This Is The Woman Behind The NFL’s Record-Breaking Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes didn’t develop into one of the most celebrated – and exceptionally wealthy – footballers of his era all on his own. No, the man shot into the NFL elite with head-turning girlfriend Brittany Matthews by his side. The pair have been together through thick and thin, you see, even documenting some huge relationship milestones on social media in 2020. And with the couple’s heartwarming bond causing a stir among many sports fans, it seems that Mahomes isn’t alone in thinking that Matthews is quite the catch.

Of course, the attraction between the pair works both ways. Matthews, after all, is surely one of Mahomes’ most committed supporters. The pair have been an item since they met at Whitehouse High School as teenagers, in fact. And in several throwback photos on their Instagram accounts, the sportsman’s sweetheart can be seen cheering him on from the sidelines at both baseball and football games.

Matthews’ encouragement doesn’t go unnoticed by Mahomes, either. In a 2016 interview with Utterly Patriots, the young star revealed how grateful he was to still have his beau by his side. The future NFL star said, “She has been supportive of me in whatever I do – even before I played quarterback in high school. She has been my number one fan since the beginning. Her support means the world to me.”

And with his loving partner by his side, Mahomes has truly shot into the stratosphere with his career. The sportsman became an NFL game-changer in more ways than one in 2020, after all. He was the driving force behind the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory at the Super Bowl LIV. Then aged 24, Mahomes also became the youngest MVP quarterback in the championship’s history thanks to his performance in the 31-20 defeat of the San Francisco 49ers.

In that game, Mahomes led no fewer than three touchdown drives to help his franchise erase a deficit of 10 points in the fourth quarter. He also achieved a 78.6 passer rating, two interceptions and three touchdowns during his 26-of-42 finish for 286 yards. And the quarterback was handsomely rewarded for his impressive efforts, too.

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Yes, in July 2020 Mahomes was offered what was then the NFL’s biggest contract of all time. The Super Bowl MVP signed a ten-year extension with the Kansas City Chiefs which would take him up to the 2031 season. And the deal was worth up to a maximum of roughly $500 million, according to the BBC. The sportsman was even hailed, in a tweet by his agency Steinberg Sports, as being the “first half-billion-dollar player in sports history.” It seems Matthews had found herself a man not just rich in both skill and charisma, then, but with a sizable income to boot.

Of course, Mike Trout had signed what was previously the most lucrative contract in the history of the NFL. The Los Angeles Angels star inked a 12-year deal in early 2019 worth over a reported $420 million, you see. But unlike Mahomes’ more lucrative contract – which is subject to various stipulations – Trout’s was entirely guaranteed.

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So, Mahomes will have to be at the top of his game every year until 2032 if he wants to bag the full half a billion. And he will receive over a million dollars if he helps the Chiefs to emerge victorious in the AFC Championship Game. The quarterback will also be given the same amount again if he’s crowned the NFL MVP once more. It seems, then, that the sportsman will be needing all the love and support he can get from his beau Matthews in the years to come.

But Mahomes didn’t exactly seem overjoyed by the challenge his Kansas City Chiefs deal presented. He simply posted a video clip of his achievements on Twitter with the caption, “Here to stay.” But despite being the one handing out the sums of money, the team’s chairman, Clark Hunt, was far more vocal in his excitement.

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Yes, in an official statement about the quarterback’s deal, Hunt said, “With his dynamic play and infectious personality, [Mahomes] is one of the most recognized and beloved figures to put on the Chiefs uniform. He’s an extraordinary leader and a credit to the Kansas City community. And I’m delighted that he will be a member of the Chiefs for many years to come.”

Of course, Mahomes did eventually expand on his joy at signing the deal in a July 2020 interview with CBS Sports. The quarterback said, “Obviously, I’m very excited, very happy. Having security for my family and security for future generations. But at the same time, I’m happy our franchise is able to sign guys like Chris Jones and sign guys [who] were able to help me build this team together, and we’ll be able to have something we can build for a long, long time.”

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And in that same interview with CBS Sports, Mahomes was asked whether he felt any pressure about signing such a massive contract. The young star replied, “Not necessarily. I’m going to go out there and be the best player and person I can be. Obviously, you want to win a lot of football games, but I feel if I not only make an impact on the football field but the Kansas City community for a long time, [then] that will play out the contract – and that will be what pays off.”

But how did Mahomes manage to establish his status as an all-time great so early on in his career? Well, as the son of Pat Mahomes – a pitcher in Major League Baseball – the star was perhaps always destined to be a great sportsman. He did show promise from a young age, after all, playing both baseball and football while studying at Whitehouse High School. Of course, having the pitchside support of his doting beau, Matthews, may well have helped him on his journey.

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After graduating high school, Mahomes continued to be a double threat when he headed to Texas Tech. He eventually decided to concentrate solely on football for the Red Raiders, however, and in his sophomore season asserted his place as a starting quarterback. The budding star even led several offensive categories in the celebrated Big 12 Conference and ultimately became one of the college’s best-ever footballers.

Unsurprisingly, Mahomes soon caught the attention of the NFL. And in the draft of 2017 he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs as a 10th round pick. The quarterback was forced to bide his time before he could make his mark on the team, though. Yes, the Texas Tech graduate rarely got the chance to take to the field in his rookie season.

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The only time Mahomes started for the Chiefs was in their final game, in fact. Mostly, the young player had to sit on the sidelines watching Alex Smith assume his preferred position. But the future NFL MVP was allowed to show off his skills when Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins ahead of the 2018 season.

And Mahomes sure made the most of his chance, too. He was named the NFL MVP in his first season as a starter with the Kansas City Chiefs. The blossoming quarterback was given the accolade after throwing for over 5,000 yards and leading the league with no fewer than 50 touchdown passes.

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Andy Reid talked to ESPN in July 2020 about how impressed he had been with his star quarterback’s work ethic. The head coach said, “[Mahomes is] a natural leader and always grinding, whether that’s on the field, in the weight room or watching film. He wants to be the best. He’s a competitor, and his teammates feed off his energy. He makes us all better as an organization, and we are blessed he’s going to be our quarterback for years to come.”

Of course, Mahomes’ loyal partner Matthews has expressed her sincere support for the sportsman’s work on the field. But it’s not just those close to the quarterback – or even those associated with the Chiefs – that are singing his praises. Former NFL star Jason Bell told the BBC in January 2019 that he believed the young star was worth the money, in fact. He described Mahomes’ arm talent as “God-given” and “like something I’ve never seen before.”

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Bell went on to add, “[Mahomes] also has great movement – especially in the pocket – where he can create plays off second plays that go for long touchdowns; we saw that happen in the Super Bowl. Plus, his ability to recognize what the defense is doing to him and the way he can break down defenses has [improved].”

Clearly, then, Mahomes’ sporting efforts have garnered him much praise. But Matthews is also a sportsperson worthy of the spotlight. Yes, alongside her duties as a cheerleader, Matthews also dazzled on the high school soccer field. She continued to pursue her love of the sport while studying kinesiology at the University of Texas Tyler, where she made quite the impression.

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According to The Morning Telegraph, Matthews became one of the highest goalscorers in the college’s history, no less, having found the net over 30 times. She also achieved all-region honors following her senior season. And in his chat with Utterly Patriots, boyfriend Mahomes couldn’t contain his praise for her sporting achievements.

Mahomes said, “I am extremely proud of the level of play [Matthews] has gotten to because all of it is from hard work. Her competitive nature is one of the many things I love about her. She hates losing and wants to be the best. [Matthews] works extremely hard to be great and it inspires me to work just as hard.”

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But alongside their various sporting commitments, the teenage sweethearts have found the time to have fun together over the years, too. Mahomes and Matthews attended numerous school functions earlier on in their relationship. In one particularly sweet photo that has surfaced online, in fact, the young couple can be seen wearing coordinated formal outfits as they head out to their high school prom.

Eventually, the pair ended up going to different colleges several hundred miles away from one another. Despite that period apart, though, the couple has still managed to maintain a supportive relationship – especially during big sporting occasions. Matthews told Utterly Patriots in 2016, “We feed off of each other. [Mahomes is] an incredible leader and player, and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

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Matthews continued, “We give each other advice and he is always being positive with me to motivate me when I need it. I’m constantly letting him know that he’s not the only one breaking records. We’re having a great time with everything that is going on in our lives. He’s doing big things right now and so [am I].”

The couple’s relationship was tested again in 2017, however, as the pair once again found themselves living apart. While Mahomes headed for the NFL after graduating college, Matthews ended up on the other side of the Atlantic in Iceland. There, she played for UMF Afturelding/Fram, which is a professional soccer team based in Mosfellsbaer – a town north of the nation’s capital Reykjavik.

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But Mahomes and Matthews didn’t have to put up with living an ocean apart for too long. Following just a single solitary season with the Icelandic team, the latter returned to the United States to pursue a different sporting career. After getting certified, you see, Matthews then opened up her own exercise firm: Brittany Lynne Fitness.

And on her official website, Matthews opened up about her decision to leave Iceland. She wrote, “By the end of my first season, I truly began to fall in love with being in the gym more than being on the soccer field. Playing sports my whole life got me into fitness and playing in college taught me about strength training, wellness and maintaining peak fitness to perform at an elite level.”

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And it appears as though Matthews doesn’t take any prisoners when it comes to her role as a fitness trainer. She explicitly states “no BS” on her website, before adding, “These programs are designed to tone, grow muscle and get strong. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy and push yourself!”

Matthews’ new career has also had a beneficial impact on her boyfriend’s. Mahomes revealed in a 2019 interview with Yahoo Sports, “Eating-wise, I’m blessed that my girlfriend is [big on] nutrition so she helps me out with that – she’s [about] fitness.” Luckily, the pair no longer have to deal with being hundreds of miles apart, either.

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As Mahomes began to make a name for himself in the NFL, in fact, he and Matthews were able to purchase a home in Kansas City worth nearly $2 million. Speaking to Bleacher Report in 2019, the quarterback said, “Setting down roots in Kansas City was huge for us. I think the people are what we love the most about Kansas City. We’re trying to be here for a long, long time.”

Despite her own sporting endeavors, Matthews still makes sure to attend most of her boyfriend’s NFL games – often with her family in tow. The pair also have two canine friends: a pit bull named Steel and a Cane Corso christened Silver. Funnily enough, the two dogs have even been given their own Instagram account with well over 150,000 followers at the time of writing.

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Matthews’ own Instagram account still sees its fair share of updates, though. Following the news about her boyfriend’s mammoth NFL contract, in fact, the former footballer shared a post with her half-million followers. Yes, the fitness instructor wrote alongside a photo of the happy couple, “Let me tell y’all about my best friend, he earned that ish.”

And you can’t really blame Matthews for being so excited. According to men’s magazine GQ, in fact, the quarterback and his girlfriend didn’t exactly live a life of luxury during the star’s first season with the Chiefs. Believe it or not, the young celebs reportedly spent an entire year residing in the guest bedroom of the house owned by Matthews’ father.

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The couple was back on top again by the summer of 2020, though and Mahomes took to Instagram in August to wish his girlfriend a happy birthday. The quarterback uploaded a pic of the smiling pair sitting next to each other clutching water bottles in a gym. Alongside the hashtag #MyBabe, he captioned it, “Happy 25th birthday to the best one!”

Understandably, the lovebirds made the most of their time together during the 2020 NFL off-season. After signing his colossal deal with the Chiefs, Mahomes headed to Lake Tahoe with Matthews for a relaxing getaway with friends. And the pair can be seen in the water embracing each other in one particular Instagram snap, captioned “Forever.”

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But just when you thought that Matthews and Mahomes’ year couldn’t get any more perfect, along came another major life-changing moment. In September 2020 – after eight years together – the pair finally got engaged. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the happy couple decided to share the big news with their followers on Instagram.

Mahomes first let the cat out of the bag on an Instagram story showing off Matthews’ engagement ring, you see. The NFL star added a kissing emoji to the post, which he tagged his new fiancé in. The lucky ring-wearer herself then gave more details about the proposal on her own Instagram account. And it turns out that the quarterback is quite the romantic.

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Mahomes apparently popped the question using an array of marquee lights before treating Matthews to a candle-lit dinner. The fitness guru gushed on Instagram, “My heart is so full! I love this man so incredibly much, and today was so so special!” Mahomes added, “Couldn’t imagine this day being any more perfect.”

Of course, Mahomes and Matthews aren’t the only sportspeople to have achieved greatness in their careers. Many women today, in fact, are absolutely excelling in their respective fields. And while some of the athletes listed below are household names and others relative unknowns, all of them are undoubtedly world-class – whether they’re a record-breaking race car driver or a medal-winning martial artist.

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40. Serena Williams

Who better to start the list with than possibly the world’s most famous sportswoman? Serena Williams has spent over 300 weeks as the top-ranked female tennis player on the planet, has earned more than three dozen major trophies and is one of the few players to have ever won four Grand Slams in the same year. She’s also achieved huge success on the doubles circuit thanks to her partnership with sister Venus, who is a world-conquering champion in her own right.

39. Danica Patrick

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Danica Patrick has helped to break down barriers as a professional racing driver; in 2008 she became the first ever female to win an IndyCar Series race, for instance. Four years after that, Patrick joined Shawna Robinson in the exclusive club of women to have achieved pole position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. And in 2015 she surpassed the record set by Janet Guthrie for the highest number of Sprint Cup Series top-ten spots achieved by a female driver.

38. Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones is one of those rare competitors who have appeared at both the Winter and Summer Olympics. She first achieved fame as a sprint hurdler, winning golds at both the World Indoor Championships and World Athletics Final. Jones then swapped the athletics track for the bobsled track when she became a brakewoman for Team USA, subsequently earning a gold medal at the 2013 World Championships in the mixed team event.

37. Cecilia Braekhus

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Cecilia Braekhus has also excelled in two different sports – although both are in the ring. She first made a name for herself in the world of kickboxing, becoming world champion in the Semi Contact 65 kg field in 2003. But Braekhus achieved true greatness when she moved into boxing. Indeed, she’s one of only five fighters to ever be WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF champion at the same time.

36. Chang Hye-jin

South Korean Chang Hye-jin certainly had an Olympics to remember in 2016. The skilled archer not only helped her homeland earn its eighth gold medal in a row in the team event, but she also made the top of the podium after beating Germany’s Lisa Unruh in the Rio individual final. She was later crowned the world’s number one in her sport, too.

35. Nafissatou Thiam

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It’s hard enough training to be a world-class athlete in just one particular event, let alone seven. But that’s exactly what Nafissatou Thiam did to become perhaps the world’s premier heptathlete. The Belgian record holder shot to fame when she won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. She proved that achievement was no fluke, either, by going on to finish first at both the 2017 World Championships and the following year’s European Championships.

34. Vicky Holland

Vicky Holland also knows what it takes to become a world champion in a multi-event sport. The British athlete first caught attention when she clinched bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the triathlon – a grueling mix of long-distance swimming, cycling and running. Then, two years later, she pipped the United States’ Katie Zaferes to first place in the World Triathlon Series.

33. Brittney Reese

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U.S. long jumper Brittney Reese has spent close to a decade at the top of her chosen field. She won her first major gold at the World Championships in 2009, going on to add to her tally of medals at the 2010 World Indoor Championships and the 2012 Olympics in London. Reese retained her world title in 2011 and 2013; with a distance of 7.23 meters, she also broke the U.S. indoor long jump record in 2012.

32. Mara Navarria

Fencer Mara Navarra has achieved major success in the épée discipline of the sport. The Italian first made the podium as part of team events, earning bronze and silver medals at the World and European Fencing Championships from 2010 to 2014. She has since taken gold all for herself, though, thanks to her individual performance at the 2018 Worlds in Wuxi, China.

31. Allyson Felix

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Allyson Felix’s tally of six golds is the highest for a female track and field athlete in Olympic history. The sprinter has won all but one of those medals as a member of Team USA’s dominant relay teams; the other came as an individual at London 2012 in the 200 meters – an event in which she’s also picked up two Olympic silvers and three World Championship golds. Felix has won almost as many medals in the 400 meters, too.

30. Delfina Merino

Field hockey star Delfina Merino has seen considerable success at both national and international level. The forward, who has spent her domestic career alternating between Banco Provincia and SCHC in her native Argentina, has won an Olympic silver medal, numerous Champions Trophies and a handful of Pan American Cups while representing her country. In 2018 the International Hockey Federation even crowned her as the world’s top player.

29. Leticia Bufoni

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Leticia Bufoni has been a dominant force in professional skateboarding ever since she burst onto the scene. In fact, the Brazilian became the first ever female X Games competitor to pick up three golds in the same year in 2013. World Cup Skate also named her as the world’s number one female street skater for four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013. In 2018, meanwhile, she was hailed as one of the most powerful sportswomen on the planet by Forbes.

28. Ada Hegerberg

Soccer player Ada Hegerberg made history in 2018 when she became the winner of the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or. Prior to achieving that feat, however, the Norwegian striker had also been crowned the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe and the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. Hegerberg, who has played for Kolbotn, Stabaek and Olympique Lyonnais at club level, also finished as a runner-up at the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship with her national team.

27. Tessa Virtue

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Alongside her long-term professional partner Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue has dominated the world of ice dancing since winning Olympic gold in 2010. The Canadian skater reached the top of the podium again in 2018, after having been crowned world champion in 2010, 2012 and 2017. Virtue has also come out on top on numerous occasions at the Four Continents and Canadian Figure Skating Championships; in 2017, moreover, she added Grand Prix of Figure Skating winner to her list of achievements.

26. Simone Biles

A member of the so-called “Final Five” team that took the Olympics by storm in 2016, Simone Biles is one of Team USA’s premier gymnasts. Biles has excelled on her own, too, as the record-breaker also won three individual golds in the vault, floor and all-around events at Rio. And in 2017 she became the first ever U.S. gymnast to earn a medal in each event at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

25. Dakota Ditcheva

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Mentored by her ex-karate world champion mother Lisa Howarth, Dakota Ditcheva had already conquered the martial art form known as Muay Thai by her late teens. Indeed, the youngster had taken the sport by storm in the mid-2010s with victories at the European and World Championships. She was also a key member of the British squad crowned International Federation of Muaythai Amateur champions in 2016.

24. Lindsey Vonn

Record-breaking Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn is only the second ever woman to have earned four World Cup championships in her discipline. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, she also became America’s inaugural female gold medalist in the downhill event. But that’s not all, since Vonn is one of only six female skiers to have finished first in each of the five alpine skiing classes at the World Cup. As a result, then, she’s widely regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

23. Emma Coburn

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In 2016 Emma Coburn became the first U.S. woman to win a 3,000-meter steeplechase Olympics medal when she finished in third place. A year later, the runner became her homeland’s inaugural world champion in the long-distance event when she took gold in London. Coburn also holds the American women’s steeplechase record and has been crowned a USA Outdoor Track and Field champion on no fewer than seven occasions.

22. Charlotte Dujardin

Hailed as the best dressage rider of recent times, Charlotte Dujardin has won every single major title in the sport since turning professional in 2011. Yes, the British star has emerged victorious at the World Equestrian Games, European Dressage Championships and Dressage World Cup – all while riding horse Valegro. She’s also earned three Olympic gold medals as a member of Team GB.

21. Nina Clarkin

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Nina Clarkin is arguably polo’s most notable female player in the modern era. She’s certainly one of her sport’s most outstanding, having become the only woman in her field to have been given a ten-goal handicap. Also married to a polo player, New Zealand’s John Paul Clarkin, Clarkin guided the Hindon Polo Team to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup – then known as the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup – back in 2003.

20. Maggie Steffens

Meanwhile, the type of polo that doesn’t involve horses has been dominated in the 2010s by Maggie Steffens. The Stanford alumna helped guide Team USA to Olympic gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, with her and her colleagues also having emerged victorious at the FINA World Championships, the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup and the Pan American Games. Steffens has also been crowned the FINA Women’s Water Polo Athlete of the Year on two separate occasions.

19. Kasey Cooper

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Alabama native Kasey Cooper has been a star of American softball ever since she started playing for the Auburn Tigers during her college years. The third baseman was subsequently crowned Player of the Year by espnW in 2016, after having steered the U.S. women’s team to silver at the World Cup of Softball and gold at the 2016 Women’s Softball World Championship.

18. Yulimar Rojas

When it comes to jumping, few are better all-rounders than Yulimar Rojas. The versatile Venezuelan athlete has broken national records in both the triple and long jump, also having earned Olympic silver and World Championship gold in the former discipline. But Rojas began her sporting career with the high jump, in which she most notably won gold at the 2014 South American Games.

17. Mariya Lasitskene

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When it comes to jumping vertically, however, Mariya Lasitskene is the woman to beat. The Russian was crowned world champion in the high jump in both 2015 and 2017, for example. She would probably have added an Olympic gold to her medal haul, too, had all Russian track and field athletes not been banned from the Rio Games in 2016.

16. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey has completely dominated in not just one but three combat sports. She initially rose to fame by becoming the first female U.S. judo Olympic medalist ever by picking up bronze at Beijing in 2008. She then went 30 months unbeaten in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where she also became the longest-running Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Then, if that weren’t nearly enough, Rousey subsequently joined WWE and added Raw Women’s Champion to her list of achievements.

15. Rosie MacLennan

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Trampolinist Rosie MacLennan is the first athlete in Canada’s history to win consecutive Olympic golds in an individual event, as the star impressively made the top of the podium at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. She has also been crowned national and world champion on multiple occasions and has enjoyed success in synchronized trampolining with fellow Canadian Karen Cockburn.

14. Chloe Esposito

The modern pentathlon – a combination of swimming, show jumping, fencing, cross-country running and pistol shooting – is one of the Olympics’ most distinctive and traditional events. And Chloe Esposito is perhaps one of the discipline’s biggest stars today. The Australian first caught attention when she became her native country’s highest-placed competitor for nearly half a century in the pentathlon at London 2012. Then, four years later, she won gold at Rio with a record-breaking 1,372 points.

13. Candace Parker

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After breaking records in both high school and college, Candace Parker continued to make a major impact on women’s basketball when she signed for the Los Angeles Sparks. And the forward has won numerous individual and team honors since, including a WNBA Championship, a Rookie of the Year Award and a All-Star Game MVP accolade. She also helped to guide Team USA to Olympic golds in both 2008 and 2012.

12. Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim was the first female snowboarder to take home two Winter Youth Olympic Games golds. She then made the step up to the Winter Olympics in 2018 aged just 17, when she won gold in the snowboard halfpipe – becoming the youngest woman to do so in the process. And Kim has also been a dominant force at the X Games, having reached the top of the podium on no fewer than four occasions.

11. Saina Nehwal

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With close to two dozen international titles to her name, badminton singles player Saina Nehwal has been hailed as one of India’s greatest ever sporting exports. In fact, the star is the only woman from her home country ever to be ranked world number one in her field. She’s also the first badminton player from India to have won an Olympic medal after earning bronze at London 2012.

10. Ireen Wüst

Ireen Wüst is the most successful speed skater in Winter Olympics history, having won five golds, five silvers and a bronze over the course of 12 years. She’s also the Netherlands’ most decorated Olympian ever and has been crowned world all-round and single distance champion on numerous occasions. When Reuters named her as the Sportswoman of the World in 2014, then, the honor was arguably deserved.

9. Danuta Kozak

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Sprint canoer Danuta Kozak is the only female Olympian ever to win golds in the K1, K2 and K4 events at the same Games. The star achieved the feat at Rio in 2016, despite the fact that she had been battling a stomach infection just 24 hours before first taking to the water. Kozak has also been crowned Hungarian Kayaker of the Year on five occasions.

8. Ellyse Perry

Ellyse Perry is the first ever Australian to have competed in World Cups as both a soccer player and cricketer. The multi-talented star has since made the latter sport her focus, going on to win the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year award in 2017. She’s also the first Aussie to have made 100 Twenty20 International fixtures as well as the first to take 100 wickets in the same competition.

7. Lizzy Yarnold

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It takes a brave individual to hurtle themselves down an icy track at a speed of 130 mph or more. But that’s exactly what Lizzy Yarnold did to win two Olympic gold medals in the sport of skeleton. The Brit is also the first competitor in her field to earn consecutive golds at the Games, having topped the podium at both Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

6. Natalie Geisenberger

While Yarnold makes her living throwing herself down an ice track face first, Natalie Geisenberger does so on her back. The German has dominated her field in the 2010s, winning four golds and a bronze to become the Winter Olympics’ most honored female luger. She’s also earned no fewer than a dozen medals at the FIL World Luge Championships and is fast approaching the same tally at the European Championships too.

5. Emily Regan

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Emily Regan became a star of American rowing in the 2010s, when she won gold medals at three different World Championships. The New Yorker picked up her first gold in the W4- category in 2011, before adding to her tally in the W8+ in 2013 and then in France in 2015. Regan subsequently added Olympic gold medalist to her list of achievements when she helped the women’s eight to victory in Rio 2016.

4. Barbora Špotáková

Czech athlete Barbora Špotáková has been an almost unstoppable force in the women’s javelin event since the late 2000s. The star won Olympic gold at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has been a world champion in her sport on three occasions. Špotáková, who set the present women’s javelin world record in 2008, completed her set of major titles with victory at the European Championships in 2014.

3. Nour El Sherbini

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Nour El Sherbini made waves in the squash world at the age of just 13 when she became the youngest ever World Junior Champion in 2009. Six years later, meanwhile, she became the youngest ever winner of the Women’s World Championship. And Sherbini successfully defended her title in 2016, when she beat fellow Egyptian Raneem El Welily at a tournament staged in her homeland.

2. Lexi Thompson

Golfer Lexi Thompson also made a notable impact in her sport of choice from a young age. After going pro at just 15, she became the youngest ever LGPA tournament victor in 2011. Then, three years later, Thompson lifted her debut major title when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship. In 2018, meanwhile, she achieved her tenth LGPA Tour victory at the CME Group Tour Championship.

1. Hilary Knight

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Hilary Knight has helped Team USA to seven IHHF Women’s World Championship golds during her glittering career in ice hockey. The forward was also instrumental in her country’s gold medal-winning success at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. And that’s not even to mention her debut year with the Boston Pride, in which she helped the NWHL franchise win the very first Isobel Cup.

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