Breaking News
More () »

Celebrating St. Louis area athletes on National Girls and Women in Sports Day

The day honors girl's and women's accomplishments, participation and the continued struggle for equality in sports.

ST. LOUIS — National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) is an annual celebration that inspires girls and women to play and be active. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, marks the 37th annual celebration of NGWSD to honor the achievements of girls and women in sports. The day began in 1987 and it united organizations and women athletes to bring national attention to women in sports. 

The day has since become an annual event to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments of girls and women, participation and the continued struggle for equality in sports. 

In honor of NGWSD, here are some of the most notable women athletes from the St. Louis area: 

Lori Chalupny 

Jun 24, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; United States defender Lori Chalupny speaks to the media before a training session for the round of eight in the FIFA 2015 women's World Cup soccer tournament at Algonquin College. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Lori Chalupny was born and raised in St. Louis and went on to play soccer at Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves. She also played for a St. Louis club soccer team, the J.B. Marine S.C. 

She played collegiate soccer at the University of North Carolina and played in the Women's Premier Soccer League. 

Chalupny won gold in the 2008 Bejing Olympics with the U.S. National Team and won bronze in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. 

She is currently the head women's soccer coach at Maryville University in St. Louis. 

Chalupny and Lindsay Kennedy-Everysmeyer work together for the St. Louis club team, Fire & Ice. 

Jincy and Joy Dunne 

Credit: AP
United States' Jincy Dunne in action during the first period of a women's hockey game against the Canada, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, in Allentown, Pa. Canada won 3-1. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Coming from a hockey family, Jincy and Joy Dunne are leaving their mark on the hockey world. 

The Dunne family, from O'Fallon, Missouri, includes Jessica, Jincy, Josh, James, Josey and Joy. Each have all played hockey at different levels and teams. 

Jincy won the gold medal with the U18 United States National Team in 2015. She was also part of the silver medal-winning team at the 2022 Beijing Olympic games. 

RELATED: Joy Dunne carries on family's St. Louis hockey legacy as Team USA U18 captain

Joy has followed in her sibling's footsteps and captained the United States U18 Women's National Team to a bronze medal at the World Championships in Sweden.  She is finishing up her senior year at Fulton School and is committed to playing at The Ohio State University. 

Dawn Harper-Nelson 

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2008 file photo, U.S. Olympian Dawn Harper-Nelson bites her gold medal during an awarding ceremony for the women's 100-meter hurdles winners at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. More than 20 years after going over her first hurdle, Harper-Nelson has decided to pursue other dreams. Citing a desire to start her family, the 2002 graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School has announced her retirement from track and field competition. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill File)

A track and field athlete, Dawn Harper-Nelson was born in East St. Louis and graduated from East St. Louis Senior High. She was a 6-time IHSA state champion in track and field. 

She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and made the 2008 Beijing Olympic team. She won gold in the 100-meter hurdles, her specialty. Harper-Nelson would go on to win silver in the same event during the 2012 London Olympics. 

Harper-Nelson became an Ambassador for United Way of Greater St. Louis Education Express following the 2012 London Olympics and worked to promote the importance of education and mentoring in the St. Louis region. 

Jackie Joyner-Kersee 

Credit: UPI
Six-time Olympic Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee talks with children on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Jackie Joyner-Kersee and other St. Louis Olympians lead hundreds of St. Louis area youth around the track at Francis Olympic Field, site of the 1904 Olympic Games, in observance of World Olympic Day. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Joyner-Kersee was a track and field athlete from East St. Louis, Illinois. She attended East St. Louis Lincoln Senior High School and qualified for the finals in the long jump at the 1980 Olympic Trials, finishing 8th overall. 

She has won three gold, one silver and two bronze Olympic medals between heptathlon and long jump. She also won four gold medals in the World Championships for the same events. 

She established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in 1988 which encourages young people in East St. Louis to pursue athletics and academics. 

Lindsay Kennedy-Eversmeyer 

Credit: Lindsay Eversmeyer

RELATED: Making history with the only female-led all-girls soccer club in St. Louis and Illinois

Born in Maryville, Illinois, a little over 15 miles east of St. Louis, Kennedy-Eversmeyer is the first woman to play in the Major Indoor Soccer League and the fourth to play for a men's professional indoor soccer team. 

She played three out of her four collegiate soccer years at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. She holds records at the university in career goals, points, goals in a season, assists in a season and average goals per game. 

She played for the St. Louis Steamers, a former indoor soccer team, and now is an assistant women's soccer coach at the University of Missouri St. Louis. 

Kennedy-Eversmeyer is also the owner and head coach for the women's semi-professional team, Fire & Ice Soccer Club in the Women's Premier Soccer League. 

Judy Rankin 

Lady golfer Judy Rankin of Ladies PGA on April 14, 1973. (AP Photo/JLR)

Born and raised in St. Louis, Judy Rankin is a professional golfer and golf broadcaster. 

Rankin attended Eureka High School and won the Missouri Amateur at only 14 years old. She also was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1961 at age 16. 

During her Ladies Professional Golf Association career, she won 26 events and was named Play of the Year in 1976 and 1977. 

She would go on to work as a golf commentator from 1984 to 2018 with ESPN and ABC. She has also worked as a professional advisor for Golf Digest and Golf For Women magazines. 

Becky Sauerbrunn 

Oct 25, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; United States defender Becky Sauerbrunn (4) passes the ball against the Brazil during the first half of an exhibition match in the women's soccer post World Cup tour at Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

RELATED: Ladue High School names field after alum, USA soccer legend Becky Sauerbrunn

Born in St. Louis, Becky Sauerbrunn is a professional soccer player who has played in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States Women's national soccer team. 

Sauerbrunn played for the JB Marine Soccer Club, a youth club in St. Louis, beginning at 12 years old. She helped the team win the Missouri State Cup for times. 

She also attended Ladue High School where she played soccer, volleyball and basketball. She went on to play collegiate soccer with the Virginia Cavaliers from 2003 to 2007. 

Sauerbrunn won the gold medal with the United States national team at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out