From The Grio — Venus and Serena Williams have made ESPN’s greatest female athletes of all time. The list commemorates the passage of Title IX established in 1972 the law prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex for participation in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The law opened the door for girls to compete in sports at the school level. The passage of title IX was the genesis of what would become a wave of dynamic and talented female athletes that would go on to make tremendous strides in the field of athletics and become some of the most exciting athletes in the world. ESPN reports:

From Martina and Serena to Annika and Danica, female athletes have grown into one-name wonders known the world over.

And as ESPN marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX — a law whose ripple effects extend far beyond the U.S., creating a women’s sports culture awash in opportunity — it’s the perfect time to pause, reflect and ask one question: Who’s the best of the best?

An industry-wide panel of journalists and women’s sports experts have cast their votes, which were tabulated by an independent, outside agency. Now it’s time to unveil the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years. Each weekday, from April 30 to June 22, we’ll count down the list, both here at espnW and on “SportsCenter” — spotlighting an athlete and her awesome accomplishments.

Click here to see ESPN’s  list of top female athletes.

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