Becoming an Olympic athlete is inspiring in and of itself, but we have to give even more credit to the women who overcame extreme odds to reach their triumph, break seemingly impossible records and then went on to use their gifts and immense talent to give back to the community. Not only are these 10 women dripping in gold with a story to tell, but they also have established themselves as leaders whose accomplishments will be applauded long after the Olympic torch has gone out!
When she was growing up, the 6’5″ Lisa Leslie was tormented by her classmates for her height. Not only did she never let their comments slow her down, she used it as ammo to take her height and her physical ability and push herself to the top! Today, Lisa Leslie is one of the most recognizable faces in women’s basketball—she was the first team sports athlete to win four consecutive Olympic gold medals and was named WNBA MVP three times. Since her retirement from professional sports in 2009, Leslie has become an author, ESPN commentator, sports analyst and co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks. In 2011, she launched her Lisa Leslie Basketball and Leadership Academy, offering year round basketball and leadership training to boys and girls in the LA area.
Image credit: wnba.com