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With so much debasing theatrics on all those “housewives and wifeys” reality dramas, it’s hard to remember that there are black women in the public eye who are great role models for their athletic prowess. Where’s the reality show featuring dynamic black female athletes? ‘Cause they’re definitely getting short shrift.

With the Summer Olympic games coming around again from London next year, we thought we’d take a look at some ladies who use their bodies for more than just looking good. Here are some of our favorite female athletes. Some you know, and others are little more obscure. But if you don’t know who they are, you should get familiar soon.

LAILA ALI

Even though she’s retired from the ring, you’ve got to give some honorable mention props to boxer Laila Ali. Now a wife and mother of two with her own beauty line, Ali proved herself worthy to succeed her famous father, Muhammad Ali, in the ring. Unfortunately, though, the time just wasn’t right for women’s boxing, and she KO’ed most of the worthy, if sparse, competition there was. Some critics say that Ali never fought the few top contenders there were, but she retired with a perfect 24-0 record and was only knocked down once in the ring. Sure, the world may never know just how good she really was, but we salute Laila Ali for getting in the ring and competing, given the huge shadow of her father’s legacy.