Five Female Athletes Who Will Knock You Out

The Olympics may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop cheering for awesome female athletes! This Sunday, Annaleise Carr became the youngest person ever to swim across Lake Ontario. Annaleise is exceptional, but she’s not the exception: all around the world, young women are kicking ass and taking names. They’re sailing around the globe, bicycling across Europe, and doing yoga to classical music! Brought to you by my love for athletic women, here’s a list of sporty women to watch out for.

Five Female Athletes You May Not Know About:

1. Annaleise Carr (Canada): This past Sunday, Carr became the youngest person, at only 14 years old, to swim across Lake Ontario. She crossed 52.5 kilometres from the mouth of the Niagara River to Toronto’s Marilyn Bell Park, named after the first person ever to swim across the lake. In 1956, 16 year-old Bell made history, but this weekend it was all about Carr who battled high waves, a cold current, leg cramps and boredom – the swim took a grand total of 27 hours – all to raise funds for Camp Trillium, a summer camp for children with cancer.

Annaleise Carr


2. Kasia Szewcyk (Poland and Canada): This May, Szewcyk began a cycling journey she will never forget. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, where she picked up a touring bicycle made from recycled parts, she commenced a 3,500-kilometer solo cycling journey that ended in Istanbul, Turkey. Forgoing regular showers, a comfortable bed, and a normal social life, she raised money for World Literacy Canada to support women’s education and literacy programs in India. She even kept a blog about her journey. It’s a super interesting read, should be made into a book, and contains sentences like “Bike travel is awesome because during the cycling you occasionally have great and easily digestible fly-protein zoom straight in your mouth, free of charge.” Once upon a time Kasia was my roommate, so when I say she’s cool, you know it’s true.

Kasia Szewcyk

3.Meghan Currie (Canada): Described by a friend of mine as “the woman I will marry,” Currie paints, does yoga to classical music, and has a website that tells you to “love every day.” You’ll want to marry her too after watching this video:

4. Laura Decker (Netherlands): Earlier this year, 16 year-old Decker became the youngest person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe. To do so, she had to battle Dutch authorities who were concerned that the teenager was too young for such an undertaking. She said she was more afraid of social services locking her up than she was of pirates and treacherous sea storms. But the authorities were wrong about Decker: not only did she finish the 5 month-long journey safe and sound, but while at sea, she also completed all her homework. She also kept a blog, writing about meeting dolphins, penguins, and her appreciation for nature.

5. Lianne McTavish (Canada): McTavish may be a little older than the other women on this list, but c’mon, I had to include this woman who not only teaches Art History at the University of Alberta but is also a bodybuilder, a feminist, and a writer whose blog discusses how to ‘Look Hot While You Fight the Patriarchy.”

Lianne McTavish via

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Malaika likes books, drinking tea, long conversations, dinner parties, making funny faces, bike rides, and dogs. Originally from Edmonton, she now lives in Montreal where she edits, runs, and writes about the Alberta Tar Sands for The Media Co-op. You can follow her on twitter @Malaika_Aleba.

Malaika has written 84 articles for us.


  1. The only one you need concern yourselves with is Katie Taylor, Olympic womens lightweight boxing champion for Ireland. Legend.

  2. I decided not to include anyone who has already been to the Olympics cause we’ve already written a lot of great stuff about the Olympics. But Katie Taylor is rad! If you know of any non-Olympian young Irish athletes let me know! This list has a pretty Canadian bias, cause I live here so can’t help knowing more about Canadians:)

  3. Damn. When I read the title on Twitter, I was so sure it was about women and MMA.

    It’d be great if there was an article on women fighters ;)

  4. Katie Taylor is one of my new heroes.

    As an Irish woman myself, you can only imagine the atmosphere when she won the gold. Everyone and their mother was jumping around the place going CRAZY!

    She is also very beautiful and extremely humble.
    If only she was gay.. or maybe she is.
    Hey.. a girl can dream!

    A link to a picture of here below (powerful woman right there!)

  5. Ok so I went to Meghan Currie’s website and her Introduction video is so cute! She is adorable, and the things she says about yoga really make me want to do yoga, so.

  6. omfg…..i also want to marry megan curry!!! that video was so beautiful, and so is her form! i’m just a little blown away right now, be still my heart

  7. Valerie Adams, New Zealand shot putter, and double gold medalist olympian. However she hasn’t been mentioned on here before as far as I know. She is one stong, very cool woman and pretty sure she’s gay. She is not officially out but always has one particular female in her photos and press… Great story behind her gold medal this time round too.

  8. Damn University of Alberta for not accepting me, So would have loved having McTavish as my Prof!! Never would have missed that class.

  9. I am honoured to be included on this list. Thanks so much! Questions, comments and post suggestions are always welcome at, with new features Ask RenMan (pro-feminist bodybuilder artist) and Ask a Trainer.

  10. Ellie Simmonds, double gold medallist for swimming in Beijing, at age 13!! Girl is incredible and I think she’s broken the world record in 100 or 200 freestyle since then, so she’ll put in a spectacular performance next week.

  11. Laura! I remember that being in the news a lot. Man oh man, glad she did so well. Her last name is Dekker though, not Decker. ;)

  12. I just watched Meghan Currie’s introduction video… Oh my goodness. THAT BACK! I don’t know what to do with myself now.

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