Most unstoppable women in action sports
There are a lot of talented women in action sports -- like Carissa Moore, pictured here -- but this crew has more than just sheer skill. The following 20 women, carefully selected by a team of XGames.com editors, are the ones raising the bar in their sports. They are the ones who won't give up or take no for an answer. They are at the top of their game and unrelenting in their drive. They are the unstoppables.
20. Nina Buitrago
Nina Buitrago never intended to become an ambassador for women in BMX, but she became one anyway. She runs clinics to introduce girls to BMX riding, started a women's BMX magazine called Yeah Zine, and from her home base in Austin, Texas, she's patiently waiting for the day she can compete at X Games. "It's not so much an exotic unicorn sighting anymore to see a girl on a BMX bike in Austin now," she said.
19. Lindsey Jacobellis
In January 2015, three-time Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis earned her ninth career X Games gold medal (and sixth consecutive gold) in women's Snowboarder X in Aspen, cementing her spot as the sport's most dominant player. Just how unstoppable is she? In 2012, a knee injury sidelined her for two years, but she came back in 2014 and returned to gold medal status at X Games and qualified for the 2014 U.S. Olympic team.
18. Emma Gilmour
In 2014, Emma Gilmour of New Zealand became the first woman to join the elite drivers in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, and at X Games Austin 2014, she was the first woman to sit in the driver's seat in an X Games Rally event. "With rally driving, there are no physical limitations for a women to not be as fast as a guy," says Gilmour.
17. Angie Marino
A versatile and progressive BMX rider, Angie Marino has been the one pushing to get women's BMX Park added to X Games (so far, she's still lobbying for that one). In addition to filming (she appeared in 2014's "Stay Fit" video for Fit Bike Co.) and competing all over the world, she helped start a website and print magazine for women in BMX, an often overlooked field that Marino says is growing. "The global scene is growing for sure," she says.
16. Lizzie Armanto
Lizzie Armanto first got on a skateboard at age 14. In three years, she was the top ranked women's bowl skater in the world. She won her first vert contest in 2012, and in 2013, she got her first X Games invite for the debut of women's Skateboard Park at X Games Barcelona, where she won gold. "You're never going to master skateboarding," says Armanto, now 22. "There is always more: new parks to skate, new tricks, new places."
15. Chrissie Beavis
Chrissie Beavis made a name for herself as a co-driver: She helped win two X Games medals in 2007 and 2008 as Tanner Foust's co-driver, and in 2014, she became Travis Pastrana's co-driver. But now Beavis is becoming unstoppable in the driver's seat, too. Pictured here, Beavis (left) and ESPN's own Alyssa Roenigk recently took first in the Crossover class at the 2015 Gazelle Rally.
14. Lacey Baker
Lacey Baker, 23, has been at the forefront of women's street skating for years and she's still pushing her sport to unbelievable levels. In 2014, in her eighth X Games appearance, she earned her first X Games gold in Austin, Texas, in women's Skateboard Street, bringing her total medal count up to four. She'll be the one to beat when women's Skateboard Street returns to Austin in June.
13. Paige Alms
There aren't many women tackling big waves, and of that elite crew, Paige Alms is leading the charge. The 27-year-old, who was born in Canada and moved to Maui as a kid, is one of few women in the Jaws lineup. "As soon as the Jaws paddle-in movement started, I thought, 'Maybe this is possible,'" Alms says. A documentary film about Alms called "The Wave I Ride," premieres in June at the Maui Film Festival.
12. Lynsey Dyer
When big-mountain skier Lynsey Dyer set out to make a women's ski movie, funding and support for the project was scarce. So she launched a Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $110,000, and after two years of work, she released the film, "Pretty Faces," in the fall of 2014. It was nominated for best picture at the Powder Video Awards. "I felt a responsibility to show what's possible," Dyer says.
11. Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark owns three Olympic medals (one gold, two bronze) and a whopping seven X Games gold medals in women's Snowboard SuperPipe. Now 31, she's had one of the longest and most decorated careers in her sport since her debut at X Games back in 2000. In March, Clark clinched her eighthBurton U.S. Open halfpipe title, holding off teenager Chloe Kim, proving that Clark isn't stopping anytime soon.
10. Vicki Golden
Vicki Golden has been golden many times, including three X Games wins in women's Moto X Racing, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. But it was in Moto X Best Whip at X Games Los Angeles in 2013 when Golden really proved herself unstoppable. She became the first woman to compete -- and win a medal (bronze) -- in Moto X Best Whip. "There was no women's category for it. It's crazy to believe I went out and actually did that," Golden said.
9. Steph Gilmore
Australian Stephanie Gilmore is one of the most dominant women in competitive surfing, with six world championship titles to her name. She won ESPYS for female action sports athlete of the year in 2011 and 2013. The defending world champ from 2014, Gilmore, 27, is currently ranked No. 2 in the World Surf League behind Carissa Moore, but the season's just getting started and both Moore and Gilmore are equally unstoppable.
8. Laia Sanz
Spain's Laia Sanz came out of nowhere in 2013 to dominate women's Enduro X at X Games, winning three gold medals and one silver during the global X Games tour. She's decided she's done winning women's races -- now she wants to compete against the men. Last October at the Merzouga Rally, Sanz became the first woman to win a stage in an international rally. In January 2015, Sanz competed in her fifth Dakar Rally, finishing in ninth place and becoming the top-ranked female rider in Dakar history.
7. Carissa Moore
Carissa Moore won the World Surf League in 2011 and 2013, and so far this season, she's on fire, nabbing back-to-back wins at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and Bells Beach. We'll have to wait and see if she can hold off defending champ Stephanie Gilmore for the overall throne. Moore, 22, grew up surfing in Hawaii and was inducted into the Surfer's Hall of Fame in 2014.
6. Maddie Bowman
In January 2015, Maddie Bowman did what only Sarah Burke had done before her: She earned a three-peat in women's Ski SuperPipe at X Games Aspen. That feat, coupled with Bowman's Olympic halfpipe gold medal from 2014, makes her the most unstoppable woman in freeskiing right now. Bowman, 21, also won a Grand Prix and a Dew Tour contest this winter.
5. Caroline Buchanan
Australian Caroline Buchanan excels at not one, but two sports. She's a two-time BMX world champion, a three-time mountain bike world champ and was named BMX rider of the year at the 2014 Interbike Awards. She's also creating signature bikes with her sponsor DK Bicycles and launched an organization to get young girls into BMX racing. Buchanan will be a gold medal favorite at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
4. Alana Smith
Alana Smith hasn't won X Games gold yet, but trust us, it's coming. She's got time. In 2013, Smith, then just 12 years old, became the youngest medalist in X Games history when she won a silver medal in women's Skateboard Park. She took fifth in women's Skateboard Street at X Games Austin 2014 and she'll return to Austin in June as one to watch. "Every time I see Alana I'm always super impressed because she'll pull like 20 tricks I've never even tried," says X Games gold medalist Lizzie Armanto.
3. Marie-France Roy
Canadian Marie-France Roy is one of the most versatile athletes in women's snowboarding. She got her start in the park, but now she's known for taking the backcountry by storm. In 2014, she directed and starred in an environmental snowboard film called the "The Little Things," which earned her a Climate Activist Award from Protect Our Winters. In 2015, the 31-year-old was named Women's Rider of the Year by Snowboarder magazine.
2. Jamie Anderson
When snowboard slopestyle made its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, it was California native and slopestyle powerhouse Jamie Anderson who took home gold for the women. The 24-year-old has been nearly unbeatable, claiming four X Games golds throughout her career. In 2014, she won two ESPYS, one for best female action sports athlete and one for best female U.S. Olympian.
1. Chloe Kim
If anyone is the definition of unstoppable, it's American snowboard phenom Chloe Kim. In January, 14-year-old Kim won her first X Games gold medal in women's Snowboard SuperPipe in Aspen, defeating longtime champ and gold medal favorite Kelly Clark, who took silver. In doing so, Kim became the youngest Winter X Games gold medalist ever. "The future of women's snowboarding is in good hands," Clark has said.