This week, tennis star Serena Williams was honored with the Sportsperson of the Year award by Sports Illustrated. To call it historic would be an understatement; it’s been 32 years since a woman was the sole recipient (the US women’s soccer team won as a group in 1999), and it’s the first time a black woman has ever been recognized.
Not surprisingly, Williams’ acceptance speech last night was the kind of instant inspiration that comes from decades of court time and pushing past challenge after challenge. Thank you for reminding women everywhere to never stop dreaming and working our butts off for what we want, Ms. Williams! —Jamie McKillop
1. “In 1984 in Compton is where I began my journey of becoming a tennis player on beaten down courts. Now 30 years later, I still have goals and still have dreams of winning, and this award actually makes me want to work harder to reach more goals.”
2. “I’ve had people look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them; I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because the color of my skin, I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I’ve had critics say I’d never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven, and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles… and I’m still going.”
3. “For all the ladies out there, yes we can do it. My hope by winning this award [is that I] can inspire many, many, many more women… to stand right here on this podium and accept another Sportsperson of the Year. So yes ladies, it can be done.”
That’s not the only way we’ve been inspired by Serena; these photos of her in the 2016 Pirelli calendar show just how much power is pretty…