Serena Williams: First woman athlete in 32 years to be Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsperson of the Year’

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Serena Williams has been named Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. It is the first time in more than three decades the honor has gone to a woman athlete, The Huffington Post reports. The last time was 1983, when track star Mary Decker took the title.

In the cover article of the December 21 edition of the magazine, the tennis superstar is lauded not only for her athletic prowess but also her robust engagement with race issues, her business acumen and her social status. (“J.K. Rowling was tweeting against a critic of Williams’s body, now Oprah was hustling to watch her at the U.S. Open, now [Martha] Stewart was calling Williams ‘the most powerful woman I know.’ President Barack Obama, the most scrutinized man alive, told her how great it was to watch her.”)

The colorful feature maps the arduous — sometimes tortuous — paths to victory she took this past year, claiming victories in the face of debilitating illness, and putting together “the best season by a woman in a quarter century.”

But it’s her general attitude, even more than her accumulating trophies, that Sports Illustrated are keen to celebrate. “It’s also because Williams kept pushing herself to grow, to be better, and tennis was the least of it,” S.L Price writes, on behalf of the magazine. “The trying is what’s impressive. The trying is why we are here.”

Read the full story at Sports Illustrated.


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