nancy Kerrigan was as graceful and beautiful as any other figure skater in the world. She was also pretty darn good too.
It was not until three years later, in 1994, when she was attacked with a police baton by a hired, thanks to Tonya Hardings' ex-husband and bodyguard, a hitman to break her leg. He was not too good at his job, only hitting her on her thigh and bruising her leg.
Tonya Harding still claims her innocence in the matter. The rest is all history now. We can remember how she still won the silver medal at the 1994 Lilliehammer Olympics and Tonya Harding finished eighth.
1992: Summer Sanders
Summer Sanders is a Jack, or Jill, of all trades. She played basketball, was an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, reporter, sports commentator, actress and television show host.
If she could sing and dance then she could be possibly the greatest woman alive. She already has the body for it, she just needs to show us her pipes. And I am talking about singing, guys.
1993: Gabrielle Reece
Gabrielle Reece is a stunningly tall beautiful model and a volleyball pro. She did start her life as a volleyball star but was born to be a model. Her 6'3" tall body is as tall as it is sexy.
She dominated the sport of beach volleyball in a way that makes Misty May and Kerri Walsh look like rookies out of their element. It would be nice to bring her back for the next Olympics. But we shall see.
1994: Picabo Street
1994 is the year of sports madness. It is the same year Andres Escobar was murdered shortly after he made a goal at the FIFA World Cup, O.J. Simpson went from beloved NFL star to alleged murder suspect, and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillihammer happened. The same year that Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan collided also.
Picabo Street was not the most beautiful woman in any room but she was also not ugly. She was something we were not used to seeing—a good looking woman hitting the slopes. She brought to our attention, much like Lyndsey Vonn or Julia Mancuso did in 2010, that Alpine skiing can be sexy too.
1995: Oksana Baiul
"I am a very spiritual and religious individual. God is great. God gave me a gift. I would like to share that gift with people through expressing myself on the ice and I want to use it to help people. Life is the greatest gift we have. I want to live life to the fullest. People don't always know where they are going, but I know where I am going. I'm here to share that message with the world!" - Oksana Baiul said in online interview at About.com
Sounds pretty impressive to me but without her ridiculous skating abilities, she would just be another beautiful Ukrainian model. Like the world needs another one of those hotties.
1996: Amanda Coetzer
At her best, Amanda Coetzer was ranked third and had a few semi-final appearances in the Australian Open and the French Open. But her star did not rise until we realized just how hot the South African tennis star was when she started doing some modeling on the side.
This picture is evidence that she had a career outside of tennis but she never truly pursued it to the extent she would have if she was playing today. The world has changed for female tennis players, just ask the next one...
1997: Barbara Schett
1998: Anna Kournikova
It had to happen. Anna Kournikova arrived in the late '90s when she showed up in the tennis world and has not left since.
Her success ended long before her career did, but she started a new trend where talents are outweighed by looks. Sometimes it pays to look good in a tennis skirt. Actually, in her case, it always pays to wear a skirt of any flavor.
1999: Tatiana Grigorieva
Aside from having one of the greatest names in sports, Tatiana Grigorieva is as beautiful as she is talented. The Australian pole vaulter took home a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
She was born in Russia and even competed for them, for a while but soon left for Australia, where she finished her career on the pole. Not that pole, folks.
2000: Amanda Beard
In 2000, Amanda Beard showed up in Australia for the Olympics at the age of 18. She was looking completely different, in a good way, from the previous time we remembered her in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. It was there where she made her mark as the cute 14-year-old swimmer who brought a stuffed animal with her to bring her luck and comfort.
There would be no stuffed animals in 2000 or 2004. She dropped the bear and posed for Playboy in 2007. She is no longer that cute little girl; she turned herself into that hot older woman we all love to see in magazines.
2001: Francesca Piccinini
If you had to choose one sport to name the hottest female sport, would you chose volleyball too?
Volleyball is the sexiest sport ever. Francesca Piccinini is an Italian volleyball star and solidifies my point.
2002: Jennie Finch
Jennie Finch should be named the greatest female softball player of all time. There has not been a single person that could be in the same conversation as her. She was incredible when she played, owning almost every record imaginable in the sport too.
Her beautiful smile, luxurious blonde hair, and amazing body will keep her relevant for many years following her retirement in 2010.
2003: Logan Tom
Logan Tom is the reason I watch Olympic volleyball. I could care less about any other team except USA because of Tom. I am a big fan of the uniforms, Logan Tom and Logan Tom.
Did I mention that Logan Tom is also one of the best in the sport?
2004: Heather Mitts
Since Heather Mitts tore her ACL back in 2007, her soccer game has taken a dramatic decline. Her fame, however, is doing just fine.
In fact, she has worked her way back into the spotlight and was even named to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup roster. She might not have played too much during the summer, but she fought hard and reminded us of her beauty on the sidelines.
2005: Maria Sharapova
I can not remember a time when Maria Sharapova was not mentioned in a list of hot female athletes. It took me much time and research to find out when it was, and it turned out it was 2005 before we began to really notice this Russian sensation.
Since that time, all she does is win, look hot, win some more, and find new ways to be sexy on the court.
2006: Natalie Gulbis
Natalie Gulbis, thank you for playing golf. Thank you for taking care of your body and perfecting your golf game. Thank you for everything you do.
Thank you for being a beautiful woman and for posing for FHM magazine that one time in 2004. Since then, all we do is think about you. Thanks, Natalie.
2007: Hope Solo
Some might argue that Hope Solo should be the hottest female athlete in 2011 too, but we can only chose one person per year with no repeats. If I allowed repeating, yes, Hope Solo might make this list three or four times.
In 2007, she faced much scrutiny when her coach removed her from the lineup during the FIFA World Cup semi finals against Brazil, and she did not keep quiet about it. Team USA lost 4-0 that day. She had every right to be upset.
2008: Allison Stokke
Why 2008? Because that is when the world was introduced to the beautiful Allison Stokke. It was in 2007 when pictures of her during a high school track meet hit the web, but it was 2008 when she hit her stride.
Allison was a highly recruited pole vaulter out of California that took her talents to University of California. That is where she stamped her beauty into the framework of sports fans. She might not be making the news too much these days, but trust me folks, she is still around.
2009: Alana Blanchard
Of course this beautiful Hawaiian surfer looks familiar, Alana Blanchard has been in the media for a few years, and finally hit the top of her fame this past year when the movie Soul Surfer came out. The movie is about the tragic shark attack that took Bethany Hamilton's arm.
How is she involved? She is best friends with Bethany and was present at the time of the attack. In the movie, Lorraine Nicholson plays her part—yeah, that is Jack's daughter.
2010: Sophie Horn
Every time I construct a list of hot female athletes, Sophie continues to impress. She has a rocking body to go alongside a solid golf game. But if that ends up stalling and she wants to take up other ventures, she can always go back to being a fitness trainer.
It is rare to see a body like hers on the links, so when we do, we just have to sit back and enjoy it.
2011: Darya Klishina
In London next year, the world will be amazed when they are introduced to Darya Klishina, a Russian long jumper. She has been around for a few years now but has just started to gain momentum winning a few gold medals in the European championships.
Whether she is noticed or not, the world should keep track of where she is, because this Russian is not getting colder anytime soon.