Barbie honors Venus Williams and 8 other athletes with dolls in their likeness

Mattel is releasing nine new Barbie dolls depicting some of the world's most celebrated female athletes, including tennis star Venus Williams and Canadian soccer icon Christine Sinclair. The nine dolls are part of the brand's ongoing celebration of Barbie's 65th anniversary.

"Barbie is thrilled to continue the brand's 65th-anniversary celebration by recognizing the impact of sports in fostering self-confidence, ambition, and empowerment among the next generation," Krista Berger, senior vice president of Barbie and global head of dolls, Mattel, said in statement Wednesday. "By shining a light on these inspirational athletes and their stories, we hope to champion the belief that every young girl deserves the opportunity to pursue her passions and turn her dreams into reality."

The dolls are one of a kind and are not available for purchase, Mattel told CBS MoneyWatch on Wednesday. Other athletes being honored with Barbie dolls in their likeness are Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade, Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno, Australian soccer player Mary Fowler, French boxer Estelle Mossely, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, Spanish paratriathlete Susana Rodriguez and Polish track and field sprinter Ewa Swoboda. In April, celebrated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the toy brand honored U.S. figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Mattel is making nine new Barbie dolls that depict some of the world's most celebrated women athletes, including tennis star Venus Williams and Canadian soccer icon Christine Sinclair. / Credit: Mattel, Inc.
Mattel is making nine new Barbie dolls that depict some of the world's most celebrated women athletes, including tennis star Venus Williams and Canadian soccer icon Christine Sinclair. / Credit: Mattel, Inc.

"Throughout my career, I've always been driven by the idea of shattering glass ceilings and staying true to myself, and Barbie's mission couldn't resonate more deeply with that ethos," tennis legend Venus Williams said in the same statement from Mattel.

Here are the nine athletes who are the latest women to be recognized by Barbie with dolls in their likeness.

Venus Williams

Having won four Olympic gold medals and seven Grand Slam singles titles, Venus Williams is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. In 2007, the California native was the first woman in tennis to earn the same prize money at Wimbledon as the male athletes. Williams' appearance on the tennis court has slowed in recent years, ever since she withdrew from the Australian Open in January 2023.

Christine Sinclair

With 190 goals on her resume, Christine Sinclair has been named Canadian Player of the Year 14 times and she has 12 Olympic goals — more than any other player. She retired from international play last year, CBC reported.

Mary Fowler

Labeled a soccer prodigy by some, Mary Fowler at age 16 became the youngest player on Australia's soccer team in the 2019 FIFA World Cup. She now plays forward for the Manchester City Matildas.

"Super grateful for the opportunity to capture and share a version of myself when I feel my strongest, and most confident," she said on an Instagram post about the new doll. "To finally see and hold my Barbie with its bubble braid, gloves and boots, in a look that many young girls recreate is so special."

Estelle Mossely

Estelle Mossely won France's first ever gold medal in women's boxing at the Rio Olympics on her 24th birthday. She also won a silver medal at the 2015 European Games.

"What pride to have my own barbie with everything that that represents," Mossely said in a X post on Wednesday. "It's an honor to be a part of the 2024 Barbie team surrounded by all these great champions."

Alexa Moreno

Moreno became the first female gymnast representing Mexico to win a World Championships medal when she placed third at the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Despite injuries to her ankle, head, knee and shoulders that have derailed her career since 2020, Moreno plans to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, NPR affiliate KPBS reported this week. Forbes Mexico in 2019 recognized Moreno as one of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico.

Rebeca Andrade

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Rebeca Andrade has managed to cement herself as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. Her performance at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 won Brazil its first ever gold medal in women's gymnastics. She was on the cover of Vogue Brazil in October 2021 and plans to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Susana Rodriguez

Susana Rodriguez was born with albinism and a vision impairment that severely weakened her ability to see. Despite that obstacle, Rodriguez is a doctor and paratriathlon athlete, winning a gold medal in 2020 at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. She was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 2021.

Federica Pellegrini

This Italian swimmer won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A year later, at the 2009 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Rome, she became the first woman to break the 4-minute barrier in the 400-meter freestyle. Pellegrini retired from swimming in 2021 and had her first child — a daughter named Matilde — in January.

Ewa Swoboda

Ewa Swoboda is a Polish track and field sprinter and three-time European Indoor Championship medallist. She took home the gold medal in 2019. Throughout her career, she has continued to break records, most recently at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships where she set a new national record of 6.98 seconds in the women's 60 meters race.

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