As the mother of daughters, I hope to raise my girls to be strong and embrace the power of their bodies. Women are so amazing, from the ability to carry a baby to climb the highest mountain in the world. I want my daughters to understand the strength of women and know how good it can feel to play — hard, focused, passionate, supported, fierce — like a girl.
1. Alise Post. Just 23-years old and dominating as BMX biker, Post starting racing at the age of six and turned pro at the age of 15. She has the perfect story for any nervous young athlete: She actually backed out of her very first race because she was too afraid to complete it, but then conquered her fears and competed in the 2012 Olympics.
2. Madison Keyes. Currently ranked as the #16 tennis player in the world, Keyes is 20-years old and already has a lot of experience under her belt. In addition to serving up a wicked double backhand on the court, Keyes loves Taylor Swift, peach iced tea and baking. You know, just like your average 20-year-old who happens to be a pro tennis player. Oh, and she also beat Serena Williams when she was only 14.
3. Ginger Howard. Now 20, Howard became the youngest black female to turn professional in the golf game. Howard definitely saw her fair share of struggles growing up, with a lot of sacrifice on her parent’s part to help her succeed and fighting with her mother through an ordeal with cancer.
4. Lexi Thompson. I’m not sure what I was doing at the age of 12, but it definitely wasn’t becoming the youngest person ever to qualify for the U.S Open, like Thompson. Last year, she enjoyed her fourth career LPGA win. Pretty impressive.
5. Melissa Mayeux. Mayeux recently made major headlines as the first woman ever to be added the Major League Baseball’s international registration list. At 16. She’s a shortstop who plays on the French junior national U-18 team and France’s senior national softball team.
6. Kaylin Whitney. Hailed as the next “greatest sprinter” in America, Whitney is one determined 17-year old. Heck, she didn’t even take a break from training on Christmas. After starting her professional training at age 14, she has been shattering records and expectations ever since. Whitney will be competing in the U.S. Championships in June, where she hopes to qualify for the Olympics.
7. Missy Franklin. I feel like we all know Franklin from way back when in the 2012 Olympics when she won four — count `em, four — gold medals, so it can be hard to remember that she’s still only 20 years old. These days, Franklin is working with Speedo and training for the 2016 Olympics.
8. The girl next door. Any girl has the potential to kick some major ass, am I right? Pick up a ball, hit the road running, or throw on a helmet, but either way, stay strong, all you girls and women out there who we haven’t named (yet).
9. These intimidating tots. What’s better than Elsa? A whole softball playing team of Elsas, that’s what. Maybe the fly ball never bothered them anyway?
TapGenes Takeaway: Introduce your daughters and sons to these inspiring athletes for some major girl power.
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