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Women in Sports 5 Influential Figures

Suzy Kolber

Suzanne "Suzy" Kolber is a sportscaster for ESPN. She mainly is a sideline reporter for American football. She anchored at ESPN2 when it was first launched, then left to join Fox Sports, and came back to ESPN.

Early Life

Born in Philadelphia, she grew up loving sports. At 10 years old, she was on her school football team. She attended University of Miami, graduating in the Class of 1986. She worked at Dynamic Cable in Coral Gables as sports director during her time at UM. She was also on the swim team.

Career

After graduation, she worked at CBS Sports in New York City, then came back to Miami to produce the sportscast at WTVJ-TV, and won a local sports Emmy award in 1988. Kolber had a few jobs in Miami, New York City, and near Dallas. She was a producer and director for NFL Films, then in 1993 she moved to ESPN.

At ESPN, she has covered the NFL, multiple Grand Slam tennis events, and the 1996 X Games. She worked there from 1993 to 1996, and 1999 to the present day. She is an anchor on SportsCenter during the NFL off-season, and covers the draft almost every year.

Kolber spent some time at Fox Sports, being there from 1996 until she left to go back to ESPN in 1999. She was the lead reporter for "NFL on Fox" and studio host for "NHL on Fox". She also reported live from the tomb during the first live excavation on the Giza plateau in Egypt.

Personal Life

Kolber married Eric Brady in 2008. She had a daughter that same year, named Kellyn. She and Brady divorced, but it is unknown when and why. Kolber keeps her personal life quite private.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is one of the most well known tennis players in the world. She has held the top world ranking for both Women's Singles and Women's Doubles, and has appeared in 4 different Olympic Games.

Early Life

Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1981, the youngest of 5 daughters. She has three half-sisters and a full sister, Venus, now a frequent doubles partner and one of her biggest rivals. She also has at least 7 half siblings on her father's side.

When she was young, her family moved to Compton, California, a city just south of downtown LA. She began to play tennis in Compton, at 4 years old. She was homeschooled by her father.

Career

Serena has won 39 Grand Slams, 16 of which in doubles, 4 medals in the Olympics, 3 of which in doubles, 5 WTA Tour Championships, 1 Grand Slam Cup, 25 WTA 1000s, 2 of which in doubles, and 24 WTA Tours, 4 of which in doubles. She has won 98 championships, with a Win/Loss ratio of 0.77, meaning about 8 out of 10.

She holds the record for the most prize money earned in women's tennis, both of all time and in a single season. Over her entire career, she has earned $94,236,271 in prize money, $12,385,572 of which in just the 2013 season.

Personal Life

At the age of nine, she and her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where she still lives today. She is married to Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. She and him have a daughter.

Like her sister, she has a clothing line, called "Aneres" (Serena spelled backwards). She speaks French, and at the 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 French Opens she gave her interviews in French. Her and her sister are minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, and the first black women to hold any ownership of an NFL franchise.

"Tennis just a game, family is forever."

Simone Biles

Simone Biles is an American gymnast. She is the third most decorated gymnast in the world at only 24 years old, with 5 Olympic medals and 25 World Championship medals, a total of 30.

Early Life

Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, one among 4 siblings. Her mother couldn't take care of them all, so she put them in foster care. At 3 years old, her grandfather started taking care of her and her siblings in Spring, Texas, where she still lives.

She first tried gymnastics on a field trip at 6 years old. She began her training at 8. She began her elite competitions at 14, placing first, third, fourth, and eighth in different exercises in the 2011 American Classic, her first elite tournament.

Career

She has only ever been in one Olympic Games, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. There, she won 4 gold medals (Team, All-Around, Vault, Floor Exercise) and 1 bronze medal (Balance Beam). She has been in 5 World Championships, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019, in which she won 19 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals. Many say she is the greatest gymnast of all time, at 24 years old.

Personal Life

Biles announced that she will compete for UCLA in the NCAA in late 2014. In mid 2015, she turned professional, forfeiting that, and deciding not to go to UCLA. In 2018, she enrolled at the University of the People to study business administration.

Biles is not married and has no children, which is not uncommon for a 24 year old. She has, however been in two public relationships. She is currently dating NFL player Jonathan Owens of the Houston Texans.

"I'd rather regret the risks that didn't work out than the chances I didn't take at all."

Venus Williams

Venus Williams is a tennis player, one of the best in the world. Like her younger sister Serena, she has held the number one ranking in both Women's Singles and Women's Doubles. Unlike her sister, she holds the world record for the most Olympic medals won in tennis by a male or female.

Early Life

Venus was born in Lynwood, California, in 1980. Her family moved to Compton about 5 years later, where her tennis talent was spotted at the tender age of 7. Her family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, not long after, where her and her sister could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci.

Career

Venus has won 23 Grand Slams, 16 of which in doubles, 4 Summer Olympics Tournaments, 3 of them in doubles, 1 WTA Tour Championship, 1 Grand Slam Cup, 11 WTA Premier Mandatory & Premier-5s, 2 of which in doubles, and 33 WTA Tours, 3 of which in doubles. This is a total of 73 championship wins, with a Win/Loss ratio of 0.68, meaning about 2 out of 3 tournaments.

Trailing her sister (and also top rival), she holds the record for the second most prize money collected by a women's tennis player, at $42,065,362. You won't be able to find a better duo than the Williams sisters.

Personal Life

Williams didn't attend college until later in life. In 2007, she received her associate degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. In 2011, she began online college at Indiana University East, to get her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, which she received in 2015. She is aiming to get a Master of Business Administration degree.

She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She has been in three public relationships, but has not been married and has no children. She has a clothing line, described as "fashion-forward tennis and everyday wear", called EleVen by Venus Williams.

"Some people say I have attitude - maybe I do... but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does - that makes you a winner right there."

Alex Morgan

Alexandra Morgan is a professional soccer player. She is currently on he Orlando Pride in the National Women's Soccer League and on the United States women's national soccer team, on which she was a co-captain, alongside 2 others.

Early Life

She was born in San Dimas, California, a suburb just outside LA. She played many sports growing up, and her father, Michael Morgan, was one of her first soccer coaches. She began playing club soccer (joined a team) when she was 14. When she was 17, she joined the US U20 team. That is the team for the best women in the US under 20 years old.

While going to University of California at Berkeley, she played for the California Golden Bears. She finished her college career ranked third all-time in the amount of goals scored, 45. She graduated early.

Career

She then moved around a bit, being in 9 clubs, not staying in one for over 4 years. She has been on teams in France, England, and the US. She has been on the Orlando Pride 3 times, in 2016, from 2017 to 2020, and 2021 to present. She is still on the US women's national team.

She won a gold at the 2012 London Olympics. She has also been in three FIFA Women's World Cups, 2011, 2015, and 2019. She won a silver in Germany (2011) and a gold in each Canada and France ('15 and '19, respectively). She was 22 at the time of the 2011 World Cup, making her the youngest played on the American national team.

Personal Life

Morgan is married to fellow soccer player Servando Carrasco, who plays on Fort Lauderdale CF. The couple met at UC Berkeley, where they both played soccer. They have a daughter together, Charlie.

Morgan is a vegan. She also is a part of the Common Goal campaign, a campaign where players donate 1% of their wages to support charities that are related to soccer. Not much else is known of her personal life.

“Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it's never really over until the whistle blows.”