Health

The world's fittest women

Published 9:40 AM ET, Wed November 7, 2012
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Our gallery on the world's fittest men got such a huge response, we decided it was only fair to do one on the world's fittest women. By putting their workouts and nutrition first, women such as Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas have become role models for a healthy lifestyle. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know at Facebook.com/CNNHealth or on Twitter @CNNHealth. AFP/Getty Images
Annie Thorisdottir recently earned the title of the world's fittest woman by taking first place at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. The competition includes everything from weightlifting to jumping rope. "I think my strengths are that I can usually just keep on going," the Icelandic athlete told CrossFit. "I don't really need to stop and rest." From CrossFit Games
Dara Torres is an inspiration to thousands of women who are struggling to get, or stay, in shape as they age. The 45-year-old swimmer brought home three silver medals from her fifth Olympic Games in Beijing and barely missed qualifying for London 2012. If her biceps aren't enough inspiration, check out her two books: "Gold Medal Fitness" and "Age is Just a Number." Al Bello/Getty Images
It's hard to ignore the muscles sported by the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team. All-around gold medalists, from left, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Gabrielle Douglas show it takes dedication and strength to fly high. Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Jessica Biel topped Fit Sugar's list of the fittest female celebrities in 2011. Always a proponent for healthy body image, the new Mrs. Justin Timberlake inspired us in 2010 by hiking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to raise awareness for the global water crisis. Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston followed closely behind Biel on the list. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Jessica Ennis beat her closest opponent in the 2012 Olympic heptathlon event by more than 300 points. Ennis earned her gold medal by participating in the 100-meter hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, the 200-meter race, the long jump, the javelin throw and the 800-meter race. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leanda Cave became the first female in history to win both the Ironman World Championship and the Half Ironman World Championship in 2012. The British athlete finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in nine hours, 15 minutes and 54 seconds, according to the BBC. FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
As Sports Illustrated writer Phil Taylor says, "With all due respect to the other teams who compete in beach volleyball ... there is the duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and there is everybody else." May-Treanor, left, and Walsh Jennings went into retirement after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. During their time off, May-Treanor tore her Achilles tendon while rehearsing for "Dancing With the Stars," and Walsh Jennings gave birth -- twice. Still, the duo reunited to dominate the 2012 Olympics, losing only one set in their quest for gold. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
China's Wang Mingjuan weighs only 106 pounds, but she can lift more than 200. Wang claimed the weightlifting gold medal of the 2012 Olympic Games in the women's lightest category. The 26-year-old four-time world champion has not been defeated in international competition since winning her first world title in 2002, according to the Daily Mail. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Jillian Michaels is one of the world's most well-known fitness gurus. "The Biggest Loser" trainer has grown her reality TV fame into an empire that includes a line of workout videos, an inspirational book and even an Xbox Kinect game. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
If you haven't heard of Serena, right, and Venus Williams, you've been living under a rock with earmuffs on. The tennis stars took home their third Olympic gold medal for doubles in 2012. Serena is currently the Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic singles champion. Julian Finney/Getty Images