As winter winds down and spring beckons, the world of sports comes alive. March Madness enthralls, baseball begins anew, the NBA and NHL approach the playoffs, and the NFL Draft is only weeks away.
It is a spoil of riches.
So in the spirit of having too much of a good thing, I thought it would be only fitting to sweeten the pot with one of my favorite yearly traditions: Listing the 100 most desirable women in sports today.
(Gus Johnson voice): For the win...YES!
Some ground rules here: This list is comprised of women who are in some sort of athletic pursuit, or cover sports for a living in the year 2011. That means no sexy retirees, and no WAGs.
If that eliminates an old favorite of yours, I apologize. Rules are rules.
And in case you were wondering, I did include women from the world of professional wrestling. While it isn't a sport, it does require athleticism, and I consider it's participants to be athletes.
But enough of my jabbering—on to the 100 Most Desirable Women in Sports!
100. Federica Pellegrini
Italian swimmer Pellegrini is currently the world record holder in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle.
She was the first woman ever to break the four-minute mark (3:59.15) in the 400 meter freestyle, at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.
That record, like her, is simply breathtaking.
99. Sania Mirza
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Mirza is the most highly decorated woman's tennis player ever from India.
Not only has she achieved the highest ranking (27th in singles in August of 2007, and 18th in doubles in September of 2007) ever for an Indian woman, but she also became the first Indian woman to do the following:
- First to be seeded in a Grand Slam tournament
- First to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament (2005 U.S. Open)
- First to win a Grand Slam title (doubles title at the 2009 Australian Open with partner Mahesh Bhupathi)
- First Indian woman to win a WTA singles title (2005 Hyderabad Open Finals)
Talented, and cute to boot. What's not to like?
98. Jill Arrington
What is there left to say about Jill Arrington? Gorgeous, professional and knowledgeable about sports.
And we're just getting warmed up, fellas.
97. Brooke Adams
Adams is known as Miss Tessmacher in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, though she is not currently wrestling after breaking her jaw in December.
But she became known for her time in WWE, dancing in the group Extreme Expose with Kelly Kelly and Layla.
Don't bother Googling Extreme Expose, I've got a link for you already.
That's what I'm here for.
96. Jenny Useldinger
Jenny Useldinger is a professional surfer and will be appearing in the soon-to-be released documentary, Isolated.
Check it out, it looks like it will be an awesome film.
Oh, and here she is doing a photo shoot to promote the film.
Useldinger is only the first of many sexy surfers to appear on the list.
95. Sabine Lisicki
Lisicki is a professional tennis player currently ranked 216th in the WTA.
No. 216 in the WTA, but No. 1 (er, 95) in my heart.
94. Christy Hemme
Former wrestler Hemme is now a backstage interviewer for TNA Wrestling.
If I'm going to watch totally scripted backstage "interviews" during TNA, I want Hemme for the job.
That sentence was unintentionally dirty, wasn't it?
93. Dallas Friday
Sure, her name sounds like another book Buzz Bissinger might write about high school football in Texas. And no, I'm not going to make a Boobie Miles reference, thank you very much.
Wait a second...
What you may not know is that the sultry woman to your left is the most successful female wakeboarder ever.
Suddenly, I have the urge to watch wakeboarding. Funny how that works.
92. Victoria Azarenka
Tennis player Victoria Azarenka is currently ranked eighth in the WTA.
Hey—are you even reading this?
91. Tora Bright
Fun Wikipedia fact: "Her parents named her Torah after Marion Bright learned the word meant 'bearer of great message' in addition to referring to the five books of Moses."
Making the name Torah Bright, well, awesome.
Beyond having a rocking moniker, Bright won gold for Australia at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in the snowboard halfpipe.
90. Madison Rayne
Rayne is the, uh, reigning TNA Knockout champ.
I'll bet she makes it rain backstage after she wins.
I know, I know, rein in the puns already.
Maybe you should just look at the picture now.
89. Erin Phillips
It would appear that Phillips, who recently signed with the WNBA's Seattle Storm, is being whipped in this picture.
And it doesn't seem to be bothering her one bit.
Sexy yet tough—what a combo.
88. Elena Vesnina
Professional tennis player Elena Vesnina is currently ranked 56th in the WTA. Her current doubles partner is the aforementioned Sania Mirza.
In other words, you just became a fan of doubles tennis.
87. Penny Taylor
Taylor plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.
And much like the city she plays in, she is smoking hot.
86. Michelle Wie
Wie broke new ground in the LPGA. At the time, she was the youngest player to qualify for the USGA amateur championship, youngest winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur public links, and youngest player to qualify for an LPGA tour event.
She also took on the men, though she found little success. She made only one cut, and none on the PGA Tour.
Apparentely, her nickname is "The Big Wiesy," which should definitely be the team name you choose for your LPGA fantasy team.
Actually, Wie is only the first of many LPGA fantasies.
85. Hannah Teter
Teter is a world-class snowboarder, having earned gold and silver in the Olympic halfpipe (gold at the 2006 Turin Games, silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games). She has also won five X-Games medals, including gold in the superpipe in 2003.
Fun Wikipedia Fact: "In 2008 Teter founded a charity called Hannah's Gold which raises money through the sales of Vermont maple syrup. The charity, in partnership with World Vision, helps to support the village of Kirindon, Kenya through building schools, digging fresh water wells, and providing water filtration. In 2009 Teter donated all of her prize money to the Kirindon program."
Philanthropic, gorgeous and talented. We salute you, Miss Teter.
84. Melina Perez
So apparently, Melina Perez is a three-time WWE Women's Champion and a two-time WWE Divas Champion.
Nothing is more impressive than a fake champion.
In all fairness, however, Melina is a darn good athlete, and sexy as all get-out, as I'm sure you've already noticed.
83. Lauren Jackson
Lauren Jackson is a straight-up baller.
The Australian-born member of the WNBA's Seattle Storm is a three-time MVP, two-time champion (with one Finals MVP award), has been selected to the All-WNBA First Team five times, and has been voted to the WNBA All-Star game seven times.
And as if that wasn't enough, she occasionally only wears her own hair as a shirt.
82. Celeste Bonin
Bonin is known as Kaitlyn on the WWE's SmackDown.
Mess with her at your own peril: Bonin was a bodybuilder before she began wrestling.
So that headlock you were hoping she would put you in may be more painful than you thought.
81. Caroline Wozniacki
As of March 21st, Wozniacki is the top-ranked tennis player in the WTA. She has won 14 WTA singles titles, though she has yet to win a Grand Slam title.
But it shouldn't be hard for a knockout to get a Grand Slam. Wait, I'm mixing up sports metaphors. Whatever, you get the point.
80. Kim Hall
Hall was one of the Wilhelmina 7, a group of seven female golfers that signed with the Wilhelmina Models agency.
Hence the lovely photo to the left.
Hall is currently the Vice President of the LPGA Board of Directors.
Can you say sexy executive?
79. Beatriz Recari
Professional golfer Beatriz Recari was born in Pamplona, Spain, which of course is best known for the running of the bulls during the festival of San Fermin.
I've always wanted to go to Pamplona for the festival and run with the bulls myself. As a matter of fact, I put it on my sports bucket list.
And now I have two reasons to visit Pamplona.
78. Maya Gabeira
In 2009, Gabeira took home the ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete. She is also a four-time winner of the Billabong Girls Best Overall Performance Award.
And she is another in a long line of stunning Brazilian women. What is in the water down there?
Check her out in action here.
77. Alex Morgan
Morgan was the 2011 first overall pick for the Western New York Flash in the Women's Professional Soccer League.
You know, there are multiple connotations for the word "flash."
As a celebration, of course, like Brandi Chastain. What did you think I meant?
76. Angelina Love
All you need is (five-time TNA Women's Knockout Champion and one-time TNA Knockout Tag Team Champion Angelina) Love.
Love is all you need.
75. Heidi Watney
As a Phillies fan, it is my job to dislike teams such as the Red Sox.
That being said, the fact that Sox games are broadcast by NESN—and that Watney is employed as the on-field Red Sox reporter—improves them in my eyes.
Or should I say, to my eyes.
74. Alona Bondarenko
Bondarenko is currently ranked 55th in the WTA.
You're doing that thing again where you don't pay attention to anything I'm writing, aren't you?
73. Karina Petroni
Some interesting facts about this professional surfer:
- She was born and raised in Panama.
- She has been surfing since she was two.
- According to her website bio, "Karina lived an outdoor life many would find hard to fathom as she spent most of her time in the jungle, exploring, surfing and fishing the undiscovered coasts of Panama." Her family moved to Florida when she was 12.
- Also according to her bio, "Karina appeared in the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove, which follows a team of activists and athletes who attempt to uncover the secret slaughtering of dolphins in a small seaside town in Japan."
72. Kimi Pohlman
Junior Pohlman is the centerfielder and lead-off hitter for the Washington Huskies Softball team.
She was both First-Team All Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 Conference last season as a Sophomore, batting .347 while leading the Huskies in at bats (199), hits (69), triples (4), steal attempts (25), stolen bases (22) and total plate appearances (219).
71. Alex Flanagan
Is there anything sexier than a beautiful woman who knows her football like NFL Network host Alex Flanagan does?
The answer, in case you needed to think about it, is a resounding no.
70. Jennifer Chu
Chu plays cornerback for the Orlando Fantasy in the Lingerie Football League.
And yes, this is a sport—check out some of this action, they aren't messing around.
69. Tanyka Renee
Renee plays tackle for the LFL's Philly Passion.
She has also modeled for Playboy, Maxim and King, among others.
68. Rachel Unitt
Unitt is a left back for both the Everton Ladies and the English national team.
I don't know what all of that David Beckham fuss was all about—clearly, Unitt is the English soccer player everyone should have been talking about.
67. Sue Bird
Fun Wikipedia Fact: Bird "is one of seven women to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NCAA Championship, and a WNBA Championship."
She is also a four-time All-Star and All-WNBA First Team selection.
An assignment for somebody out there—take the Beatles classic, "And My Bird Can Sing," but redo it in honor of Sue Bird and title it "And My Bird Can Ball."
66. Hope Solo
Fun Fact I am About to Totally Make Up: Hope Solo is the descendant of Star Wars hero Han Solo, and the family has a pet Wookie.
So does she use the force as a goalkeeper for the United States national team and the Atlanta Beat of the WPS?
Hard to say, though I know the Jedi have many powers. If attraction is one of them, then the force is strong with this one.
65. Gretchen Bleiler
Bleier has put five X Games medals (four golds and one silver, all in Superpipe), and one Olympic medal (2006 silver in Halfpipe) on her mantle.
And then she comes back into the ski lounge and gets comfortable.
By all means, Gretchen, get comfortable.
64. Leanne Pelosi
Another snow-melting snowboarder. One of Pelosi's sponsors, K2, interviewed her on their site, and I've posted a few of her entertaining responses below:
What mythological creature would you most want as a pet?
I like dogs.
Best trick you can do that is not on a snowboard?
The pencil around the fingers trick.
If someone wrote a biography about you what would the title be?
Dumb and Dumber
Color me smitten.
63. Serena Williams
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Unless you live under a rock, you already know that Serena Williams is one of the WTA's most successful and sexy players.
For those of you who have actually been living under a rock, glad you joined us. See what you've been missing?
62. Krystal Gray
On her website (click at your own risk, it takes more time to load than a muzzleloader), Gray ends her bio with the following motto:
"Love, Football & Lingerie."
Oddly enough, that is my motto as well.
61. Elysia Ulrich
Here's an "Extreme Quote," as provided by Mademen.com:
"Well, since I broke my back in June I've had to take things pretty slowly."
Elysia, if you happen to break your back again (and here's hoping you don't), you'll probably need someone to care for you.
I could be that man.
Another WWE wrestler who made the list, Aksana goes by the nickname "Billion Dollar Baby."
I'm going to go out on a limb and say she isn't a cheap date.
59. Tiffani Hardin
The Orlando Fantasy's Hardin is one busy girl. According to her profile at Model Mayhem, she is "a full-time student, professional football player, model, bartender, sorority girl."
The only thing hotter than that picture?
58. Danica Patrick
Let me now say that, as much as I love Danica Patrick, it is time for GoDaddy to stop it with those ads. At this point, they aren't sexy so much as they are painfully corny.
Racers need sponsorship, I get it. Still not an excuse to be lame.
57. Alana Blanchard
First things first: Take a quick trip over to YouTube, gentlemen. (This is legit, she posted it on her website as well.)
Welcome back. Gotta love surfer girls.
To review, Alana is a professional surfer...
...and you stopped reading because you are watching the video again. Why am I even here?
56. Jamie Little
Little is ESPN and ABC's pit reporter for their coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series.
She is literally the only thing about watching a NASCAR race that isn't boring.
Sorry NASCAR fans, but I just don't get it. If I wanted to see something go around in circles for hours on end, I'd watch Joe Morgan talk about baseball.
55. Michelle Beadle
I love the Beadle. Which reminds me, I just thought of a few more fantasy names for you fellas:
- Beadle Bailey
- Beadle in the Hay
- The Space Beadle
- Beadledee and Beadledum (Beadledum representing Colin Cowherd, of course).
54. Ashley Force Hood
Force is a funny car drag racer, and is the daughter of the legendary, 15-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force. She will not be racing in 2011 as she is pregnant with her first child.
Congratulations, Ashley. Sad for the rest of us that you are hitched, but congratulations nonetheless.
Oh, and you know why they call them funny cars? Because there is something a bit funny with you if you are crazy enough to drive one.
53. Amanda Beard
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Amanda Beard has competed for the United States as a swimmer since 1996, when she was only 14. She has earned seven medals in that time, including two golds.
It was announced in December that she is also "working on a memoir that will tell of her life away from the pool, a 'harrowing journey' through drugs, alcohol and eating disorders," entitled "In the Water they Can't See You Cry."
Glad to see you made it through your struggles, Amanda.
52. Kim Kouwabunpat
Kouwabunpat is a professional golfer who in 2009 appeared on "Big Break Prince Edward Island," the reality golf series on the Golf Channel.
They literally have a reality show about everything, don't they?
I'd like to start my own reality show, entitled "Daydream Believer." The show will focus on ten contestants, shown daydreaming, doodling and twirling hair for 25 minutes.
The next 20 minutes of the show will be testimonials about the daydreaming highlights. The final 15 minues will feature deliberations from a panel of burnout celebrity judges, who will judge the daydreams on criteria such as creativity, social relevance, and continuity.
Are you there, VH1? Let's make this happen.
51. Erica Hosseini
Another beautiful surfer that graces my list, Hosseini lists herself as a "goofy foot surfer."
And now all I can imagine is a woman who surfs in a giant Disney Goofy outfit.
By the way, why is it necessary to label one stance as goofy. We don't say that left-handed pitchers are goofy-handed, do we?
Stick with me, folks, who knows what other social injustices these lovely ladies will help us uncover.
50. Maryese Ouellet
Maryes wrestles for the WWE, on the Raw brand.
How many frickin' brands do they have, anyway?
49. Daniela Hantuchova
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Hantuchova is currently 30th in the WTA standings.
In the "Legs That Go For Days" rankings, however, she is a perennial contender for number one.
Those are official rankings, by the way. In no way, shape or form did I just make them up now.
48. Heather Mitts
The lovely Mitts, who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and current member of the WPS's Atlanta Beat, also has the distinction of possessing the worst last name ever for a soccer player that doesn't play goal.
47. Sandra Gal
Gal recently won the LPGA Kia Classic, ending a tough 18-month stretch that saw her battling various injuries and left her with a LPGA ranking of 100.
However, the German golfer is another perennial competitor in the "Legs That Go For Days" rankings.
46. Trish Stratus
Stratus has been involved in the WWE for so long that when she started, they still called it the WWF.
By the way, does anybody else find it humorous that the WWE got pushed around by the World Wildlife Fund?
Stratus was, and remains, one of the hottest women to ever strut around on Vince McMahon's ring.
45. Stephanie Rice
Rice, an Olympic swimmer from Australia, won three gold medals in the 2008 Beijing games.
However, she most recently made a splash for all the wrong reasons. In September, following a Rugby Union match in which the Australian Wallabies defeated the South African Sprinboks, Rice posted "Suck on that (derogatory term for homosexuals)!" on her Twitter account.
Not cool, Stephanie, not cool at all. But we'll forgive you, so long as you keep it classy from now on.
44. Chanelle Sladics
Sladics is well-known as a professional snowboarder, but she is also no slouch on a skateboard, surfboard, or as witnessed here, the red carpet.
43. Kelly Kelly
Kelly Squared, as I am now referring to her, is a WWE wrestler on the SmackDown brand.
Her finishing move is the Kelly Killer, a handspring back elbow smash.
I don't understand the name of that move, however. Kelly Killer would seem to imply that the move killed her every time she performed it, right?
42. Jenn Brown
Is Kobe the new MJ? Is Sid the Kid the new Great One? Is Steve Carell the new Ricky Gervais?
No, no, and no. The new guys are all worthy of their own distinction, and shouldn't be pigeonholed into comparisons of their predecessors.
The same goes for Jenn Brown. While it is a compliment to be called the next Erin Andrews, Brown is beautiful and professional in her own way.
So let's drop just drop the Erin Andrews comparisons already, alright?
41. Lacy Von Erich
Von Erich recently left TNA wrestling, though it sounds as though she will attempt to remain in sports in some capacity. From a November Tweet:
"I decided to respectfully leave TNA today. I want to try new things, like be a sports host or something :) Love ya'll!"
You have at least one fan hoping you find your way on television as a sports host, Lacy.
40. Lindsey Vonn
Fun Wikipedia Fact: "With her Olympic gold and bronze medals, two World Championship gold medals in 2009 (plus three silver medals in 2007 / 2011), and three overall World Cup titles, Vonn has become the most successful American skier in ski racing history."
Also, one of her nicknames is "The Don."
Watching an incredibly talented and hot skier like Vonn is simply an offer I can't refuse.
39. Hailey and Sierra Partridge
Awesome things we check off with the Partridges:
Fearless professional surfer chicks?
Perennial contenders in the "Legs That Go For Days" rankings?
Check and check.
38. Therese Johaug
You never, ever thought a Norwegian cross-country skier would appear on this list, did you?
That's why I'm here—to broaden your horizons.
She's no slouch on the skis either, winning Gold at the 2010 Vancouver games in the 4 x 5 km relay.
See, even cross-country skiing can be exciting.
37. Evgeniya Kanaeva
We continue broadening horizons with Russian rhythmic gymnast Evgeniya Kanaeva. Except you are already a fan of rhythmic dancing if you are a Will Ferrell fan.