The 5 Famous Australian Female Athletes
5. Jelena Dokic
SPORT: Tennis singles, Tennis doubles.
Jelena Dokic was born in Osijek, Croatia on April 12, 1983. Because of the political instability and the constant threat of war, her family emigrated to Australia in 1994.
In the 90s’ women’s tennis was dominated by one person – Martina Hingis. A lot of people thought her to be unbeatable as she held the world number 1 rank for over 90 weeks. That's where Jelena Dokic came in. During the 1999 Wimbledon Championships, the 16-year-old Dokic beat Hingis in a stunning upset: scoring 6-2 and 6-0.
She also defeated other tennis stars including Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, reaching the rank of Number 4 in the world. She retired in 2014 at the age of 35 and broke into the world of commentating, coaching, and writing. She published her autobiography Unbreakable in 2017 which topped the Australian book charts. Even after putting her racquet down, this retired tennis player continues to be one of the most inspirational Australian icons of all time.
4. Emma George
SPORT: Pole vault
World records are not easy to set – it represents what current athletes are capable of, and the limits that they can achieve. And because athletes get better and better as time goes by, records also gets harder and harder to beat! But leave it to Australian pole vaulter Emma George to set not just talking about one world record, but twelve!
Emma George was born in Beechworth Victoria on November 1, 1974. Before she entered the world of pole vaulting, she was a trapeze artist in The Flying Fruit Fly Circus. So it’s no wonder she had such grace when it came to pole vaulting!
In the span of her career, Emma George set 12 world records in pole vaulting. For four years, Emma Geroge's record was the one to beat! She set a record high of 4.6m and was only beaten by Stacy Dragila in 2000. She retired in 2003 and will always be known as one of Australia’s greatest sporting heroes.
3. Catherine Freeman
Catherine Freeman is one of Australia's best sprinters boasting one of the most impressive medal collections in history. She has four gold medals from The Commonwealth Games, two from The World Championships, and an Olympic gold medal. That's more gold than most blinged-out rap artists!
Freeman's set a personal best record for the 400m dash in 48.63 seconds. That’s as fast as a car running at 30kph!
2. Ashleigh Barty
SPORT: Tennis singles, Tennis doubles, Cricket
Queensland-born Ashleigh Barty is one of the most prominent names in tennis history. She’ s won multiple titles both in the women's singles and doubles division and is only one of the two Australians ever to reach the number 1 rank in the WTA.
After her loss in the 2014 US open, she announced that she would be taking her hiatus from tennis, and made the switch cricket. Her cricket coaches saw great potential in her, and they weren't wrong – Barty was one of the highest scorers on her team, boasting a batting average of 11.33. She eventually made the switch back to tennis in 2014 and has been performing beautifully ever since.
Barty is one of the highest-paid Australian female athletes of all time. The 23-year-old has amassed over $USD10 million in prizes alone, not even counting her endorsements in Jaguar and Vegemite.
1. Michelle Jenneke
SPORT: Sprinting, running, hurdles
This hurdler/runner/sprinter has represented Australia in various worldwide events and has brought home a ton of medals. She scored gold for 100m hurdles, the 100m relay, and silver medals for running as well. But aside from athletics, Michelle also boasts worldwide ‘meme status’. A video of her pre-race warm-up dance during the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics turned her into a worldwide sensation.
A week after that video was released, she got featured on The Tonight Show. Agencies saw her potential to be a model – with that toned body and slender curves, who wouldn't? In 2013, she was featured in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, and in the same year, she was ranked 10th in Askmen.com's 99 most desirable women. Michelle Jenneke is definitely one of the hottest female athletes not just in Australia, but the whole world.
It’s nice to see some ladies kicking some ass in the male-dominated world of professional sports! These incredible Australian athletes show the world that although we may not have the largest population, we’re still a fierce contender in the sporting arena.