Let’s be real: female athletes are not as popular as their male counterparts. Some will say it’s due to the level competition, while others may blatantly cry inequality about the entire situation. What it really comes down to is traditional stereotypes that are still prevalent in our society: boys play sports and girls play with dolls. This simple concept transfers to our adult society, making it difficult for top-notch female athletes to make a noteworthy name for themselves.
Well, to heck with the stereotypes because some of these female athletes are absolutely amazing. Not only are they beautiful, and dominant in their respective sports, but they still find time to perfect another craft outside of competition. Today, we not only spotlight 15 stunning female athletes, but dive into their interesting hobbies outside of sports. With female athletes generally not making as much as male counterparts (obviously there are exceptions) some pursue their hobbies and try to turn them into second careers to earn an extra source of income, while others simply use it as a way to escape the rigors of competition and training day after day. Whatever their motivations are, here are some surprising hobbies of female athletes.
15 Aly Raisman: Sock Designer
The multi-talented Olympic Gymnast, Aly Raisman, start’s off our list. Member’s of both the ‘Fierce Five’ and ‘Final Five,’ Raisman has dominated the gymnastics world by taking home three Olympic golds, two silvers, and a bronze. But it’s not her footwork on the balance beam that we highlight today, but her literal footwork as a sock designer.
Partnering with the company Feat, Raisman has created several lines of socks. Some pay homage to her time with Team USA, while others capture the gymnast’s bubbling personality. But Raisman’s best design yet was one featuring her mom and dad.
Lynn and Rick Raisman became instant celebrities during the Olympics as they nervously cheered on their daughter. They sporadically twitched and emphatically shouted as Aly was performing. Now, the memory of their support is forever stitched into a pair of socks!
14 Serena Williams: Fashion Design
All-time tennis great, Serena Williams, always possesses a fierce attitude on the court. From a powerful grunt during the opening serve to her loud exhalation as she wins the match, many critics view Serena’s exuberance as sometimes being ‘too manly.’ But off-the-court, the 23-time Grand Slam winner emits feminine grace and elegance as exemplified by her love of dress design.
Williams has her own fashion line, ‘Signature Statement’ with the Home Shopping Network (HSN). At the 2016 New York Fashion week, the tennis star explained her new collection to PeopleStyle.
“It’s really all about the [way they] feel. I’m really romantic, so I was thinking of [things] you want snuggle, like the pink faux shearling jacket. And long pieces because I always want to look taller and leaner.”
Clearly a classy woman: both on and off the court!
13 Paige VanZant: Shooting
Flyweight fighter Paige VanZant is a truly stunning athlete. She has a 7-4 record in the UFC, using her grappling techniques to wear out opponents, then finishing them off with a quick strike. Outside the Octagon, VanZant’s beauty has led to her popularity among viewers, as she’s appeared on shows such as Chopped and Dancing with the Stars.
When she’s not training for a fight, or participating in reality competitions, Paige is shooting a gun. I guess it’s not too surprising, since her father nicknamed her “12 gauge” due to her love for hunting, dirtbiking, fishing, and the outdoors overall.
VanZant faced criticism though growing up as a tomboy, as many of the mean girls bullied her throughout her schooling. Joke’s on them now because she could kick all of their butts!
12 Michelle Wie: Painting
A professional golfer before her 16th birthday, Michelle Wie has dedicated to her life to her sport since childhood. She’s won five tournaments on the LPGA tour, and secured her only major championship at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. But instead of dedicating her entire life to golf, Wie takes some time out of her busy schedule to paint.
You may think that “Big Wiesy” would create some conservative art, like butterflies and rainbows, but this golfer has a darker side. With a brush in her hand, she let’s her imagination flow onto the canvas. The Hawaiian beauty has painted pieces featuring creepy skulls, gas masks, and even one of a robot devouring a teddy bear.
I’m not sure what an art critic would say about that last one, but it’s pretty ‘dope’ that Wie has found a creative escape from the bland world of golf!
11 Maria Sharapova: Sleeping
Russian tennis star, Maria Sharapova, has been under scrutiny as of late. She was banned for a year-and-a-half by the International Tennis Foundation after a January 2016 doping test came back positive for the recently banned substance, Meldonium. From an outsiders perspective, it may look like Sharapova was trying to cheat, but when you dive deeper, it wasn’t that big a deal. Still, she served her suspension like a professional, which left her plenty of time to perfect her favorite hobby: sleeping.
Back before competing at Wimbledon in 2011, Sharapova looked back on her younger career and explained what has changed over the years.
“There is no special training. The only thing I do is sleeping longer. I love to sleep, it’s my hobby”
That’s probably because all of the ‘Siberian Siren’s’ unnecessary grunts on the court tire her out!
10 Alex Morgan: Partying
Okay, so maybe partying may not be the rarest of hobbies, but USWNT star, Alex Morgan, takes it to another level. After the 2012 Summer Olympics, the gold medal winner celebrated until dawn in London. She told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover of Access Hollywood Live that they even fell asleep on the tube!
“[They woke up] at the end of the line and couldn’t even get back to their [hotel] until 10 AM… my dad missed his flight the next morning.”
Okay, so maybe a victory celebration doesn’t constitute Morgan as being a party animal, but that wasn’t her only incident. Along with some fellow soccer players, Morgan was kicked out of Epcot Center in Disney World for partying too hard in October 2017. She and her party were extremely “impaired and verbally aggressive” towards park security officials.
Fun-loving on the pitch, Morgan truly loves to rage when those 90 minutes are up!
9 Sasha Banks: K-Pop
Professional wrestler Sasha Banks (real name Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado) is a delight to watch in the ring. Between the WWE and NXT, Banks has reigned as champion on five separate occasions. She crushes opponents with her signature diving double knee drop, then finishes them with a straight jacket neckbreaker slam, aptly called the Bankrupt, or makes them tap with the Bank Statement submission move.
Yet outside the ring, Sasha has a less-fierce taste in music. Despite being cousins with Snoop Dogg and Ray J, “The Legit Boss” enjoys Korean pop music (k-pop for short), with her favorite group being Big Bang.
She’s also a huge gamer and anime fan, stating in a 2016 interview that some of her favorite shows are Death Note, Monster, and School Rumble. Nerds everywhere must have their jaws on the floor!
8 Eugenie Brouchard: Nothing
Both beautiful and talented, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Brouchard chooses to do nothing but relax in her free-time. Sitting down for an interview with Best Health Magazine in 2015, the former WTA Most Improved Player talked about her interests when she’s not competing.
“When I do have time off, I don’t want to do anything physical. I’m a ‘lie on the couch’-type of person during my days off.”
Oh Genie, don’t we all! Recently though, Genie’s nihilistic hobby has caught-up to her play on the court. Since withdrawing from the 2015 U.S. Open with a concussion, Brouchard has failed to win a tournament, or even reach the fourth-round of a major. In January 2018, her poor performances dropped her ranking out of the Top 100 for the first-time in nearly half-a-decade! Looks like it’s time for ‘EuBou’ to star picking up some new hobbies!
7 Danica Patrick: Foodie
Recently retired racecar driver and newly-appointed NFL WAG, Danica Patrick, knows her way around a kitchen. No, not in a negative female stereotype way; she actually is a self-described foodie!
In a 2016 interview with USA TODAY Sports, Patrick elaborated one her tasty passion and what she likes to order during a night on the town.
“I’d want to get something I can’t make, like grilled foie gras or some form of molecular gastronomy or manipulation of ingredients to make it taste like something completely different.”
The “Go Daddy Girl” isn’t just a fan of the culinary world; she is a great chef herself. In 2013, she won a special episode of the reality cooking competition Chopped, competing against other sports stars. Patrick has even been featured on Gordon Ramsay’s television show, The F Word. Is there anything this beautiful athlete can’t do?
6 Tessa Virtue: Psychology
The always-beautiful ice dancer Tessa Virtue, along with her partner, Scott Moir, enthralled viewers at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Canadian duo’s charisma on the ice was unbelievable! Virtue and Moir gifted viewers with a tantalizing, sensual routine, which propelled them to the top of the leaderboarder. So what makes the gold medalist’s chemistry so magical? Perhaps it’s psychology.
After the pair took home silver in 2014, they took a step back from competition, with Virtue stating “we needed a break from competition – emotionally, mentally and physically.” For the ice dancer, taking a break meant pursuing a degree in psychology at the University of Windsor. She hopes to move onto law school at some point, but for now, she’ll probably soak in the glory from a dominant performance in PyeongChang!
5 Elena Delle Donne: Woodworking
Washington Mystics forward, Elena Delle Donne, schools opponents on the hardwood, but also schools the hardwood at home. The former WNBA MVP is a master carpenter, and even has her own small business on the side selling her creations: DelleDonneDesigns! You can buy pieces ranging from children’s tables, to bubble bath trays, to even a handmade mini basketball hoop!
Along with two friends/business partners, the former Delaware standout creates her custom furniture in the offseason. They even have an app where potential customers can browse their catalog of designs!
Despite Delle Donne’s woodworking mastery, it’s her play on the court that has made headlines as of late. She continues to be one of the best players in the WNBA and has no signs of slowing down!
4 Erin Hamlin: Crocheting
Luge is one of the most extreme sports in the world, and USA luger Erin Hamlin is one of the best! The four-time Olympian slides down the icy track at speeds of over 80 mph, navigating the twists and turns of the course. Despite the Americans not being known for dominating the sport, Hamlin managed to sneak her way onto the Olympic medal podium in 2014, grabbing a bronze medal in Sochi.
With a sport so extreme, you would think Hamlin was into other adventurous activities, like scuba diving or base jumping. But no, Hamlin, along with her teammate Megan Sweeney, unwind on the road by crocheting headbands and hats. They even started a little business venture together: Emrin Headwear. One of their handmade headbands is a patriotic red, white, and blue, with their slogan being “Nationalize your Noggin’!”
3 Paige Spiranac: Comic Book Collector
Drop-dead gorgeous athlete, Paige Spiranac, is the new generation of women’s golf. The LPGA has always been a more conservative league, but Paige is out there trying to break traditions while breaking hearts. Using social media to promote her cause, this golfer exudes physical appeal both on and off the course, even leading the LPGA to create several updates to their dress code!
But Paige isn’t just beauty and brawn – she also has a nerdy side. In an interview with Esquire, Spiranac talked about paintballing, rock climbing, and trampolining in her free time, but her favorite activity outside of golf is collecting comic books!
When it comes to the “Marvel or DC” question, Paige plays the field. She stated that The Dark Knight is her favorite movie, but that she has a soft spot for Iron Man and The Avengers. This golfer is definitely not your typical comic book nerd!
2 Ronda Rousey: Pokemon
Ronda Rousey is everywhere in the fighting world: she won a bronze medal in women’s judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she’s the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and now she has shifted focus to the wrestling ring with the WWE. On top of all that, there is one place where Rousey’s fighting is the most dominant: The Pokemon Gym.
That’s right! The tough-nosed fighter known for her signature arm bar is a huge Pokemon buff. Rousey used to moderate a Pokemon forum back in the day, and her favorite Pokemon is Mew.
Even as she has risen through the ranks of MMA, Rousey continues to fangirl about the series, and has claimed to have gone through every single generation of every single game ever released!
1 Lindsey Vonn: Law and Order Fanatic
We get to the top (or is it the bottom?) of our list with popular skier: Lindsey Vonn. Despite faltering in PyeongChang, the three-time Olympic medalist has been a role model for female athletes around the world throughout her career. Now that she is retired, she can focus on her other passion: Law & Order.
Lindsey just wasn’t just any ordinary fan though; she was completely obsessive. When the show was announced that it would be cancelled in 2010, Vonn was devastated, telling reporters…
“I don’t know what I’d do. I have it Tivo’d and I watch it before going to bed or when I work out.”
But, before the show got the axe, the blonde bombshell got to fulfill one of her lifelon dreams: making a guest appearance on Law & Order. Vonn landed a role as an administrative assistant at a teacher’s union in the series finale after the creator of the show, Dick Wolf, read that she was a fan!
Toni Storm’s departure has reduced the blue brand’s women’s roster to single figures.
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