There are so many amazing female athletes to look up to nowadays. From Serena Williams to Simone Biles, so many women in sports have defied expectations and become role models to little girls worldwide.
One multi-talented female athlete went against so many of the societal norms in her day that you may not know about – her name was Eleonora Sears.
Eleonora was born into a wealthy and social family in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1881. Her father was Frederick Richard Sears, a real estate tycoon, and tennis player.
Eleonora and her family members were the ultimate New England socialites, always attending marvelous society balls. But Eleonora had unique interests beyond fancy parties. She was an outstanding athlete.
Eleonora was especially good at and passionate about tennis, which she was introduced to by her father.
Frederick was one of the first men in the United States to play tennis, and her uncle, Richard Sears, was a U.S. Nationals Champion.
But she wasn’t only great at tennis; Eleonora played various high-class sports, including horseback riding, ice skating, polo, squash, long-distance walking, etc.
The fact that she was a woman during such a conservative time period did not stop Eleonora from pursuing her passions in the ways she wanted to.
She was often criticized for wearing trousers while riding horses and showing up to male-dominated tennis courts with rolled-up sleeves. Can you imagine living in that time period as a female athlete?