By Keysha Hogan
Sunday night we watched the most beautiful women in the world win big on Oscar Night. They were gracious and lovely while decked out in the most fashionable designer dresses. But what about the new leading ladies in the sports world? They are tough, take no @#$* and are poised to dominate in 2013 and beyond.
The teenager in me has a few dumb jokes about a female race car driver and winning the pole position, but let’s keep things classy. During most of Speedweek, Patrick finally lived up to the hype. Her execution and eighth-place finish was nothing short of historical and admirable. For once her romantic life and GoDaddy ads took a backseat to her professional gains. In practice and testing, it was obvious that she had quickly became comfortable with restrictor-plate style racing. And when she locked down the pole for the Daytona 500 at 196.434 mph with a Stewart-Haas Racing package by Hendrick engines, everything fell into place. After the race Patrick told the press she “was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl.” This could be the year she delivers and wins big.
Just a couple of hours down the road in Waco, Brittney Griner is rewriting the women’s basketball history books. She’s already moved passed legends like Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw and USC’s Cheryl Miller on the alltime scoring list. So far, she’s the only female basketball player to block 700 shots and she moves with dominance across the court to dunk on paralyzed opponents. At 6 feet, 8 inches, she has combined her intelligence and quickness to transform the sport. And on top of everything else, Griner is only one of eight female players to score 3,000 points in the history of the game. Still not convinced? Well, last year she rallied her teammates and led them to a perfect 40-0 record and a national championship. Currently she is in the middle of orchestrating a repeat performance and taking Lady Bears straight to the top.
What people seem to forget about MMA’s new star, Ronda Rousey, is that she’s been fighting her entire life. She began in Judo and became the first American woman to medal in the sport at the Beijing Olympics. But after returning home, she realized there weren’t many jobs for women who were experts at throwing people down. To survive she started bartending and waiting tables in L.A. After some time she stumbled into the world of MMA, then went on to win her first three fights, all in the first round. Last year the criticism of Rousey was deafening as other fighters accused her of being selfish and talking her way into a title fight when she had only logged 138 seconds of cage time as a pro. They claimed she cared more about herself than the sport, but now it seems that if she hadn’t showed up then the future of the women’s division would be more uncertain. Either way, it doesn’t matter if it boils down to Rousey’s hunt for cash and glory or the explosive growth she brought to her sport. She came, she fought, she won. End of story.