I have been watching female athletes compete on the television since I was a child. My favorite sports to watch have always been gymnastics and figure skating. As I got older, I also began to appreciate many other sports, including ballet and swimming. In my opinion, these are the top five female athletes.
#1 Mary Lou Retton
As a former gymnast, I looked up to Mary Lou Retton as a young child. She is 9 years older than I am, so it was inspirational to watch her perform on the television. I always felt that she performed with such precision and strength.
Retton's accomplishments are many. In 1984, she amazed the world by becoming the very first American female in history to win a gold medal in the sport of gymnastics. She won her gold medal in the All Around event at the Olympic Games that took place in Los Angeles, Calif. That was already a huge accomplishment, but Retton also achieved silver medals for the Vault and Team events, as well as bronze medals for her performance on the Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise.
#2 Nadia Comaneci
I may be biased toward gymnasts, but Nadia Comaneci is a name I will never forget. Although, she performed well before my time, I grew up hearing about her and her super skills in gymnastics.
Nadia recently lost her father on Jan. 11, 2012, due to difficulties occurring from liver disease.
Comaneci is a former Romanian gymnast with astounding accomplishments in gymnastics, including numerous gold medals. In 1976 at the Olympic Games, she managed to get seven flawless scores.
#3 Dorothy Hamill
I remember watching Dorothy Hamill skate gracefully across the ice when I was a child. She looked like an ice skating angel, perfect at her skill. At the age of 19, before I was even born, Hamill won a gold medal for her figure skating skill.
Hamill also performed in numerous television productions, including "The Nutcracker on Ice."
#4 Alexandra Ansanelli
Alexandra Ansanelli is a former ballerina, who retired as one of the youngest principal ballerinas for the Royal Ballet. Watch Alexandra as she dances as Princess Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty," and you will see why I chose her as one of the top five female athletes in history.
#5 Amy Van Dyken
As an avid swimmer and asthma sufferer, I can relate to Amy Van Dyken. This amazing swimmer had severe asthma as a child. It was so severe, that her healthcare provider recommended she begin swimming at the age of 6 to help with her lung capacity.
After much practice and perseverance, at the 1996 Olympic Games, Van Dyken became the first American female to obtain four gold medals at one time.
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Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about yoga, swimming and other athletic activities. Follow her on Twitter @RebeccaBardelli.