Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Magdalena Neuner (GER, Biathlon Beauty)

Biathlon, the winter sport, involves cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting. Magdalena Neuner is a biathlon prodigy, having won accolades at the highest stage at such a young age.

Photos from Wikipedia

Neuner began her love affair with the sport at the early age of 9. Through the years, she won an astounding five World Junior titles. As a 20-year old, the German won an impressive three gold medals at the Biathlon World Championships, an auspicious start to her senior career.

Photo from Wikipedia

Most recently, Neuner reigned supreme at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. She won two gold medals at the pursuit and mass start events, and added a silver in as well in the sprint.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Malia Jones (USA, Surfing Beauty)

I must admit that I am not comfortable at all with water. Although I am a self-taught swimmer, I prefer the safe confines of dry land. Hence, I have this aversion to all types of water sports. Surfing, in particular, I find daunting. The thought of riding the waves brings forth fears of unknown underwater creatures, undercurrents and drowning!

Thus, I have much respect for surfers.

Malia Jones is one such surfer. Born in California, but raised in Hawaii, Jones' exposure to competitive surfing started at an early age. At 15, according to Wikipedia, Jones won her first ever surfing title, and, consequently, landed her first surfing-related modeling gig as well.

Photo from

These two disciplines have gone hand-in-hand in increasing Jones popularity with the sports-mad American public. Since then, the 33-year old had graced countless magazine covers.

According to the treasure trove of information, Wikipedia, Jones is of Hawaiian, German and Anglo-Saxon descent. She is also a Spanish-Filipino mestiza.

Margherita Granbassi (ITA, Fencing Beauty)

Margherita Granbassi packs quite a sting - literally.

The Italian fencer is a veteran international campaigner. Competing in the foil, Grambassi became a world champion in 2006, edging out Valentina Vezzali, a five-time Olympic gold medalist and a Superb Senora in her own right. Two years earlier, Grambassi also won gold at the team foil event.

Photo from

Click here to go to Margherita's official site

Aside from the 31-year old's twin World Championship golds, she had also won two bronzes from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, two more silvers from the World Championships and a silver in the European championships.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dara Torres (USA, Swimming Legend)

The first time I learned about Dara Torres was during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I was awestruck at the fact that a 40-year old is attempting to compete at the world's biggest stage, to say the least. But then again, Torres wasn't just in it for the ride. The mere fact that she qualified for the Swimming competition for the United States Olympic Team is proof of her extreme fitness level.

Photo from Wikipedia

Prior to Beijing, Torres was already an American swimming legend, winner of four gold medals, a silver medal and four bronzes spanning 4 Olympics - from Los Angeles 1984 to Sydney 2000. At age 15, Torres set her first American national record at her best event, the 50m freestyle. The California-raised Torres had nothing left to prove in the sport. But almost two decades since her competitive debut, Torres was at her 5th Olympic Games - a stellar feat in itself.

And lo and behold, the mother to a then-two year old daughter did not just come along to Beijing for the ride. There was to be no forgettable races as Dara did not fade quietly into the sunset. Instead, she fought fiercely, winning an astounding 3 silver medals in the 4x100m freestyle, the 4x100m medley and the 50m freestyle.

She lost the gold medal in her best event, the 50m freestyle, in the most infinitesimal of margins. Germany's Britta Steffen won by a 0.01s. Steffen was barely a year old during Torres' Olympic debut in the 1983 Los Angeles Games!

Indeed, Dara Torres is a Superb Señora!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miwa Asao 浅尾 美和 (JPN, Beach Volleyball Beauty)

For our next Superb Senora, we turn to the Land of the Rising Sun and the sport of Beach Volleyball.

In recent years, beach volleyball has grown exponentially in terms of popularity. From its awkward roots in the movie Top Gun (where Maverick and Goose played an intense pick-up game against Iceman and Slider, well not really. I just couldn't let writing about beach volleyball pass without referencing one of my favorite movies of all-time!), beach volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1996.
Photos from Picasa, and Wikipedia

Aside from the appeal of the laid-back beach setting, where sand and sun commingle, the beach volleybelles themselves provide the centerpiece for the sport. In Japan, the emergence of Asao Miwa 浅尾 美和 has boded well in stirring much interest in beach volleyball. Brawns and good looks are a potent combination for any sport.

A Mainichi Daily News article on Asao credits the 24-year old with putting "beach volleyball on the map" but also expresses fear that Japan's foremost beach volleyball icon is "overexposed" in light of her commitments in the media and her "excessively skimpy swimsuits." In fact, Asao missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics since she and her partner were ranked 44th in the world at that time, below the required top 24 for Olympic competition.

In sport, an Anna Kournikova is needed to pave the way for a Maria Sharapova. Who knows? Asao is still relatively young. Her moment of (sporting) glory is yet to come. But for now, what makes her superb is her being larger-than-life icon for her respective sport.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kiira Korpi (FIN, Figure Skating Beauty)

Again, we turn to the wonderful world of winter sports for our next Super Senora. Mention the word figure skating and images from the movies "The Cutting Edge" and "Blades of Glory" come into mind.

Finland's Kiira Korpi is one of the most beautiful athletes I've ever seen. In Finland, she is often called as the "Ice Princess" or Jääprinsessa since her resemblance to the late Grace Kelly is uncanny, according to Wikipedia.

Photos from Wikipedia

Korpi is not just a pretty face, mind you. She is Finland's top-ranked figure skater, winning the Finnish national championship twice. In major competitions, she won 3rd place at the 2007 European Championships and at the 2009 Winter Universiade.

Needless to say, Kiira dances around the ice with so much grace. She even makes Beyonce's If I Were A Boy seem tailored-made for an ice waltz.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Maria Sharapova Nike Ad

Here's a superb Maria Sharapova Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова ad. Need I say more?

Claudia Toth (AUT, Curling Beauty)

Our local cable provider carries Eurosport. As a hardcore athletics fan, I used to scour the various sporting channels available for feeds of track & field. Whilst waiting for my favorite events to air, I couldn't help but watch bizarrely alien winter sports. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the grace of figure skating and the sheer exhilaration of ski jumping. Being the tropical habitue that I am, I can't for the love of god, understand the point of curling.

Photo from
Athletes like Claudia Toth makes learning such a foreign sport a lot easier to bear. Toth is a certified top tier European curler. She is the Austria's curling skip (whatever that means!).

Photos from and

The next time Eurosport shows one of those obscure curling live feeds, I'll be on the lookout for a certain Austrian looker! For starters, I shall be intently watching this highly informative clip, just to understand the winter sport a lot better.

Katy Livingston (GBR, Modern Pentathlon Beauty)

The Modern Pentathlon is unique in the sense that it was invented especially for the Olympic Games. Modern pentathletes, as the name suggest, compete in five disciplines that aim to demonstrate the skills of a 19th century cavalry officer. The event was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin as "a test for an ideal, well-rounded soldier... [consisting] of shooting, one-touch épée fencing, a 200-meter swim, show jumping on an unfamiliar horse and a 3-kilometer run."

Katy Livingston is a world-class modern pentathlete. As a youngster, Livingston was involved in a variety of sports, particularly running, swimming and netball. Her exposure to various disciplines made her a perfect fit for the multi-event Olympic contest.

Photos from Life,,

Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Guisborough native was picked as one of the favorites. That same year, the statuesque English athlete won topped honors at the European Championships in Riga. She also added a bronze in the team event, aside from her individual gold.

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN, Tennis Beauty)

Caroline Wozniacki is at the top of Women's professional tennis. The 20-year old Dane, as of October 2010, has been on top of the WTA world rankings and is a sure cinch to cap her breakout 2010 season as the World No. 1.

Photos from Wikipedia

Wozniacki's list of accolades is dazzling, despite her young age. Wozniacki, born of Polish parents, had won a total of 12 WTA and 4 ITF titles since turning professional in 2005. In Grand Slam events, the powerfully-built netter highest finish is second at the 2009 U.S. Open, losing out to eventual champion Kim Clijsters (7-5, 6-3). Wozniacki followed this up the next year with credible performances, reaching the 4th rounds of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the Quarter-finals of the French Open and the Semi-finals of the U.S. Open.

Wozniacki, with her good looks and solid game, is poised to become the next best thing in Women's tennis. At the tender age of 20, she already has several big name endorsements from Adidas and Sony-Ericcson. More importantly, it is only a matter of time before the World No. 1 wins her first Grand Slam title.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Maurizia Cacciatori (ITA, Volleyball Beauty)

I wasn't really keen on volleyball, much less watching the game. But when the Manila leg of the Volleyball Grand Prix featured lookers from the Italian, Russian and Japanese teams, I was instantly hooked!

Photos from and

In the Philippines, people went head over heels about the diminutive yet lovely Brazilian spiker, Leila Barros. I, on the other hand, was enamored by the Mediterranean beauty of Maurizia Cacciatori.

Cacciatori, now long since retired from competitive sport, stands at 1.78m and played the dribbler position. She made her debut into top tier Italian volleyball Sirio Perugia for four years. Her professional career lasted until 2007. Cacciatori was a long time Italian international, having a total of 228 appearances for the Azurri. She helped the Italian squad garner a bronze in the European Championships in 1999 and a silver in the same competition 2 years later, losing to the Russians in the final.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guo Jingjing 郭晶晶 (CHN, Diving Beauty)

Guo Jingjing 郭晶晶 is the most successful female Olympic diver of all-time. Guo made her Olympic debut at the 1996 Atlanta games, finishing 5th in the platform. Before she retired after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Guo had won a total of 3 Olympic gold medals and 1 Olympic silver medal - amongst her sizable collection of major championship titles.

Photo from Wikipedia

Just like the other titans of Chinese sport like Yao Ming 姚明 and Liu Xiang 刘翔, Guo is a celebrity in mainland China. Her good looks and impeccable athletic achievements combine to make her a marketer's dream. This however, got her in conflict with the Chinese sporting authorities, to much controversy.

Guo is a living legend of diving, tying American diving great Greg Louganis in terms of total Olympic golds won - a testament to the emergence of the erstwhile Sleeping Dragon in the sporting world.

Video credits:

Pound per Pound

Women are often unjustly referred to as the "weaker sex." All things being equal, a man pitted against a woman in athletic competition is bound achieve a sizable measure of advantage, because of the former's testosterone level. Pound per pound, the term "weaker sex" couldn't be more erroneous.

In my country, the Philippines, triathlon has experienced an exponential growth in interest. The most prestigious competition, the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines, has received widespread media coverage. One particular fact piqued my interest: the winner of the women's elite category, Magali Tisseyre (4:27.01), was ten minutes faster than the toughest Filipino male triathlete, Neil Catiil (4:37.10). Indeed, the sheer experience of Tisseyre in the international triathlon circuit dwarfs that of the young, 24-year old Catiil. After all, the domestic triathlon scene is relatively new, compared to its more established foreign counterparts.

Magali Tisseyre
Photo from

Another excellent case to point of comparison is Edward Lasquette's Philippine national pole vault record. As a 21-year old, the Filipino-American vaulter cleared the opening height of 5.00m at the Barcelona Olympics, rewriting the domestic record books.

Yelena Isinbayeva's (Елена Гаджиевна Исинбаева) pole vault world record of 5.06m is marginally better than Lasquette's best mark. Again, experience can also be a factor, with Isinbayeva achieving the record mark at 28-years old. Furthermore, Isinbayeva is an experienced competitor - lording over pole vault meets the world over.

Yelena Isinbayeva
Photo from marcopako

Sport, indeed, breaks barriers. Athletic competition, as showcases of feats of strength, human fortitude and endurance is an avenue for change.

We've made gigantic leaps and bounds the past one hundred years. Nowadays, it seems appalling to think that the Olympic's centerpiece event, the Marathon, opened its prestigious doors to the fairer sex only in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics - almost 100 years since the first modern Olympics in 1896. However, the highly-conservative International Olympic Committee still has some bulwarks of old-school chauvinism. For instance, ski-jumping remains exclusive only to men.

Read "Why Can't Women Ski Jump in the Olympics?"

Nevertheless, the inclusion of women's amateur boxing in the 2012 London Olympic Games puts the Olympic movement in good light - a bright beacon of hope to the Philippines, in particular, a country that has yet to win its first Olympic gold medal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Aravane Rezaï (FRA, Tennis Beauty)

Aravane Rezaï is one of professional tennis' rising stars. The French No. 2 senior Grand Slam debut came in 2006, where she bombed out of the qualifying round of the Australian. Rezaï, who traces her roots from Iran, fared a lot better in Roland Garros, reaching the 3rd round. The 23-year old had also reached the third round in Wimbledon (2007) and the Australian Open (2008).
Photos from and y.caradec

To date, Rezaï had won a total of 4 WTA titles and 7 ITF crowns. Her world ranking has risen gradually through the years, reaching a high of 15th overall in October 2010. The past season saw the emergent Rezaï upsetting big names like Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki - a strong sign of her true potential.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lauren Jackson (AUS, Basketball Beauty)

Lauren Jackson has been a fixture in her country's national basketball squad in the past decade. The 1.95m (6'5)-tall Center/Forward led the Aussies to three straight Olympic Silvers, a World Championship gold and a Commonwealth Games gold.

At the 2000 Olympics, Jacskon distinguished herself on home soil scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds against basketball powerhouse United States. Indeed, such number for a 19-year old playing at world's biggest stage in front of a highly partisan crowd speaks much of Jackson's mental fortitude.

Photos from, and Wikipedia

The lanky blond was the top overall pick in the 2001 WNBA draft. Her list of accolades is daunting, having won the WNBA Most Valuable Player award thrice. Jackson had also led the Seattle Storm to two championship trophies in 2004 and 2010.

Additional Link
Lauren Jackson's Official Site

Hello, World!

This blog aims to honor the women of sport by showcasing their feats of athleticism. Through words, photographs and moving pictures, this site intends to highlight the abilities of the sporting world's foremost exemplars of excellence.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Global Fund for Women

This blog supports the Global Fund for Women.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrate Humanity

Click the photo below to learn more about the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Olympic movement in my home country: