"You throw like a girl."
It's meant to be the biggest insult to someone's athletic ability to compare them to a girl, yet, time and time again we see that girls can indeed kick ass in the world of sports. Women unsurprisingly dominate in sports like volleyball and tennis, sports which are considered gender neutral, or even female-dominated. But female sports stars don't need to be confined to these, and the worlds of gymnastics, cheerleading and figure skating. There are many women kicking ass and taking names in typically male-dominated sports including MMA, weightlifting, and hockey.
Perhaps that isn't so surprising, but here's something that might pique your interest – not all female athletes have to be big and bulky. In fact, many of them are downright beautiful. Just because they play as tough as a guy doesn't mean they look manly. These fine women are not only tough as nails and super sporty, but also comfortable in their female skin.
And yes, many of them just so happen to look hot in a bikini, in case you were wondering.
10 Julia Rohde - Weightlifting
When you think of weightlifters, chances are you think of some dude bro at the gym who can't stop looking at his reflection as he lifts weight that crush a normal person to death. Even worse, the whole time he's smirking at you and your pathetic attempts to get in shape.
And if you happen to imagine a female weightlifter, you probably picture someone who's bulky and showing off bulging biceps and arms that could squish your head. But lo and behold, Julia Rohde, a German weightlifter who competed in the 2012 Olympics, is anything but that image. She's slim, toned, blonde, pretty, and strong enough to bench press your body (plus some). Seriously, what's not to love?
9 Hope Solo - Soccer
Hope Solo may be one of the most memorable names in American soccer, as she's been in the news a lot for both her sports endeavors and her personal issues. But there's no denying that Solo is a dang good soccer player, helping the United States to win the gold in 2008 and again in 2012.
She's won numerous awards and honors. Unfortunately for her though, it's her personal issues that have put her in the news more often than not. Solo is married to former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens and they've been together since she returned from the 2012 Olympics. However, shortly after they got together, Stevens was arrested for assaulting Solo. He was released the next day, and the two of them got married upon his release. Solo has also been arrested for assaulting her sister and nephew – however, all charges were later dropped.
8 Alex Morgan - Soccer
You probably used to think of soccer as a man's sport, huh? Until now, that is. And Hope Solo isn't the only beauty playing in the sport. Meet Alex Morgan, who started playing soccer when she was 14 years old and who was named the NSCAA All-American while in high school.
Morgan went on to be the youngest player on the U.S team in the FIFA World Cup, and she is credited with helping the U.S win the gold in the 2012 summer Olympics when she scored a game winning goal that led them to play – and beat – Japan in the final.
7 Rachel Wray - MMA
Cheerleading probably isn't the scariest sport around, and while guys participate, it's certainly not male-dominated. But former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Rachel Wray proved that she could play with the big boys when she turned her attention to the MMA.
Now you have to admit, a cheerleader in a boxing ring doesn't sound very threatening at all. But Wray surprised everyone as an amateur when she beat a pro purple-belt in an impromptu fight early in her career. Sadly, after an incident where Wray was choked and felt like she was dying, she went on the downlow for a while. Still, mad props to her for even jumping into such a badass sport like MMA.
6 Skylar Diggins - Basketball
There are many beautiful woman who play for the WNBA, and it would be impossible to list them all here. But one standout in the world of women's basketball has to be Skylar Diggins. This beauty is not only known for rocking a bikini for Sport's Illustrated, but for also being the all-time leading scorer for Notre Dame as well as being drafted third overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA draft. In 2014, Diggins ranked second in the league in scoring, and she went on to win the 2014 WNBA Most Improved Player Award. She also became an All-Star for the first time in her career.
5 Hilary Knight - Ice Hockey
When you think of hockey, chances are you imagine a bunch of men beating the daylights out of each other. Hilary Knight is proving to the world that hockey isn't just a man's sport – at least not anymore.
She originally started playing hockey at the age of six, and went on to play for the Wisconsin Badgers women's ice hockey team. In her first year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Knight and her team went on to place second in the NCAA championships.
The next year, she led her team in points and they went on to win the National Championship. She went on to play in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where she happened to be the youngest member of the team at the time.
4 Michelle Waterson - MMA
It's not surprising that the gorgeous Michelle Waterson started out modeling after she graduated from high school. But proving that she's a lot more than just a pretty face, Waterson has risen to fame as an MMA fighter.
Waterson, who is of Thai descent, started taking karate at the age of ten, and holds a black belt. She also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, and wrestling. Originally, she became famous as a contestant on the reality show Fight Girls, and was later featured on an MTV reality show called Bully Beatdown. In 2007, she made her MMA debut and in 2015, she signed with UFC. Her first fight is scheduled for July 12, 2015.
3 Anna Rawson - Golf
It probably comes as no surprise that Anna Rawson started out as a model. But she surprised everyone when she went on to start her golfing career in 1999.
Rawson won plenty of amateur competitions that led her to become a member of the Australian National Squad, and in 2004, she went pro. While Anna wasn't able to make the cut for the 2004 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, she did finish third in the Ladies European Tour in 2005 and would later make it to the top ten in the 2008 LPGA.
2 Gina Carano - MMA
Gina Carano may not longer be competing in MMA, but this badass beauty isn't going anywhere. In fact, she's cropping up more and more these days, including a stint on American Gladiators where she went by the name of Crush. She's also been seen in films such as Ring Girls (which is about ultimate fighting), Fight Girls (on Oxygen), Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, In The Blood (which is described as being similar to Taken, except Carano is the one seeking revenge), Fast and Furious 6, and she's been cast in the female version of The Expendables. As the producer noted, how could he make a female version of the popular action flick without Gina Carano in it? Because seriously, this girl is just that bad ass. And let's face it, she could still kick most guy's asses, even if she never steps foot inside a ring again.
1 Antonija Misura - Basketball
Antonija Misura constantly attracted media attention thanks to her looks, and honestly, we can't say we're surprised. She's regularly ranked as being one of the most beautiful women in sports. However, Misura has made it abundantly clear that while the attention on her looks is flattering, it's also a bit annoying. She continues to decline most modeling contracts, claiming she wants to focus on her sports career instead. Misura is a Croatian professional basketball player who plays for the Toulouse Metropole Basket in the Ligue Feminine de Basketball. She also played in the 2012 Summer Olympics. And to think, the only reason Misura started playing basketball in the first place was to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, and now look at where she is today.