It feels like every day the ladies of Red Bull are pushing the limits just a little more – breaking stereotypes, boundaries and blurring the lines of what being a female athlete's supposed to be like. Because of them, what was deemed impossible yesterday in the sporting world's now possible today.
Throughout the years, the women of Red Bull have continuously inspired the next generation of little girls to go bigger and ride faster. They've influenced older girls to try something new – to click into a pair of skis, jump out of a plane or climb onto a motorbike. Because of them, we sing louder and charge harder. We celebrate their victories and feel the pain of their defeat. They spark something within us – men and women alike – as they all take us all to the next level of sport.
The last year proved this once again; whether they were busy smashing a world record or going higher than ever before, the women of Red Bull sent it. And so, without further ado, we've handpicked the top achieving ladies of the last year.
As one of the most successful female athletes in mountain biking ever, Rachel Atherton did something that had never been done before – she claimed her 15th consecutive World Cup win within the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (DH). As a result she was awarded the title of Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year. We should also add she got the fifth fastest time through the speed trap at the Mont-Ste-Anne World Cup stop in Canada, men included.
Molly Meech and Alex Maloney can sail and they have the medals to prove it. Having both sailed offshore as kids whilst most of their peers were learning from books; Meech and Maloney have always been at a whole other level of sailing. Securing a spot on an Olympic team is not easy, but this duo did it seemingly with ease, placing second in the Sailing World Cup in the Women’s 49erFX class. But their ultimate win came a few months later in August when the Kiwi pair won silver in Rio after a nail-biting finish against the Brazilian team.
What's better than winning gold in the 2017 European Indoor Championships? Winning gold in your home country, in front of all your friends and family. Španović did just that the other day, and came within centimetres of setting a world record. She jumped a total of seven metres, 24 centimetres – a new personal best, Serbia’s new national record and it was the third best indoor jump of all time.
When Amy Chmelecki sets her mind to do something she does it, and she does it with heart, dedication and a smile. She's not only a pioneer of female skydiving but of the sport itself. She B.A.S.E. jumps, she wingsuit flies, she competes and she flies in tunnels like a ballerina. More so, she eats world records for breakfast as she and her team did in November 2016 with an all-women skydive world record.
Little Simz has praise from musical legends Andre 3000, Timbaland and Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. Additionally, she’s apart of the Space Age collective who works towards changing stereotypes the music industry is often riddled with. She also has a handful of impressive awards on her mantlepiece, including The Mercury Award for best album of the UK and Ireland.
After almost drowning at Nazaré in 2013, big wave surfer Maya Gabeira became one of the most inspiring female athletes in surfing. Four years ago, while trying to master the biggest wave ever taken on by a female surfer, Maya’s ankle broke due to the huge impact of the wave. Since then Maya had been struggling to get back into big wave surfing and finally returned to Nazaré in October 2015, proving how important it is to follow your passion no matter what. In 2016, Gabeira's story was shared on Red Bull TV inspiring future generations of female surfers to charge that much harder. More so, Gabeira has been charging Nazaré since her return.
Since the last International Women’s Day, Lisa Zimmermann has won seriously major big air events. However it was at the her debut Aspen X Games where she really wrote history. Zimmermann landed the first Switch Double Cork 1080 of the women’s big air competition and took home the gold.
How many other women do you know graduated from an Ivy League university and then made a first ascent of one of the world’s gnarliest walls? Yeah, we thought the number would be low – so low you only needed one finger. Sasha DiGiulian had an awesome year as she scaled rockface after rockface from Brazil to Spain, moved to Colorado, and began studying under the master himself: Patxi Usobiaga. Not to mention she’s making additional strides for women in sport as she was just appointed to the board of the Women's Sports Foundation.
The ladies of Between
Where to begin with Sandra Lahnsteiner's Shades of Winter team and their 2016 all-powder, all-epic ski film, Between? It's, hands down, one of the most successful winter sports productions ever – created by Sandra Lahnsteiner and featuring a bunch of kick-ass girls including Red Bull athletes Nadine Wallner, Carissa Moore and the late freeskiing star Matilda Rapaport. Between is a ski film with crazy ski action that also transfers the important message of what truly matters in life – it’s not always about the places we go, but it’s definitely about the people who are with us on our journey.
Since signing her contract with GB Hockey in 2010, Maddie Hinch has established herself as the first-choice goalkeeper and has gone on to represent England and Great Britain more than 100 times. As goaltender she’s helped her teams achieve success after success. However, it was in Rio when she saved all four penalties against The Netherlands in a final shootout to win gold that really stands out.
Check out some of our ladies favourite tracks with this Spotify playlist:
Check out more International Women's Day stories on Red Bull TV's Bullet Points here. Follow three stories of female athletes who are dominating their sports, meet a woman who is saving the planet one plastic bag at a time, and go behind the scenes of an exclusive new music video from The Aces.