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Monday, April 12, 2004
Updated: May 5, 12:58 PM ET
Who is the best female athlete?

Page 2 staff

Degree of Difficulty
Check out more Page 2 content:

WHAT IS THIS?
  • Check out Jim Caple's essay

    BRACKETS
  • Vote: Best male athlete in the world
  • Vote: Best female athlete in the world

    THE BIG GRID
  • Sports Skills Difficulty Rankings
  • Boxing: Down for the count?
  • Basketball: Underrated or overrated?

    THE ATHLETES SPEAK
  • Why is your sport most difficult?
  • Hardest thing in your sport?
  • Best all-around athlete in your sport?
  • Most impressive feat you've seen?
  • Most amazing thing you've seen?

    PAGE 2 TRIES ...
  • To hit a major-league fastball
  • The modern pentathlon
  • Riding the waves on a surfboard
  • Rowing with a crew team
  • Water polo and lives to tell about it
  • Coming up: A surprise

    LISTS
  • Greatest feats of athleticism
  • Greatest all-around athletes ever
  • Feats we'd like to see
  • We've reached the championship matchup: Serena Williams vs. Mia Hamm.

    And why not? These two made women's sports matter, and not just because they make skirts and shorts look so good.

    So who will it be? Who is the best female athlete in the world?

    Both can cover serious ground, whatever the direction or angle. Both can hit the snot out of a ball, whether it's with a racket or a foot or a head. And both will remind you that women are pretty tough, too.

    Together, with your votes, we're going to determine once and for all (or at least until we decide to do it again next year) who the best female athlete in the world is. The best of all. Period.

    So, as a friendly reminder, think about what goes into athleticism. What skills, and how many skills? What makes an elite athlete in one sport any more qualified to win than an elite athlete in another sport?

    Start voting and let your voice be heard.

    And, no Anna. Maybe next year. Maybe not.

    ULTIMATE ATHLETE CHAMPIONSHIP

    Serena Williams

    Mia Hamm


    BABE DIDRIKSON REGION
    First round Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals
    Tamika Catchings
    basketball (U.S.)
    Crystal Bustos
    softball (U.S.)
    Tamika Catchings
    basketball (U.S.)
    Diana Taurasi
    basketball (U.S.)
    Diana Taurasi
    basketball (U.S.)
    Lisa Fernandez
    softball (U.S.)
    Diana Taurasi
    basketball (U.S.)
    Diana Taurasi
    basketball (U.S.)
    Alana Beard
    basketball (U.S.)
    Nikki Teasley
    basketball (U.S.)
    Candace Parker
    basketball (U.S.)
    Candace Parker
    basketball (U.S.)
    Lisa Fernandez
    softball (U.S.)
    Lauren Jackson
    basketball (Australia)
    Lisa Fernandez
    softball (U.S.)
    Serena Williams
    tennis (U.S)
    Hilde Gerg
    skiing (Germany)
    Serena Williams
    tennis (U.S)
    Michelle Wie
    golf (U.S.)
    Serena Williams
    tennis (U.S)
    Justine Henin-Hardenne
    tennis (Belgium)
    Serena Williams
    tennis (U.S)
    Ellen MacArthur
    sailing (England)
    Michelle Wie
    golf (U.S.)
    Annika Sorenstam
    golf (Sweden)
    Justine Henin-Hardenne
    tennis (Belgium)
    Justine Henin-Hardenne
    tennis (Belgium)
    Janica Kostelic
    skiing (Croatia)
    Janica Kostelic
    skiing (Croatia)
    Kim Clijsters
    tennis (Belgium)

    JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE REGION
    First round Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarterfinals
    Mia Hamm
    soccer (U.S.)
    Carolina Kluft
    heptathlon (Sweden)
    Mia Hamm
    soccer (U.S.)
    Marion Jones
    sprinter (U.S.)
    Mia Hamm
    soccer (U.S.)
    Carly Patterson
    gymnastics (U.S.)
    Mia Hamm
    soccer (U.S.)
    Marion Jones
    sprinter (U.S.)
    Hanna Ljungberg
    soccer (Sweden)
    Stacy Dragila
    pole vault (U.S)
    Carly Patterson
    gymnastics (U.S.)
    Carly Patterson
    gymnastics (U.S.)
    Yelena Isinbayeva
    pole vault (Russia)
    Birgit Prinz
    soccer (Germany)
    Yelena Isinbayeva
    pole vault (Russia)
    Julie Krone
    jockey (U.S.)
    Angela Ruggiero
    hockey (U.S.)
    Angela Ruggiero
    hockey (U.S.)
    Barb Lindquist
    triathlon (U.S.)
    Barb Lindquist
    triathlon (U.S.)
    Lynn Hill
    climbing (U.S.)
    Barb Lindquist
    triathlon (U.S.)
    Kerri Walsh
    volleyball (U.S.)
    Barb Lindquist
    triathlon (U.S.)
    Hayley Wickenheiser
    hockey (Canada)
    Shizuka Arakawa
    figure skating (Japan)
    Hayley Wickenheiser
    hockey (Canada)
    Lynn Hill
    climbing (U.S.)
    Natalie Coughlin
    swimming (U.S.)
    Lynn Hill
    climbing (U.S.)