Michelle Kwan at her family's ice rink
Michelle Kwan at her family’s ice rink in Artesia.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Michelle Kwan, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and more. These women have done more than just excel. They’ve opened doors for the generations after them.


Portrait of Ibtihaj Muhammad
Ibtihaj Muhammad at Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The moment that Ibtihaj Muhammad qualified to represent the U.S. in fencing at the 2016 Summer Olympics, her thoughts turned to something beyond sport.

Twenty four years after Kim Rhode first stood on an Olympic podium, the world is still paying attention. And she has her sights set on competing in her hometown Games when L.A. hosts in 2028.

Mendoza, a two-time Olympic medalist in softball and an ESPN baseball analyst, is the first woman to work regularly in the TV booth on coverage of a major U.S. men’s pro league.

Jessica Mendoza at ESPN Seaport District Studios in New York.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

The full series


Photography: Christina House

Photo editing: Sammy Jo Hester, Mary Cooney
Writers: Helene Elliott, Mary McNamara, David Wharton, Nathan Fenno, Kevin Baxter, Tania Ganguli, Jack Harris, Victoria Hernandez, Stephen Battaglio, James F. Peltz
Story editors: Alice Short, Mike Hiserman, Kelli Sullivan
Copy editors: Tim Trepany, Evita Timmons, Andre Vergara, Fernando Dominguez, P.K. Daniel, Steve Horn, Nick Leyva, Matt Tustison, Curtis Zupke, Jim Buzinski
Video production: Nani Sahra Walker, Claire Collins
Video thumbnails: Allison Hong
Interactive timeline: Rahul Mukherjee
Production: Courtney Lewis, Christian Orozco, Lora Victorio
Audience Engagement: Fidel Martinez, Adriana Lacy, Christina Schoellkopf, Louisa Frahm
Research: Michael Darling