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12 Badass Female Athletes Who Gave Zero Fucks

Winning gold medals, smashing the patriarchy, and even saying "fuck you" to Hitler was all in a day's work for these badass women.

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1. Kathrine Switzer

Harry Trask / Boston Herald

It was December of 1966 when Kathrine Switzer suggested to her coach, Arnie Briggs, that she sign up for the Boston Marathon. Switzer didn't give a single, solitary fuck that no woman had ever run the marathon before; she just loved running and wanted to do it.

First she convinced Briggs to let her sign up by running not 26, but 31 miles straight in practice. When she arrived in Boston to run the race, she made sure to wear sweatpants to help keep a low profile, but about four miles in, she heard yelling.

It came from Jock Semple, a marathon official who was screaming at Switzer to, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers." With a body block from Switzer's coach and from her then-boyfriend, Switzer was off and finished the race, becoming the first woman to do so.

Oh, and she took those sweatpants off halfway through. Because she gave zero fucks.

2. Billie Jean King

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The year was 1973, and Billie Jean King had dominated just about every female opponent she played on the way to six Wimbledon singles championships and four US Open titles. Seeing this, male tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged King to a match, saying that women, "should stay in the bedroom."

Did King give any fucks? Nope. Instead, she waltzed into that match, already dubbed the "Battle of the Sexes," and completely trounced Riggs in three straight sets.

3. Margaret Abbott

If the stories about Margaret Abbott are true, then she was a 100% bona fide badass. Way back in 1900, the second modern Olympics were being held in Paris. As the story goes, Abbott and her mother were visiting Paris for the World's Fair and signed up to play in what they thought was just a friendly golf tournament.

Without knowing it, they had actually signed up for the Olympics. Abbott casually played her way to a first-place finish, then went on back home to America where she lived the rest of her life without even knowing that she was the first-ever female Olympic champion in golf. Zero fucks given.

4. Diana Nyad

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Diana Nyad was already a boss-as-hell long-distance swimmer, having accomplished such feats as SWIMMING AROUND THE ENTIRETY OF MANHATTAN and SWIMMING FROM THE FRICKIN' BAHAMAS TO FLORIDA.

But Nyad really made headlines when, in 2013, she became the first person to swim from Florida to Cuba without the aid of a shark cage, because Diana Nyad gives approximately no fucks about sharks (or, like, the limitations of the human body, apparently).


5. Mo'ne Davis

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No female athlete had ever won a Little League championship game. But did that stop Mo'ne Davis? Nope, because she did not give two, or even one fuck about it. Instead of sticking to all-girl leagues, Mo'ne joined the boys in Little League and became the first girl to win a game in the Little League World Series, thanks in part to her 70 MPH fastball.

6. Babe Didrikson Zaharias

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Joe Williams of the New York World-Telegram wrote of Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, "It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring." Luckily, Zaharias gave nary a single fuck about what Joe Williams thought.

Babe qualified for five events in the 1932 Olympics, but at the time, women were restricted to competing in only three events. So she went ahead and medaled in all three events she signed up for, winning a silver in high jump and golds (while setting world records) in javelin and the 80-meter hurdles.

7. Wilma Rudolph

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Wilma Rudolph's childhood was rough. She was born prematurely, weighing only 4.5 pounds, and had bouts of pneumonia and scarlet fever. Later, she contracted polio and lost function in her left leg.

But did Rudolph let all that keep her down? Hell no. She told polio to fuck off, kept exercising her legs at any opportunity, often getting in trouble for removing her leg braces. She went on to play basketball in high school and run track in college at Temple, but her sports career hit a high when she competed in multiple track events in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where she won three gold medals and set Olympic and world records along the way.

8. Ann Meyers Drysdale

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A woman has never made the regular-season roster for an NBA team, but Ann Meyers Drysdale didn't give a fuck about that. She was so damn good at basketball that she was the first player in NCAA Division I history to score a quadruple-double while she was playing for UCLA.

In fact, Drysdale was so dominant that she became the first woman to sign a contract with an NBA team when she joined the Indiana Pacers in the pre-season. She went through tryouts and ended up not making the team, but went on to be MVP of the Women's Professional Basketball League and, later, a successful analyst and commentator for the WNBA and Olympics.


9. Althea Gibson

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Althea Gibson was an incredibly talented tennis player, but in the 1950s, black women weren't allowed to play in major tournaments. But did Gibson give a single fuck about that? If you guessed "no," you're fuckin' right.

Gibson was shut out of the US Nationals multiple times, even after winning the national black women's tennis championships twice. Finally, after many attempts, she was finally allowed to compete in 1950, becoming the first black woman to do so. Later, in 1957, she became the first black athlete to win Wimbledon and the US Nationals.

10. Gertrude Ederle

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When swimmer Gertrude Ederle said she wanted to swim the English Channel, people doubted that she, a woman, could handle the task. Of course, Ederle knew what she could do and gave not a single, solitary fuck about what her critics said.

Not only did Ederle swim the channel in 1926, becoming the first woman and only the sixth person ever to accomplish the feat, but she also competed in the Olympics, where she won a gold and two bronze medals. Oh, and she beat the records of all five men who swam the channel before her.

11. Halina Konopacka

Polish athlete Halina Konopacka was a badass discus thrower, smashing world records and becoming the first woman to win a gold medal in the event during the 1928 Olympics.

But it was her actions during WWII that really put her over the top in terms of badassery: She, along with her husband, smuggled gold from the Polish National Bank out of the country to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis. Yeah, that's right. Halina gave zero fucks about Hitler.

12. Elizabeth Robinson

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Betty Robinson had already proven herself to be an amazing athlete before the major drama in her life happened. In 1928, she traveled to Amsterdam to compete in her first Olympic games and, at age 16, became the first American woman to win the 100m sprint.

Three years later, tragedy struck: Robinson was on a flight in a biplane piloted by her cousin when it crashed. Her body was found among the wreckage and she was assumed dead, so the workers who found her tossed her body in the trunk of a car and drove her to the morgue. Little did they know, Robinson didn't give two fucks about death itself, and it turned out she was alive, but in a coma.

You might think she would have given a fuck about a coma and a broken leg, right? WRONG. She awoke from the coma after seven months, rehabilitated her leg, and recovered in time to compete in the 1936 Olympics, where she won ANOTHER GOLD MEDAL in the relay.