This is part two of The Black Sportswoman’s Starter Kit: 23 current Black sportswomen to know. Part one included 28 history makers.
This list features active legends, from various countries and sports. Part three of the starter kit includes future legends and, potentially, part four will include additional Black sportswomen who didn’t fit into the other three lists for the sake of length.
Throughout the year, I’ll be going through and giving more background on the athletes.
The athletes are listed in alphabetical order. Here are 23 current Black sportswomen to know.
- Kare Adenegan (b. 2000) competed for Great Britain at the 2016 Summer Paralympics at 15 and won a silver medal and two bronze medals. She is a British wheelchair athlete sprinter in the T34 classification.
- Foluke Akinradewo (b. 1987) is a Canadian-Nigerian-American volleyball player and an Olympic and world medalist for the U.S. national team. A middle blocker, she’s played at Stanford and is now with the Japanese club Hisamitsu Springs.
- A.J. Andrews (b. 1993) is an American professional softball player and the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. She’s also a winner of the Rally Spike Award, which is given for the most stolen bases.
- Asisat Oshoala (b. 1994) is a Nigerian footballer and has won African Women's Footballer of the Year three times. Oshoala currently competes for Barcelona and was named MVP and won the golden boot at the 2014 U-20 Women's World CUp.
- Dina Asher-Smith (b. 1995) is the fastest woman in British history. Asher-Smith is a decorated track and field athlete with an Olympic bronze medal along with European and British championship titles.
- Simone Biles (b. 1997) is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time and the third-most decorated in the world. Biles is also the most decorated U.S. Olympic gymnast and has earned 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.
- Blake Bolden (b. 1991) is the first Black player to compete in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) or drafted into the CWHL and won Cups in both leagues. At Boston College, she served as captain and had 3 Frozen Four appearances, and earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Year and All American Honors accolades.
- Kadeena Cox (b. 1991) is a world and Paralympic gold medalist and first British Paralympian to win golds in multiple sports at the same Games since 1984.
- Mo’ne Davis (b. 2001) was the first girl to pitch a shutout and win in Little League World Series history. Davis currently plays softball at Hampton University.
- Crystal Dunn (b. 1992) is a World Champion, two-time NWSL champion, NWSL MVP and golden boot winner who has more than 100 appearances for the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
- Allyson Felix (b. 1985) is a nine-time Olympic gold medalist (earning six golds and three silvers) and a four-time Olympian. For the U.S, Felix competes in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters.
- Formiga (b. 1978) is the only player to compete in all Olympic women's football competitions since the first edition at the 1996 Summer Games. She’s also appeared at seven different FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments, and has made 200 appearances and scored 29 goals for Brazil since 1995.
- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (b. 1986) is considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time. She’s an Olympic medalist and world champion in both the 100m and 200m races and also competes in the 60m for Jamaica.
- Simone Manuel (b. 1996) is the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming. Manuel is a four-time Olympic medalist (2 golds, 2 silvers), winning gold in the 4x100m medley and 100m freestyle. She’s also a 14-time NCAA champion and the first woman to time under 46 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle.
- Maya Moore (b. 1989) is one of the most decorated basketball players of her generation and stepped away at her prime in 2018. Moore is a 4-time WNBA champion, WNBA Finals MVP, WNBA MVP, all-star, Rookie of the Year, two-time Gold Medalist, 2x NCAA Champion, and two-time College Player of the Year.
- Bongiwe Msomi (b. 1988) is a South African netball player, who competes at Centre and Wing Attack. Msomi has competed for Wasps Netball and returned to South Africa to work as a coach and form a nonprofit and ambassador for the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in Cape Town.
- Candace Parker (b. 1986) is the only WNBA player to win MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. A WNBA champion, Parker also won an additional MVP award, WNBA finals MVP and two Olympic gold medals. At Tennessee, she was a two-time NCAA champion and was named College Player of the Year.
- Wendie Renard (b. 1990) is a captain at Olympique Lyonnais and defender for Lyon and the French national team. A “goal scoring defender,” Renard has made more UEFA women's club competition appearances than anyone else and is in the all-time top 20 for goals scored.
- Caster Semenya (b. 1991) is a South African middle-distance runner and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning the 800m race in 2016, and a world champion. Semenya also won gold in 2012 after the disqualification of opponent and is in an ongoing battle to continue competing.
- Claressa Shields (b. 1995) is the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals (2012 and 2016) and is one of eight boxers to hold all four major world titles in boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO.
- CeCé Telfer is the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title. Telfer is the 2019 NCAA D2 Women’s 400m Hurdles Champion and is training to qualify for the 2020-21 Olympics.
- Venus Williams (b. 1980) and Serena Williams (b. 1981) shifted the landscape of modern tennis, athletically and culturally. In addition to winning seven singles Grand Slams and 14 in doubles, Venus played a role in the fight for equal pay at Wimbledon. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the “Open Era,” and the second-most of all time. Both sisters are considered one of the best to ever play tennis.