Five for Twenty-Fifteen
Another year is among us which means it’s time to witness some awe-striking feats from GladiatHers in every sport. I’m excited to see what female athletes are able to accomplish in the year 2015 A.D. As you watch on your television screens and from the seats in stadiums and arenas across the country, I thought that it would be a good idea to give you a short list of who you might want to pay particular attention to. Clearly, this list is in no way exhaustive. Records will be shattered and titles will be won by many, but these are a just a few who I think are likely to make the year extra interesting.
First up is golf phenom Lydia Ko.
She turns 18 in April, but she swings her golf clubs like a grown woman. Professional golfer Lydia Ko ended the 2014 season with a bang…check out her stats. She claimed 3 LPGA titles, had 12 top finishes, earned well over $2 million in prize money, and grabbed Rookie of the Year honors and the number 2 position in the world. If 2015 is anything like 2014 for Ko, don’t blink because you’ll miss her and claiming of the number one spot in women’s professional golf.
Next we have the University of South Carolina Women’s basketball team.
Quick question: Who’s ranked number one in women’s college basketball? If you guessed the UConn Huskies, you’d be…wrong. The Gamecocks sit atop the Associated Press Poll for the seventh straight week. The team, coached by 3-time Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley, is 14-0 for the first time in school history. The excitement and will-to-win that follows this team is contagious. They’ve already taken out Duke in Durham and are poised to take on conference opponents, Alabama, this week in Tuscaloosa. With top recruit A’ja Wilson, the Gamecocks are looking to turn all of these wins into a National Championship. You should definitely watch them along with the 1.1 million fans who showed their support last year.
Also watch out for Eugenie Blanchard.
The Canadian had her breakout season last year. She jumped from 32nd in the world to number 5, making her the highest ranked female Canadian tennis player, ever. In 2014 she reached the finals of Wimbledon and the semifinals of the Australian and French Opens. She plans on grabbing her first major in 2015 and is off to a pretty good start. As the world number six she routed number one Serena Williams in the Hopman Open in preparation for the Australian Open. She recently signed with global agency that is WME-IMG, so I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding her on and off the court.
Take a look at the US Women’s Soccer Team.
With all the drama surrounding FIFA and the artificial fields for the Women’s World Cup in Canada, it shouldn’t have been difficult to keep up with the US team. But in case you lost focus, there’s plenty of time to regain it. Fresh off of losing their number one ranking for the first time in 7 years, Team USA has a lot prove; but they poised to take Canada by storm. With a group consisting of Australia, Nigeria and Sweden, the ladies are going to have a tough time making it to the World Cup finals, but vets like Hope Solo, Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan and a talented group of rookies are more than up for the challenge. Don’t forget to watch them in action.
Finally, keep your eye on Gabby Douglas.
Her name isn’t new to you because she isn’t new to the world. She’s the reigning gold medal Olympic gymnast but Gabby Douglas is one to watch in 2015 because she trying to pull off a comeback of epic proportions. After winning gold in London Douglas took time off to bask in the glory of her new found greatness, and things haven’t seemed quite right since. Because of contract negotiations, Douglas spent much of 2013 and 2014 flopping between gyms and coaches, uncertain of where she’d train or even if she should train or compete. With her gym, coach and living arrangements finally in order Douglas is putting in 4-6 hour days, 6 days a week for the chance at another Olympic run. She’s up against an aging 19-year old body and young whipper-snappers, like Simone Biles, who are coming into their prime and gunning for gold. Watch Gabby has she fights to bring it back like she never left.