The 50 Most Googled Female Athletes Of 2013
Another year, another few bazillion Google searches. As is our annual tradition, we look back on the year to give everyone a fairly comprehensive overview of which female athletes were at the forefront of the public consciousness. Some of these women are here for their achievements on the field/court/track/whatever, and some make this list because they’re extremely easy on the eyes. Often, both.
We’re not here to judge, but just to report the numbers, put some faces to the names, then get back to our New Year’s Eve planning. So let us present our standard boilerplate language on the process here, then get to the women.
The Google search results listed with each athlete were yielded by searching the person’s name and limiting the results to the past 12 months. Also, we’re switching things up this year a little by including retired and semi-retired athletes. If they’re being Googled to a huge extent, we see that as relevance, and grounds for inclusion. If you don’t like it, write your local Congressman, Member of Parliament, or elected dogcatcher.
IntroGoogle Results from Past Year: 31,800 While I think I know some checkout people at groceries stores with more than 30,000 Google hits, she gets to make the list, but just barely. Luciana plays field hockey, and is unquestionably the most popular player in the sport. With 30,000 Google hits.
50. Luciana Aymar
Google Results from Past Year: 44,000 Although her name is ubiquitous enough that it could be increased by other Stephanie Rices, we’re inclined to believe that he professional swimmer parlayed her appearance on ‘The Apprentice’ into a LOT more recognition. I mean, it worked for Gary Busey.
49. Stephanie Rice
Google Results from Past Year: 55,700 Yanina Wickmayer has the distinction of being the only “Yanina” on this list. Also, she plays tennis and is Russian, just like damn near every other entry on this list.
48. Yanina Wickmayer
Google Results from Past Year: 55,900 A four time Olympic beach volleyball player for Italy, she has definitely made her mark on the program, but she also appeared nude several times in Italian magazines, which explains why an Italian volleyball player shows up here.
47. Francesca Piccinini
Google Results from Past Year: 58,000 Again, in non-Olympic years, it’s a little hard for Olympic athletes to keep the PR machine going. Of course, her retirement in 2012 after taking down another gold medal with partner in crime Kerri Walsh, may have something to do with it.
46. Misty May-Treanor
Google Results from Past Year: 64,600 She’s a twelve-time Olympic medalist swimmer. She belongs here.
45. Natalie Coughlin
Google Results from Past Year: 72,500 ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS! Or rhythmic gymnastics. Or whatever Will Ferrell performed in ‘Old School’. She won the gold as captain of the US Olympic squad and was on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Huh. Makes sense.
44. Aly Raisman
Google Results from Past Year: 89,600 It’s a little surprising that with Abby’s resume of being named FIFA’s Player of the Year last year, her success with the US National Team, and her presence in professional soccer should dictate more than 90k hits. But the world’s an unfair place, even for the best soccer player in the world.
43. Abby Wambach
Google Results from Past Year: 98,900 After leading the UConn Huskies to back-to-back titles, she was picked first in the 2010 WNBA draft. She then took home 2012’s MVP award in the league. Nicely done, Tina.
42. Tina Charles
Google Results from Past Year: 99,300 Tennis players really have their way with this list every year. Dominika peaked in rankings in 2009, but has still made impacts, advancing in countless majors in 2013, but never taking home a win.
41. Dominika Cibulkova
Google Results from Past Year: 99,800 Seems low, but Google knows more than I do. Gulbis is known for being incredibly hot and also golfing professionally. She’s got 143,000 Twitter followers, which is remarkable in that I don’t know three people that would be interested in following any other golfer’s Twitter feed.
40. Natalie Gulbis
Google Results from Past Year: 106,000 Russian tennis player. 12 singles titles. 2010 Wimbledon and US Open finals. Bronze medal in Beijing. That was easy, wasn't it?
39. Vera Zvonareva
Google Results from Past Year: 107,000 Kerri was able to score a few more Google hits this year than her volleyball partner, Misty May, That can probably be explained by the fact that she’s still pursuing volleyball after Misty stepped away. So people are still wanting to know what she’s up to. And all signs point to her playing in the 2016 games, and probably kicking ass.
38. Kerri Walsh
Google Results from Past Year: 132,000 A little further down the list, we’ve got Leryn Franco, who hasn’t made much of a splash (!) as a swimmer, but has with her Instagram and social media marketing, having been picked up by Esquire among others. In the information age, self-promotion can take you just as far as athletic notoriety, and she’s proof.
37. Leryn Franco
Google Results from Past Year: 140,000 This track and field jack-of-all trades scored three medals (one gold) in her Olympic career at the 200M. She’s also picked up three gold medals in relay competition. Which begs the questions…”Why does she not have a lot more that 140k search results?”
36. Allyson Felix
Google Results from Past Year: 156,000 Australian Samantha Stosur is known for her powerful serve which has only garnered her a ranking of #18 in singles play, but she’s a former #1 in doubles, which means that if you can match her up with someone with complementary strengths on the court, she’s an ace.
35. Samantha Stosur
Google Results from Past Year: 168,000 Daniela Hantuchova is a very hot Russian tennis player. She had flirted with success over a decade ago, but came back to make a strong showing at the 2013 US Open, having fallen 40 spots from her career-high ranking, raising hell in the doubles division.
34. Daniela Hantuchova
Google Results from Past Year: 180,000 She’s a surfer, which means she gets photographed wet and in swimwear a lot. She also has blonde hair, which makes her a bikini model as well. Welcome to the list, Alana.
33. Alana Blanchard
Google Results from Past Year: 195,000 2013 has been good to Maria, who has been at her game since 2002 in which she won the girl’s gold in International competition. She reached a career high ranking of #10 this year, so it would seem things are trending upward for the Russian.
32. Maria Kirilenko
Google Results from Past Year: 196,000 Ms. Maroney fell precipitously from last year, having become a sensation with that enduring facial expression on the medal stand that said, “Dammit. I could have done better.” It’s hard for Olympic athletes to stay relevant in non-Olympic years, but she’ll probably get another chance to smile at the podium.
31. McKayla Maroney
Google Results from Past Year: 211,000 Whoa! We’ve got a cyclist on the list! Pendleton, who recently married her team’s trainer, is arguably Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete, with two golds and a bonze in 2012. She’s stepped away from the sport, but people don’t appear to have stepped away from her, given her presence on the Internet.
30. Victoria Pendleton
Google Results from Past Year: 214,000 She’s the most improved play of the year in tennis, so it’s no wonder she’s garnering some more attention than in previous years. If she keeps improving, she could be the best tennis player in history. Though that’s probably true for anyone.
29. Simona Halep
Google Results from Past Year: 222,000 Gold medal gymnast in the individual all around and team competitions. First African American to take down the gold in individual. And she was born in ’95, which means that even in the short-lived careers of gymnastics, we can expect to see her continue to make waves.
28. Gabby Douglas
Google Results from Past Year: 223,000 Jessica Ennis is the world heptathlon champion, which means she’s pretty much the best female athlete in the world. So it’s no surprise to see her here. In case excelling at an all around event isn’t enough, she holds British records in high jump and hurdles as well.
27. Jessica Ennis
Google Results from Past Year: 225,000 Lolo is a track star (hurdles) who’s looking to make the move into Olympic bobsledding competition, which is pretty badass. Not as badass, though, as her website name, runlolorun.com. Outstanding.
26. Lolo Jones
Google Results from Past Year: 232,000 This Czech beauty is currently #6 in the world and has won an endorsement contract from Nike based on her work on the court. In 2012 she dropped two semifinals matches to Maria Sharapova, which has to result in some bad blood.
25. Petra Kvitova
Google Results from Past Year: 246,000 Petkovic was a former top 10 tennis player who has just advanced to play #1 in the WTA Brisbane Open. We will see how she does against the best in the world, after struggling with injuries recently.
24. Andrea Petkovic
Google Results from Past Year: 973,000 You know what helps your Google ranking? Winning Wimbledon. Which is exactly what Marion Bartoli did this year. Then you know what she does? She retires. Which will probably only add to her legacy. Lord knows she has enough to hang her hat on at age 29.
23. Marion Bartoli
,/p>Google Results from Past Year: 1,220,000 She’s a hurdler and a model from Australia. People must be super into hurdling for her to get all these pages dedicated to her.
22. Michelle Jenneke
Google Results from Past Year: 1,510,000 Christine Sinclair is Canada’s most celebrated soccer player and most prolific goal scorer. She’s the captain of the team and known for leading her national squad to bronze in 2012. Which is nothing to sneeze at.
21. Christine Sinclair
Google Results from Past Year: 1,530,000 The golfer who will always remain about 7 years old in our minds is actually 24 and kicking ass. She has fell off markedly since making a splash, but she’s still riding the wave of publicity, even after injuries and a couple tantrums.
20. Michelle Wie
Google Results from Past Year: 1,870,000 The ten year old girl has decided to step away from football. A smart move if she’s looking to make a career out of a sport. She made headlines all year, but has decided the limelight was a bit too much, and wanted to find a sport in which she could excel and not just participate.
19. Sam Gordon
Google Results from Past Year: 2,060,000 A rare find: a basketball player on this list. Parker is arguably the most notable in the game and her work for the LA Sparks has turned her into a spokesperson not just for the WNBA, but all women’s sports. Nice going, Candace.
18. Candace Parker
Google Results from Past Year: 2,090,000 Hey! Another tennis player! A surefire way to raise your profile in the sports world (especially in female sports) is to make an appearance in the Body Issue of ESPN the magazine. It’s rivaling the Swimsuit Issue of SI in terms of popularity, and athletes get a chance to flaunt their goods. This Polish star got three WTA wins this year and netted a cool $3.1 million. That’s more than a buck for every Google result. Nice work.
17. Agnieszka Radwanska
Google Results from Past Year: 2,270,000 She hasn't won a Grand Slam event yet, but she’s come within spitting distance, so one can expect her to turn the corner. In the interim, just take in the wonder that is Caroline, and be glad she’s on TV every so often.
16. Caroline Wozniacki
Google Results from Past Year: 2,500,000 Because this tennis player’s name matches that of a few computer software packages, we had to disregard the 86,000,000 hits we originally stumbled upon. Adding tennis to the search, we got 2.5 mil. Let’s say 3 mil and agree that she’s pretty famous, cool?
15. Li Na
Google Results from Past Year: 2,520,000 Hello, old friend. Ivanovic hasn’t returned to her 2008 form, but having made her mark a half-decade ago, she’s still got the sports world’s attention. Though she got off to a slow start in 2013, she progressed on clay throughout the year, making her dangerous, if not as much as she was a few years back.
14. Ana Ivanovic
Google Results from Past Year: 3,710,000 This Indian tennis star had a banner year in 2013, and while she might not have the global appeal of some other western athletes, she’s got the support of a billion or so countrymen, which means she graces this list with ease.
13. Sania Mirza
Google Results from Past Year: 7,070,000 Tennis players, especially attractive ones at the top of their game, get a lot of attention from the world. So it’s no surprise that Victoria is killing it in 2013 having been ranked #1 earlier in the year, and still staying strong. This 24 year-old has a promising future, so expect her stock to rise into 2014 and beyond.
12. Victoria Azarenka
Google Results from Past Year: 5,610,000 Kim is one of the most famous people in South Korea, having become a nation’s pride in the world of figure skating. She holds several records in lots of different things I don’t understand, but something easier to wrap one’s head around is that she has never finished worse than third in her entire career. Not bad.
11. Kim Yu-Na
Google Results from Past Year: 7,290,000 GoDaddy.com can probably be credited with some of the heavy lifting here, but Danica has been a stalwart of professional racing for over a decade, and has held strong. She may be known more as a spokesperson than she is a driver, but her groundbreaking entry into the male dominated world of racing speaks volumes as to her presence on this list
10. Danica Patrick
,/p>Google Results from Past Year: 7,450,000 As the sun rises and sets, Maria appears on this list. Famous for being famous, and a killer tennis player, Sharapova will probably be on this list long after tennis is even a sport. Welcome home Maria, and see you next year.
9. Maria Sharapova
Google Results from Past Year: 11,600,000 The woman who had made a name for herself on the slopes has managed to reach a new audience by dating noted golfer and husband Tiger Woods. As a result of cancellations of races, and supreme early perfromances by Vonn, she picked up here sixth season title in 2013.
8. Lindsey Vonn
Google Results from Past Year: 11,900,000 While “Katie Taylor” got 63,000,000 hits, the more specific “Katie Taylor boxing” garnered 11,900,000. Which is still a metric crapload. This Irish pugilist has made waves since starting the sport at age 12. She’s got an Olympic gold and a sportsman of the year award, making her the pride of Ireland. Along with James Joyce and St. Patrick, I guess.
7. Katie Taylor
Google Results from Past Year: 15,000,000 Sure she’s not the only Alex Morgan out there, but my guess is that there aren’t too many Alex Morgans working at H&R Block or on Instragram driving up these results. For instance, the gold medal-winning USA Women’s National Soccer star got an article in today’s USA Today because she got a leopard onesie for Christmas. When a leopard onesie gift makes national attention, you’re pretty much at the top of your game from a notoriety standpoint.
6. Alex Morgan
Google Results from Past Year: 17,100,000 She may have just dropped a fight to Ronda Rousey in her pursuit of the UFC title, but there’s plenty more for her. Also, this is the first of several entries that prove women in MMA are far more popular than any other type of athlete.
5. Miesha Tate
Google Results from Past Year: 25,500,000 The other Williams sister is showing up strong. Venus may not have had the insanely awesome career of Serena (Venus’ is just really, really awesome) but there’s no shortage of talent domination on her end and having a twin brings some degree of guilt by association when it comes to success.
4. Venus Williams
Google Results from Past Year: 30,600,000 If you’ve ever doubted the reach of MMA, look no further than the torrent of results that comes from a search of Rousey’s name. She made headlines today for scheduling at defense of her title in February against Sara McMann, so don’t expect her stock to go anywhere but up if she reigns supreme in that fight.
3. Ronda Rousey
Google Results from Past Year: 41,800,000 Hope tends goal, and has become the de facto face of the US Women’s National team, which has dominated international women’s soccer in recent years. Also, when you’re called “Hope Solo” and sound like a Star Wars character, you tend to stand out in people’s minds.
2. Hope Solo
Google Results from Past Year: 44,800,000 Here she is. No surprise that Serena finds her way to the top in a non-Olmypic year. In addition to creating a strong brand for herself, she’s also the most dominant female tennis player the world has ever seen. And she has a fashion line, too, if that floats your boat.