When you need a little inspiration, there’s nothing quite like picking up a sports book and reading those epic speeches, living vicariously through those epic moments, and reveling in the epic victories. And when you can relate to these fantastic athletes, the awesomeness is all the sweeter. Here are some books about women in sports for all the inspiration you could ever need.
1. The Match: Althea Gibson & Angela Buxton: How Two Outsiders—One Black, the Other Jewish—Forged a Friendship and Made Sports History by Bruce Schoenfeld
This is a story about encountering prejudice and exclusion, and about an ultimate triumph. Althea Gibson, the daughter of sharecroppers who was born in the American South and grew up in Harlem, met Angela Buxton, the granddaughter of Russian Jews, at a tennis exhibition match in India. Despite their athletic prowess, they were excluded from the other tennis players at Wimbledon in 1956. In a truly remarkable and amazing story, they decided to team up and earn an epic victory. Seriously, go read this book!
2. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry: A Memoir by Amanda Beard with Rebecca Paley
For an intense and heart-wrenching story, you need to read In the Water They Can’t See You Cry. This is the story of Amanda Beard, who won two silvers and a gold medal at the Olympics at just fourteen-year-olds. The pressure of the public eye, driven from a place of admiration and later sex, Beard struggled with mental health, depression, bulimia, and drugs and alcohol. In this book, Beard tells her story of finding strength within herself and learning to live. This raw and relentless story will utterly enthrall you. Go read it.
3. Under the Lights and In The Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer by Gwendolyn Oxenham
Under the Lights and In The Dark is a compelling collection of stories about female soccer players from across the world. From the intriguing story of Portland Thorns player Allie Long’s training in an underground men’s team in New York City to the enthralling tale of English national Fara Williams hiding her homelessness from her teammates. And that’s just the beginning. For some truly inspiring stories about some definitely admirable women, Under the Lights and In The Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer will absolutely deliver.
4. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie Wellington is definitely a world champion, both in spirit and because of her epic win in the Ironman World Championship. A complete underdog and unknown in the press, Wellington took the sport by surprise with her skill and athleticism. A Life Without Limits is a really inspirational story about the incredible challenges Wellington faced on her journey and her resiliency in defeating them. Go check it out!
5. On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life by Amy Purdy and Michelle Burford
This epically triumphant story is about Amy Purdy, who went from losing both her legs to bacterial meningitis at nineteen to winning a bronze medal for snowboarding and making it to the finale of Dancing With the Stars. Amy’s story is about resilience, big dreams, and finding faith in yourself when the world seems to be against you. Amy’s spectacular spirit and fearsome fortitude is truly inspirational, and you should definitely go read On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life!
When the world gets you down, go read one of these inspirational life stories of female athletes and their epic journeys. For stories of resiliency, spirit, passion, ambition, persistence, and strength, these stories are unmatched. Seriously, check them out!