You know what’s cool? Girls and young women today can play sports and have the same hopes and dreams as boys and young men: play professionally, become a hero, get their face on a serial box, make lots of money—all that stuff. Sure, there’s not exactly equality of the sexes in the world of sports, but it’s a lot better than it was. Fifty years ago, little girls playing soccer couldn’t have imagined getting their faces on the front page of every sports page in America the way Brandi Chastain (born 1968) did in 1999, or the way Abby Wambach (born 1980) did last summer.
But today things are different, and there are a number of pioneering female athletes we have to thank for this state of affairs. This list of 11 is hardly definitive, but hey, it’s a start. So why don’t you starting clicking and learn a few things.