Before she became a big name, Pamela Anderson lived in British Columbia, descended from Finnish immigrants. In high school, she played volleyball and dated Tyler Anderson.
According to Ty Anderson, Pammy was shy and insecure, particularly in terms of her body. He commented, “I still love her. I still dream about her and I still think about her and my wife knows that. My first love was deep for me. I really loved her.”
At 22 years old, Pamela Anderson briefly lived with former hairdresser and producer Jon Peters. Apparently, Peters met Anderson at the Playboy Mansion. He said, “I walked in and saw this little angel sitting at the bar. It was Pammy. She was like 19.”
He continued, “I knew she would be a big star. We ended up living together. Of course, Hefner loved her and saw her beauty. Pamela was a girl who, with no makeup, was gorgeous. She was very smart and very talented.”
Pamela Anderson was an extremely successful Playboy model, and has since appeared on more covers than anyone else. After she was named the Playmate of the Month in 1990, she met Scott Baio at the mansion. The pair dated for three years, from 1990 to 1993.
Pammy landed her first acting credit while in this relationship. She appeared in her boyfriend’s sitcom, Charles in Charge. The actor married Renée Sloan, who he also met at the Playboy mansion, in 2007.
Next up is more of a fling than a relationship, but it was made in ’90s heaven. In the early ’90s, Pamela Anderson dated Eric Nies for several months. The former model made his name on the first-ever season of The Real World, and went on to star on other reality shows.
These two were only together for a couple of months, but the press loved it! Eric Nies has also dated actresses Alyssa Milano and Kirsty Swanson. He’s currently married to Iona Nies.
After starting her career as a model, Pamela Anderson soon switched to acting. After landing a small role on Home Improvement, she got her big breakthrough with Baywatch in 1992. One of the actress’ costars, David Charvet, was her next boyfriend. The couple was together between 1992 and 1994.
The French actor and singer has two daughters with ex-wife, American TV personality Brooke Burke. After his time on Baywatch, he continued acting, appeared on reality shows, and had a music career.
Antonio Sabàto Jr.
But, if you’re on a show with a bunch of hunky men, why just date one of them? Blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson also hooked up with co-star Antonio Sabàto Jr. in the mid- ’90s. The Italian-born actor also started out as a model, posing for Calvin Klein.
The actor has since moved from California to Florida to open his own studio. Antonio Sabàto Jr. plans to make the movies that are blacklisted due to their politics… that sounds like a wise idea.
For some reason, it makes sense to us that Pamela Anderson dated Poison frontman Bret Michaels. The couple dated in 1994, and Brett struggled to get approval from Pamela’s mom.
He said, “The mom really didn’t like the rocker thing or the way I looked — Pamela had never dated a rocker before. I think that played a big part in the relationship.” As we know, Brett Michaels went on to star on Rock of Love, where hordes of women competed for his charms.
Hey, it only makes sense that Pamela Anderson also hooked up with Superman himself. She and the actor and former football player, Dean Cain, were linked in the ’90s. The actor took on his most famous role in 1993, and attracted millions of viewers.
Also in the 1990s, Dean Cain dated model and professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, and was engaged to singer Mindy McCready. Cain has a son with his ex-girlfriend, Playboy model Samantha Torres. He’s now a reserve police officer.
It’s a shame that there are no pictures of Pamela Anderson with her rumored fling Arsenio Hall. We really would have loved to see that. These two apparently got together in the mid-’90s, when they were both enjoying their fame.
By the ’90s, the actor had starred in Coming to America and in 1994, The Arsenio Hall Show launched. After Hall’s son was born in 1998, he stepped back from the limelight to raise him. He resumed his show in 2013.
Where do we begin? Perhaps Pamela Anderson’s most famous relationship is her marriage to Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. The couple met four days before getting married, and Pammy wore a white bikini to say “I do.” She got his name tattooed on her ring finger, and was Mrs. Pamela Lee.
Together, the couple had two sons. However, the marriage ended after three years. Lee was arrested for harming his wife, and charged with six months in prison.
When Tommy Lee was in prison, he found out his wife — or soon-to-be ex-wife — was dating someone else. Pamela Anderson had moved on with another co-star, American professional surfer Kelly Slater.
Kelly Slater is considered the best professional surfer of all time — there’s no wonder Baywatch nabbed him! When asked later about his time with Pammy, he commented, “I learned a lot. I don’t have any ill feelings toward her. I wish her well. Hey, we had an amazing time together.”
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s divorce was finalized in 1998, the star got together with model Marcus Schenkenberg. In fact, the couple was even engaged! Amusingly, this union started when Anderson watched Schenkenberg rescue a bird that had fallen into a Monaco toilet. Who could resist?!
These two were together until 2001, and even collaborated together. They shot a fashion ad campaign, and he guest-starred on her action series V.I.P. The Swedish model and actor also dated Mariah Carey and Jessica Simpson.
In the early 2000s, it’s rumored that Pamela Anderson got together with film producer Stavros Merjos. There are no pictures of this particular pairing, just rumors. Merjos is from a Greek and Romanian background, and has since had four kids.
One of Stavros Merjos’ daughters, Hanna Beth, is a former Myspace model that’s dated lots of rockers. She’s also friends with Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Paris Hilton. Stavros Merjos has been married to Scottish art dealer and former fashion model Honor Fraser since 2004.
Here’s an unexpected addition to the list. In 2001, media outlets reported that Pamela Anderson got together with performer Michael Bolton. These two met at a party in the Bahamas and reportedly hit it off.
The American singer-songwriter’s marriage to Maureen McGuire ended in 1990, after 15 years together. He then dated actress Nicollette Sheridan on and off from 1992, right up to 2008. Now, Michael Bolton is a grandfather to at least six lucky grandkids.
Here’s another major relationship in the life of Pamela Anderson. These two gave it a go several times, first from 2001 to 2003, and then again in 2006. The country rap star married the actress in 2006, and they called it quits months later.
Sadly, Pamela Anderson suffered a miscarriage around this time. Eventually, she filed for divorce, saying, “I’m moving on. … I feel like I’m finally free.” Incredibly, when the couple got divorced, the reason cited on their papers was the movie Borat, which Anderson appeared in.
It makes sense to us that Pamela Anderson would date Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. He fits with her rocker, bad boy type, and would have made sense around the period she was interested in Kid Rock. It’s claimed that these two dated briefly in 2003.
Of course, Fred Durst has just made his comeback as a performer. He’s also starred in and directed several independent movies. The performer has been married three times and has two daughters — Adriana and Dallas.
Not just interested in rockers and bad boys, Pamela Anderson also fancies herself a male model every now and then. And who could blame her? In 2004, reports claimed that the actress was seeing American model and actor Christian Monzon.
Christian Monzon started dating Mariah Carey the following year, until they broke up in 2006. Now, the actor is married to Angelica Monzon and has two children — daughter Amor, and son Xander Amar. He’s active on Instagram.
When Pamela Anderson took a trip to the UK in 2004, she sampled some British men while she was there. Firstly, she got together with Welsh TV personality Steve Jones after appearing on his show. Supposedly, the Canadian-American actress invited Jones back to her hotel room.
The former model has continued working as a TV host, currently leading the presenting team for Formula 1. Steve Jones is married to American photographer and food stylist Phylicia Jackson, who he met while working in the US.
Pammy’s next rumored UK fling was with former Take That member and cheeky chappy Robbie Williams. Reports at the time said that the pair enjoyed a candlelit dinner at a posh London hotel, and that Anderson requested the setup. However, years later the actress denied even knowing who the English popstar was. Savage!
Now, Robbie Williams is married to American actress Ayda Field. The couple has four children together — sons Charlton and Beau, and daughters Theodora and Colette.
Between 2004 and 2005, Pamela Anderson dated American actor Stephen Dorff. He had his film breakthrough in horror movie The Gate back in the ’80s, and then acted alongside stars like Daniel Craig, Morgan Freeman, and Reese Witherspoon in the ’90s.
After getting together with Pamela Anderson, Stephen Dorff was romantically linked to British popstars Rachel Stevens (of S Club 7) and Sarah Harding (of Girls Aloud). Before Pammy, he was linked to actresses Alicia Silverstone and Reese Witherspoon, and model Bridget Hall.
Back in 2002, Pamela Anderson and Mark McGrath hosted the Teen Choice Awards together. Some years later, in 2005, it was reported that the two had hooked up. As with most tabloid rumors, these are hard to substantiate. We guess only Mark and Pam know!
Since possibly dating Pammy, singer and host Mark McGrath has settled down. The star married Carin Kingsland in 2012 after dating on and off since 1994. Together they have twins, Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace.
Likewise, we can’t dig up any snaps of Pamela Anderson with Eddie Irvine back when they supposedly dated in 2006. However, there are plenty of pictures of them since then. This one was taken in 2017, and shows the Northern Irish race driver with Northern Irish actor Liam Cunningham.
Known as a playboy, Eddie Irvine has dated many famous women. He has been linked to New Zealand model Rachel Hunter, Irish model Michelle Doherty, and Italian TV personality Lucia Galeone.
He’s Brandy’s brother and Snoop Dogg’s cousin, but he’s more well known for starring in a leaked tape with Kim Kardashian. Ray J — or William Ray Norwood — apparently had a fling with Pamela Anderson in 2006. This was actually before his starring role in the leaked tape.
In 2016, the singer-songwriter married his Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood castmate Princess Love, but the couple divorced in 2020. Together, they have daughter Melody Love and son Epik Ray.
Clearly, when Pamela Anderson is photographed with a man, outlets report that they could be dating. And hey, we suppose they could. In this case, the former model was spotted with R&B star Usher at a party in Atlanta, Georgia.
Usher married stylist Tameke Foster in 2007, though they later split in 2009. He got married again in 2015 to his manager Grace Miguel, though they split in 2018. He has three children and is expecting another with music executive Jenn Goicoechea.
Between 2006 and 2010, Pamela Anderson had an on-off relationship with businessman Laurence Hallier. However, this relationship ended in court, with each partner trying to sue the other. What a love story!
Pamela tried to sue her ex for a million bucks because he didn’t give her a condo as promised. In response, Laurence sued his ex for $22.5 million because she didn’t promote his residential development in Las Vegas. In the end, they both settled out of court. Thank you, next!
Another of Pamela Anderson’s rumored flings is former American football player David Binn. The stars met in 2007, and dated on and off that year and the next. The NFL player hasn’t been linked with anyone else since his time with Pamela. We presume that he’s good at keeping his romantic life on the down-low!
Around this time, Pamela Anderson also claimed to be hooking up with her ex-husband, Tommy Lee. In 2008, Lee confirmed that they were trying to make things work.
We hate to say it, but Pamela Anderson was indeed romantically linked to a magician. We know, we know, but it happened. In 2007, the blonde bombshell was the onstage assistant for magician Hans Klok. Pam appeared in The Dutch illusionist’s Las Vegas show, “The Beauty of Magic.” See what they did there?
Pammy told Craig Ferguson, “There’s a lot of love backstage. It’s very physical, it’s very loving.” However, Klok later said that the relationship was invented for publicity.
We thought we hated the idea of Pamela Anderson with a magician until we thought of her with David Spade. For some reason, the comedian managed to have a fling with the actress in 2007. We truly can’t understand why she would do such a thing. However, Brett Michaels wasn’t exactly a catch.
Pamela Anderson and David Spade hosted the Teen Choice Awards together, and have been friends for years. This picture was taken at a party in 2005.
In total, Pamela Anderson married American poker player Rick Salomon twice. Having already been with Ray J, the star of a famous leaked tape, it was time to find another. You see, Rick Salomon is most well-known for appearing in Paris Hilton’s leaked tape.
These two were married between 2007 and 2008 and then again from 2014 to 2015. When asked why she married him between magic shows with Hans Klok in Vegas, she said, “He was just always there, and I was like, you’re always here.”
Folks, you won’t believe it but it’s another magician. Someone needs to speak with Pamela about her taste in men. Clearly, the star was having a great time in Vegas as she was photographed partying with the American illusionist.
Over the years, Criss Angel has been linked to several women. He was married to JoAnn Winkhart, and dated model and TV personality Holly Madison. He now has two sons with Australian singer Shaunyl Benson — Johnny Christopher, and Xristos Yanni.
When Pamela Anderson appeared on UK reality series Dancing on Ice, she was partnered with American skater Matt Evers. Though they were eliminated first, the partners were rumored to be dating from 2012 to 2013.
His rep confirmed that “They formed a very close bond and have made plans to see each other in the very near future.” Though he was formerly married to a woman, Matt Evers came out as gay in 2018.
In 2017, Pamela Anderson got together with French professional soccer player, Adil Rami. The couple lived together and there were even engagement rumors in 2018. However, this relationship came to an end in 2019 when Pam shared Adil had been “living a double life.”
He responded, saying, “At no point did I live a double life, I am simply determined to preserve a lasting relationship with my children and their mother, Sidonie, for whom I have a deep respect. It’s true that I should have been more transparent.”
While Pamela Anderson was living with soccer player Adil Rami, the media was naming her as the girlfriend of Julian Assange. Indeed, the star had been introduced to the WikiLeaks founder back in 2014 and she regularly visited him.
At the time, both Assange and Anderson downplayed their relationship. However, we think it worked for both of them. It was later revealed that Assange had fathered a child during this time, though his partner was pleased that Pammy was in the papers — not her.
We’ve already seen producer Jon Peters on this list, back when Pamela Anderson lived with him as a teenager. Incredibly, the pair got married in 2020, and then immediately separated.
This is a confusing situation. On the one hand, the media reported that the couple got married in a private ceremony in Malibu. On the other, Anderson said that they merely had “a theatrical lunch,” dressed up, and didn’t really mean it. Peters has been married five times, and is currently engaged.
Finally, it’s time to meet Pamela Anderson’s current husband. Dan Hayhurst is the star’s bodyguard, and they fell in love while spending lockdown together. The couple got married on Christmas Eve 2020 in Canada in the same place that Pam’s parents got married.
The star said, “I am in love. We were married Christmas Eve with both our families’ blessing, everyone we know is happy for us […] I’m exactly where I need to be — in the arms of a man who truly loves me.”
The Olympics have not always been as equal as we’d like to think. These women not only accomplished monumental goals but many shattered glass ceilings with their first-time accomplishments.
40. Tonya Harding Lands a Triple Axel
Tonya Harding is nothing short of a controversial figure in sports now. While she’s made history, she’s also made headlines potentially linking her to the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.
Yet, she did make history during her Olympic performance. She’s a two-time Olympian and Skate American Champion although she’s been stripped of some of her titles.
39. Lindsey Vonn Had an Illustrious Career
Lindsey Vonn is one of the most decorated athletes in alpine ski racing, much less even just one of the most decorated competitors in women’s competitions.
She won a gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics which was the first one won by an American woman. She’s also won a total of four World Cup championships, an achievement only shared with one other woman, Annemarie Moser-Pröll. This only touches on her long list of wins and she holds a total of three Olympic medals.
38. Aly Raisman Is a Two-Time Gymnast
Aly Raisman is an athlete to watch out for at the Olympics. At only 26, she’s made history as a gymnast and will go down in history as a fantastic competitor.
She competed in 2012, at the London Olympics, where she won gold medals for floor and team competitions and a bronze medal on the balance beam. In 2016, she and Gabby Douglass became the only Americans to earn consecutive team gold medals. Today, she is one of the most decorated gymnasts in the world.
37. Shawn Johnson, Gymnastics World Champion
Shawn Johnson, now known as Shawn Johnson East, is a gymnast that competed for the American team in the 2008 Olympics and was on the national team from 2004 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012.
At the Olympics, she took the gold for the balance beam as well as silver medals for all-around, floor exercise, and team gymnastics. She’s also a five-time gold medal winner at the Pan American Games and is the 2007 individual all-around World Champion.
36. Nastia Liukin Won Five Medals
Born in Russia, Nastia Liukin represented the United States when she competed in the Olympics. During her career prior to her 2012 retirement, she became highly decorated.
Most impressively when it comes to the Olympics, she’s a five-time medalist with a specific talent for the balance beam. In addition, she’s the Olympic All-Around champion for 2008 plus plenty of other accolades she attaches to her name. She even tied for the record of the most medals for an American gymnast in a singular, non-boycotted Olympic Games.
35. Lorna Johnstone was the Oldest Competitor
When it comes to women, there’s a lot of judgment based on age. There’s even more judgment when you consider a physical effort like competing in the Olympics.
This was a preconceived notion that Lorna Johnstone proved wrong in the 1972 Olympics. A British equestrian, she competed in the dressage competition. What blew audiences away at the time, though, was that when she competed, she was just a few days over 70 years old, making her the oldest competitor in the Olympics.
34. Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor
Viewers had the chance to catch the dream team of Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor quite a few times. They competed in 2004, 2008, and 2012 at the Summer Olympics.
The two competed in volleyball and have even been called “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time.” Together, the two of them hold three joint gold medals. After 2012, May-Treanor retired but Walsh-Jennings continued on to compete in 2016 with April Ross.
33. Katie Ledecky Beat Her Own Record
It’s always impressive when an athlete breaks records. It’s even more impressive when they set records and break them on their own, creating a league of their own.
Katie Ledecky is a force to be reckoned with. She was the most decorated athlete at the 2016 Olympic Games with six medals – one silver medal and five gold medals. Even more shocking, she was beating her own records and has the 13 fastest times for the 800-meter freestyle race while holding medals for the 200-meter freestyle as well.
32. U.S. Team Defeats East Germany
In 1976, at the Montreal Olympic Games, the United States women’s swim team pulled off an impressive victory. They defeated the team from East Germany in a time before the Berlin Wall fell.
What made this win so impressive is that it was a year in the Olympics when substance scandals were a big deal. There was grounded suspicion that the women’s swim team from East Germany was a part of this state-sponsored unfair advantage but this women’s swim team still won.
31. McKayla Maroney Defends World Champion Title
Now retired, McKayla Maroney was a competitor in the 2012 Summer Olympics as part of the team now better known by the nickname, the Fierce Five.
Here, she won a gold medal as a team and a silver medal for her individual performance in the vault event. In the 2011 World Championships, she also won gold medals for both vault and team competitions. What’s most impressive, though, is that Maroney became the first U.S. female gymnast to defend her World Championship vault title.
30. Nancy Kerrigan Comes Back
Right before the 1994 Winter Olympics, it seemed like Nancy Kerrigan’s career was over after a backstage attack allegedly orchestrated by Tonya Harding. However, she came back to prove everyone wrong.
At the Lillehammer Games, Kerrigan returned to the ice, less than a year after her original injury. She performed in a way that fans and viewers remembered fondly and she even took home a silver medal for her efforts. Even after her Olympic career, she continued to perform in ice shows.
29. Kerri Strug Pushes Through the Pain
If you remember the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, you probably remember the performance that Kerri Strug put on that turned a little gruesome.
The United States team was slightly behind the Russian team and Strug was the final gymnast to perform. During her performance, though, she snapped two ligaments that the audience could hear. Still, she landed her final vault on one leg, scored a 9.7, and collapsed. This image of her coach carrying her to the ceremony made headlines.
28. Gabby Douglas Becomes an Inspiration
At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Gabby Douglas took to the stage and left crowds around the world stunned. It wasn’t the last we’d see of her either – she quickly started training for 2016.
When she won gold, she became the first African American to share in the team gold and win the individual all-around gold. However, audiences were also drawn in by her story of overcoming the bullying of other gymnasts to make athletic history.
27. U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Takes Gold
In 1991, all of the women’s soccer teams that competed that year made history. After all, it was the first year women’s soccer teams were introduced after an IOC ruling.
However, the United States team was the one that made headlines when they won gold with a narrow 2-1 victory over China. This meant that the United States team held the first-ever gold medal awarded to a women’s soccer team. The team included famous players like Shannon MacMillan, Brandi Chastain, and Mia Hamm.
26. The Canadian Curling Team is Undefeated
The Olympic team for Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics made history in the category of curling. Working together, they took home a historic win that impressed everyone.
The team was made up of five people: Jill Officer, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jennifer Jones, Kirsten Wall, and Dawn McEwen. Together, the women pulled off the amazing feat and won their tournament with 11 wins and no losses. In doing so, they became the second women’s Canadian team to win gold.
25. Allison Stokke Almost Made It
Allison Stokke became an online phenomenon not only for her work as a fitness model but for her prowess as a track and field athlete.
Only in high school, she held a number of records in the United States for pole vaulting in her age group. Unfortunately, when it came time to try out for the Olympic team, she fell short of the requirements. Even still, she became a professional vaulter and continued competing at national meetings through 2017.
24. Elizabeth Robinson in Track-and-Field
In 1928, the Olympics became much more open to women. There were plenty of sports that weren’t options before opened up to female competitors.
One such sport was track-and-field which had previously only had a male division. Yet, the first year that they opened the sport to women, Elizabeth Robinson won the first gold. At the time, she was a 16-year-old student in high school, making her win
23. Mary Lou Retton and Gymnastics Gold
Women have made great strides in the gymnastics category of the Olympics over the years ever since they were first allowed to compete in 1952.
Up to this point, though, Americans weren’t winning big in gymnastics as the category was most held by Eastern European competitors. Yet, in 1984, Mary Lou Retton took the gold for the all-around competition in the Los Angeles Games. In all, she broke records winning five total medals – the most of any athlete at that time.
22. Allyson Felix is Highly Decorated
Allyson Felix was also a track-and-field competitor. The world first saw her win an Olympic medal in 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games.
After that, she continued to win including another silver in Beijing in 2008 alongside her first gold medal. She later earned three more gold medals in the 2012 London Olympics and one silver and two gold medals in the 2016 Games. In all, she holds nine Olympic medals, a good portion of which are gold.
21. Michelle Kwan Keeps Winning
Now retired, Michelle Kwan was a figure skater for the United States in the Olympics. During her career, she became the most decorated figure skater the country had ever boasted.
She is a dual-medalist in the Olympics, winning silver in 1998 and bronze in 2002. On top of that, she’s a five-time World champion as well as a nine-time U.S. champion. As for the National Championship record, she’s tied for first with Maribel Vinson. In her career, she became one of America’s most popular athletes.
20. Yuna Kim is Queen Yuna
Yuna Kim is a legendary name in Olympic Sports now and the figure skater has even earned the title Queen Yuna while she competes as an athlete from South Korea.
How did she become one of her country’s most revered icons? She worked hard and broke new ground as she became the first female figure skater to not only win medals at the Olympics but the World Champions and Grand Prix Final too. She boasts a gold medal from Vancouver and a silver medal from Sochi.
19. Margaret Murdock Wins in Shooting
During the 1976 Olympics, it was Margaret Murdock who made a historical achievement in the category of the rifle competition which was open to both men and women competitors that year.
Despite the fact that no woman had won a medal in the shooting competition in the Olympics yet, Murdock won the silver medal. This made her the first woman to earn a medal in this category of the Olympic games and showed off her impressive skill in the category.
18. Amanda Beard the World Record Holder
When it comes to women’s swimming in the Olympics and in general, Amanda Beard is an athlete to watch out for. For one, she’s the world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Further, she’s a highly decorated athlete. Including the Olympics as well as the World Championships, Summer Universiade, and Pan Pacific Championships, she’s won a total of 21 medals. She’s even been named the American Swimmer of the Year two times for her impressive performances.
17. Peggy Fleming Wins the Only U.S. Gold
In 1968, at the Olympics in Grenoble, the United States teams weren’t performing well in any category. In fact, only one athlete won a gold medal that year for the United States.
That athlete was Peggy Fleming who won it for figure skating. Yet, the figure skater was impressive for more than just her talent but her strength. She and all of American figure skating had experienced a loss years before when her old coach and the U.S. figure skating team died in a plane crash.
16. Nadia Comaneci’s Perfect Score
There’s plenty to be impressed with when it comes to Nadia Comaneci. She was only 14 when she broke monumental records in the 1976 Olympics.
Representing Romania, Comaneci became the first gymnast to finish her routine and receive a score of a perfect 10. This was something she managed to replicate six times that year plus two more perfect scores in the 1980 Summer Olympics. These scores earned her a total of nine Olympic medals including three gold medals.
15. The First Women’s Swim Team
As we’ve stated, there were plenty of regulations that barred women from performing on the same level as men in the Olympic Games.
In 1912, the first women’s Olympic swim competitions took place. The games took place in Stockholm and it was the team hailing from Great Britain that won gold in the 400-meter race. Countries like the United States failed to join due to the restrictive dress codes that the countries put on women’s teams.
14. Fanny Blankers-Koen Wins Four Gold Medals
In 1948, there were still plenty of strict limitations on female competitors in the Olympics. That didn’t stop Fanny Blankers-Koen from making history.
By the time the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in 1948 happened, Blankers-Koen won four gold medals. This matched the winnings of Jesse Owens 12 years before. At the time, she also held the world records for long and high jumps but women were limited to three individual events, so she didn’t also compete in these categories.
13. Maria Gorokhovskaya Sets Records
Even after women were admitted into Olympic competitions, women didn’t start winning medals at the same rates as men right away.
Yet, there was a female athlete that turned the tides for women. In 1952, Maria Gorokhovskaya performed as a Soviet athlete and took home the most medals won by a woman at the Olympics in a single year’s games up to this point including a total of five silver medals and two gold medals.
12. Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh Compete
The athletes in the Olympics have served as an inspiration as they earned new titles and break through barriers. One important slice of representation actually came in 2016 at the Rio Games.
Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh came to the Olympics with the British team to play hockey. They’d played together since they were teenagers and walked onto the international stage as the first out and married lesbian couple to compete. Kate led the team they were on and they even won gold!
11. Simone Biles is Highly Decorated
An American artists gymnast, there are few people who pay attention to the Olympics that don’t know Simone Biles’ name. She has been on the national team since 2012 but really shined in 2016.
In all, Biles is the holder of 30 total Olympic and World Championship medals, making her the third most decorated gymnast after Vitaly Scherbo and Larisa Latynina. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was a part of the team the “Final Five” and won four gold medals and one bronze medal.
10. Debi Thomas Dons Pants to Compete
There have been plenty of milestones throughout history that are associated with women going against the norm to have the rights that men may not think about exercising every day.
In 1988, at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Debi Thomas took a step for women that scandalized many. Instead of participating in a traditional skirt, she took to the ice wearing pants. Plus, she won the bronze doing it! Later in life, Thomas took up orthopedic surgery as her new profession.
9. Madge Syers Competes with Male Athletes
One of the biggest glass ceilings that a female athlete can break was broken by Madge Syers in 1902 – the ability to join competitions with men at all.
Prior to 1902, the World Figure Skating Championships were considered an all-male event. Madge Syers competed in 1902 and even took home the silver medal. However, it was her competing that prompted the International Skating Union to look over the regulations and create a women’s division for the 1908 Olympic Games.
8. Helene de Pourtalès and Her Medal
While the credit for her achievements often gets confused with other competitors, Helene de Pourtalès made great strides for women when she competed in the 1900 Olympic Summer Games.
In Paris, she competed as one of only 22 women allowed to compete in the games. Entering in the sailing competition, she was the only woman on the Switzerland men’s sailing team. Winning both a silver and gold medal, she left the Olympics that year as the very first woman to score a medal.
7. Simone Manuel Sets Dual Records
Simone Manuel made history recently with the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. At the time, she competed as a swimmer and even took home medals for her efforts.
What really set her apart, though, was that her win was significant enough to set both the American and Olympic records as well as win her gold. With her win, she went down in history as the first African-American woman to set these records and win an individual gold medal for swimming.
6. Wilma Rudolph Was the Fastest Woman
Competing for the American team, Wilma Rudolph made history with her Olympic win at the games in both the 1956 Melbourne Games and the 1960 Rome Olympics.
After her performances in these Olympics, she was referred to as the fastest woman in the world. This was thanks to her impressive win as the first American woman to earn three gold medals in one Olympic game in 1956. Thanks to the televised nature of the events, she became an international sensation.
5. Josefa Idem Competes in Eight Games
When it comes to competing in Olympic Games, there’s a lot of training, preparation, and dedication that goes into even a single competition.
That’s why it’s all the more impressive that Josefa Idem became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games. In 1988, she competed for West Germany and later competed for 1992 and competed for Italy from 1992 to 2012. She competed in the K1-500m even at 48 years old in the 2012 Olympics.
4. The Rio Games and Women’s Medals
Sometimes, the achievements from the Olympics aren’t left down to one athlete. Sometimes, it’s the efforts of all the athletes working together to break new ground for themselves and future athletes.
In 2016, at the Rio Olympic Games, the women competing made for a historic year not only in headlines but by the numbers too. Of all the medals awarded that year, 44% went to women which was the highest percentage ever. For comparison, only 25% of medals went to women’s events in 1984.
3. Ibtihaj Muhammad Competes Wearing Hijab
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games were a wild ride full of firsts and impressive athletes. Among them was an American fencer named Ibtihaj Muhammad.
During her competition, she broke barriers as the first woman to compete wearing a hijab. Making the story even more heartwarming, after the Olympics, she partnered up with Mattel to create the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab too! The doll was modeled after her image.
2. Alice Coachman Breaks Barriers
When Alice Coachman broke barriers at the Olympics, it was only 1946. Even better, she broke several barriers all at once with a stunning performance.
Just by competing, she became the first African-American woman to join and compete on the United States Olympic track and field team. When she got to London, she not only won gold but she also set an Olympic record for the high jump event with a total jump measurement of 5 feet and 6 ⅛ inches.
1. Women Compete for the First Time
When the modern Olympic Games started in 1896 in Athens, Greece, women did not compete. It was, limited to men’s entries and women’s competitions were called “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.”
Women first competed in the Olympics shortly after this, in the 1900 Paris Olympic Games. This included a trio of French women who competed in croquet and a sailor involved in mixed crews. However, not every country allowed women to compete, meaning that there was still a ways to go.