With the 2000's winding down, the end of the aughts, or whatever you want to call it, this is a time where we can look back at the last ten years and see how much we've packed into this decade. It's been a lot.
One thing that I keep coming back to is how this decade has been a renaissance of hot female athletes. Back in the '90s, we had to do things like try to convince ourselves that Mia Hamm was hot, or talk ourselves into Tara Lipinski. But in the 2000s, we were spoiled.
So I've compiled a list of the hottest female athletes of the last ten years, but I'm not just talking about some super hot Italian volleyball player that 99 percent of the world hasn't heard of. These are the women who defined the 2000s with their hotness.
Here are The 40 Hottest Female Athletes Of The Decade.
No. 40: Logan Tom
Logan Tom is a volleyball player for the USA (obviously). She burst onto the scene in 2000 playing on the Olympic team as just a college sophomore and brought indoor volleyball into the collective consciousness of teenage boys around the world.
She was up for ESPN's Hottest Female athlete in 2002 and put the best numbers of anyone against the juggernaut and eventual champion, Anna Kournikova. The point is, early in this decade, Tom was hot stuff.
No. 39: Heather Mitts
When the US Women's Soccer team became sports sex symbols for better or for worse in 1999, we didn't just forget about those girls in the coming years and always managed to check back in because we knew they had the potential to churn out hotties.
We were rewarded with the addition of Heather Mitts. Still a member of the team, Mitts has been making us tune in to see her all decade and we have not been disappointed yet.
No. 38: Hope Solo
Speaking of US soccer, Hope Solo was the goalkeeper for the team in the 2007 World Cup. She really was brought to our attention when she was yanked in a semifinal match (despite giving up just two goals in four games) for the older Brianna Scurry, who had played well against Brazil before, but hadn't played in three months.
Obviously, the US lost, Solo criticized her coach, which is how we came to know this hot little number. She took the story from, "I could not care less" to "Hey, have you seen that goalie from the US team? Niceeeee."
No. 37: Jeannette Lee
You can't tell me that you haven't been channel surfing on a random afternoon and came across pool on ESPN, were about to change the channel, then you saw Jeanette Lee.
"The Black Widow" was enough to keep us there, especially as she bent over to take those shots. No one has come close to her celebrity in pool yet, partially because of her awesome nickname, but mostly because of how hot she was.
No. 36: Swin Cash
The WNBA knew that if they had any chance of succeeding, they had to sell sex as well as basketball. Swin Cash was one of the first women in the league who had the sex-appeal that was backed up by her game.
She helped lead UConn to two championships in college and then won one in Detroit in her second season in the WNBA.
It's true, we really don't care about her winning the title as much as we care about how good she looks while she is doing it.
No. 35: Lauren Jackson
Lauren Jackson was another one of the women who made us sit up and take notice of women's basketball. Especially in her skin-tight uniform for Australia, Jackson was a tall drink of water if there ever was one at 6'5.
Her willingness to show off her body is what really brought her some male fans and she has even done some topless photography that, I have to say, is a real slam dunk.
No. 34: Jenny Adams
Jenny Adams was just a regular good-looking hurdler for the US team, until she posed for Maxim and men everyone got to see just how good looking she really was.
She has since faded from our lives, not competing anymore, but she lives on in conversations that come up every time you mention hot Olympic athletes.
No. 33: Gabrielle Reece
Gabrielle Reece was in our lives much before the 2000s, but that just speaks to her hotness that we were still talking about her, well into her 30s. Reece was most likely the answer to "Who was the hottest athlete in the ’90s," but kept looking so good that she was still even in the equation in the early parts of the 2000s.
No. 32: Serena Williams
One of the most controversial questions of this decade has been, "Is Serena Williams hot?" Some will tell you no, that her features are too mannish, but most people will say yes.
Obviously the prettier Williams sister, Serena was curvy in all the right places and showed it off by wearing Lycra catsuits while she played, leaving very little to the imagination.
No. 31: Sue Bird
Sue Bird was really one of the first women that I ever remember being excited to watch. She could just straight ball. But it was her sneaky cuteness that really made it fun.
Bird was never drop-dead gorgeous, but she was girl-next-door hot and the kind of chick that would wear basketball shorts around the house. Definitely one you wanted to hook up with.
No. 30: Mia St. John
The Boxer Bunny, Mia St. John graced the cover of Playboy in 1999, which meant we were definitely watching her as the 2000s rolled in. She could knock you out in the ring or just by walking by.
No. 29: Natalie Coughlin
In 2004, everyone already knew about Amanda Beard, but Natalie Coughlin came out of nowhere to steal our hearts and swim away with them. She got on our radar by winning a couple golds in 2004, then went mini-Michael Phelps on us by becoming the first American woman to win six medals in modern Olympic history.
Mostly, though, we'll remember her for her rockin' swimmer's body.
No. 28: Tanith Belbin
Belbin was a Canadian ice dancer, whatever that means, but she was hot enough that it became okay to know what it was if Tanith was involved.
Not only is she super flexible, but she's hot enough so that she looks like she came right out of a TV show where she played a tough, but sensitive detective. That picture has CSI written all over it.
No. 27: Katarina Witt
Also one of the hottest women in the 90s, as well as the answer to "If you could see any athlete naked, who would it be," back then, Witt answered little boys' prayers everywhere by going on Playboy. It became just the second issue to ever sell out.
Playboy happened in 1998 when she was 33, but she kept looking just as hot in the early 2000s and became one of the first athlete cougars.
No. 26: Ashley Harkleroad
Speaking of Playboy, Ashley Harkleroad was a hot tennis player toiling in relative obscurity in the 2000s, overshadowed by certain foreign hotties, all until she posed nude in Playboy back in 2008.
Since then, Harkleroad has become a fan favorite and went down in history for having one of the hottest photoshoots in recent memory.
No. 25: Sasha Cohen
Sasha Cohen was another reason that it became (kind of) okay to flip to figure skating, just for a little bit. Not only did she have that amazing figure skating body where she could throw her leg over her neck, but she also was really pretty and looked even better on the red carpet than she did on the ice.
No. 24: Jamie Sale
Seriously, figure skating, if you didn't give us such hot women we wouldn't continue allowing you to be considered a "sport." Just keep that in mind.
Sale was one of the beauties of the early 2000s and probably would have been considered the hottest athlete of that time period if it weren't for a certain tennis player.
No. 23: Biba Golic
Biba Golic is one of the two examples of just how much one good picture can mean on the internet (the other example is coming later). This shot of Golic with her short skirt, hot body, and face that looked almost identical to Stacey Kiebler made ping pong fans of many a man.
That led to her being in ESPN The Mag's Body Issue, with her wearing even less clothes. Man, I love the internet.
No. 22: Candace Parker
The latest and greatest female basketball player, Parker was what we had been waiting for all these years. A woman who was as hot as she was dominant in basketball.
Parker could actually dunk, which turned guys on whether they admitted it or not, but she was still feminine and beautiful. How she settled on a guy like Sheldon Williams is beyond me.
No. 21: Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick is the Drew Barrymore of sports. She can look so good at times and so not at other times.
One thing we can agree on, is that when Danica is at her best, it's enough to make us sit up and pay attention to racing other than NASCAR. Now if NASCAR can just land a super hot driver, that's all it would need to put it over the top.
No. 20: Gina Carano
I first saw Carano as the one new American Gladiator that it was okay to fantasize about, but soon came to realize that she was more than just a gimmick on TV, she was the real deal.
Carano is an MMA fighter who is vicious in the ring, but also voluptuous outside of it. Seeing her was the first time a fighter could actually compete with the ring girls in terms of hotness.
No. 19: Daniela Hantuchova
Hantuchova was tennis' first answer to Anna Kournikova. She had a breakout year in 2002, winning her first big tournament and finishing the year in the Top 10.
Hantuchova was a little smaller and skinnier, but she had this sweet little face that made you want to date her as much as anything. The fact that she is still ranked in the Top 25 all these years later shows that at the very least, she beat Kournikova in longevity.
No. 18: Amy Acuff
You don't often hear the phrase "hot high jumper" very often. Those are the girls that are gangly and often never really grew into their bodies. Amy Acuff was the exception. She grew into her body and grew into it well.
She even appeared on the cover of Playboy's "Women of the Olympics" issue in 2004 where she got to show off those amazing legs of hers.
No. 17: Anna Rawson
Golf has always been one of those sports that I'm surprised more hot chicks don't come out of. We tried to convince ourselves that Annika Sorenstam was hot, but it just never took.
So we kept looking and I'm glad we did, because Anna Rawson came into our lives. She isn't the greatest at golf, she still struggles to maintain her LPGA status, but she has got some killer looks that make her just as popular as Sorenstam in my book.
No. 16: Gretchen Bleiler
Snowboarding doesn't seem like a place you would find a hot athlete. It normally attracts tomboys and women who don't really care about their looks as much. But we did hit the jackpot with Gretchen Bleiler.
This sexy snow bunny is an Olympic silver medalist and a golf medalist in the Olympic bikini competition that I just made up. Congratulations.
No. 15: Laila Ali
Muhammad Ali always talked about how pretty he was, so it's no surprise that his daughter would be even prettier.
Laila Ali became public knowledge when she took on Joe Frazier's daughter in 2001 and kicked her butt, all while looking fine as hell. She may have ducked a few fights to maintain her undefeated status, but as long as it preserves a face like that, I'm all for it.
No. 14: Maria Kirilenko
Maria Kirilenko has been a pro for just three years now and is already making waves with her beauty. It's not easy looking this good and not even being the hottest Russian Maria in your sports, but Kirilenko has slowly started to win people over with her play and her hotness.
No. 13: Lokelani McMichael
We don't always admit it, but guys like tough chicks a lot. We're not saying that we don't appreciate the frail beauties that need us to protect them, but women like Lokelani McMichael are hot in their own special way.
McMichael is a triathlete, which means she's way more in shape than you are. She became the youngest woman ever to finish the Hawaii Ironman and was by far the hottest one to do it.
If you want to chase after her, you better be prepared to go a long way to do so.
No. 12: Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic came into tennis and immediately dispelled the notion that hot tennis players had to be blond or from Russia. This sexy Serbian also made her name by being really good at tennis too, earning the No. 1 ranking.
I also can't stop staring at her, which should give you a hint as to how scorching hot she is.
No. 11: Ashley Force
Ashley Force is the hottest woman in drag. Drag racing, that is. I have no idea how a women this gorgeous ended up drag racing funny cars, but I couldn't be happier that she did.
How NASCAR hasn't snatched her up is a mystery to me. Who cares if she can't drive a lick? This face will put butts in the seats and would make me turn to whatever race she was in.
No. 10: Amanda Beard
Beard gets a nod in the Top 10 for longevity alone. She started out going to the 1996 Summer Games and has swam all the way to the 2008 ones. Along the way she has racked up seven medals and some of the steamiest photoshoots of any athlete out there.
Beard may not be the most textbook hottie, but when she gets that sexy look on her face and looks at you, it's enough to turn any man into mush.
No. 9 and No. 8: Bia and Branca Feres
I almost left Bia and Branca out of this list because we really have only known about them the past couple of years and they didn't even compete in the 2008 Olympics. However, blond Brazillian twins that look like this and compete in synchronized swimming is just too good to pass up.
They could play any sport at all and guys all over the world would tune in. I think they should switch to beach volleyball, but I'll settle for any sport that keeps them in bikinis like that.
No. 7: Allison Stokke
Allison Stokke is the other example of what one good picture on the internet will do for you. Just Google "sexy athlete" and this picture will come up a few different times.
Everything about her is just perfect, which is why she went from being an unknown college pole vaulter to one of the most searched women on the internet. I hope she's good at what she does, because if she is, Allison Stokke will be a fixture of lists like this for years to come.
No. 6: Leryn Franco
Case in point for Stokke is Leryn Franco. Nobody care about the javelin, but they care when Franco is throwing it. She hasn't finished better than 42nd overall in the Olympics, but we could care less as long as she makes it there and we get to see her throw it.
Hell, I would watch Leryn Franco throw anything: garbage away, dirty looks, her arm out... anything. She is fine personified.
No. 5: Kristi Leskinen
Leskinen is a freestyle skiier, which is remarkable because she looks like she could just be a Victoria's Secret model. The fact that she looks this good and is so good at something other than modeling is a miracle.
She also won The Superstars, which got her out of those cumbersome winter clothes and more comfortably in a bathing suit most of the time. At least one good thing came out of that show.
No. 4: Natalie Gulbis
Natalie Gulbis is what we were looking for on the LPGA. She is ridiculously hot, looks good while she is golfing, and has finished in the Top 10 on the money list a few times.
Gulbis also topped my list of "Women I thought Tiger Woods should have gone after instead of Mindy Lawton."
No. 3: Jennie Finch
Oh, Jennie Finch. The perfect combination of skill and beauty, maybe ever. Not only was she so hot you had to wear sunglasses to look at her directly, but she was unbelievably dominant in softball.
She went 32-0 her junior year and then 2-0 with no earned runs in the 2004 Olympics to lead the US to a gold medal. Early in the decade, Finch was the one person who could legitimately compete with the next person on our list.
No. 2: Anna Kournikova
Anna Kournikova probably could top any list like this that she appears in, but she peaked too soon and was pretty much out of tennis just a few years into the decade.
Make no mistake though, Kournikova was a trailblazer. She was the first athlete that could have legitimately been a model just as easily. Watching her play tennis was nothing short of magical. She made men everywhere care about women's tennis and opened the floodgates of many, many hot women to join that sport.
We owe a lot to Anna, but her timing just wasn't as good as...
No. 1: Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova has dominated this decade in hotness.
Sharapova started playing WTA events full time in 2003, won Newcomer of the Year, and by 2004 she was the WTA Player of the Year. She redefined "leggy" and rivaled Kournikova's sexiness all the while completely surpassing her in talent and relevance.
The fact that Sharapova has done so well in tennis for the majority of this decade and looked so incredible while she's done it, she earns the top spot on this list. No woman has done what she's done, for as long as she's done it, these last ten years.