Barbie Celebrates Role-Model Athletes Who Have...

Barbie Celebrates Role-Model Athletes Who Have Broken Boundaries to Encourage Girls to Stay in Sports and Recognize Their Full Potential

May 22, 2024

Barbie brand honors the profound impact of sports in igniting confidence among young girls by:

  • Honoring nine women in sports who have broken boundaries around the world with one-of-a-kind Role Model dolls
  • Partnering with VOICEINSPORT to keep girls in sports through mentorship
  • Introducing doll assortments highlighting fan-favorite careers in sports

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 22, 2024 – Mattel, Inc. announced today, in continued celebration of Barbie’s 65th anniversary, the brand will honor nine athletes around the world – including American Professional Tennis Player and icon Venus Williams – with one-of-a-kind role model dolls made in their likeness. Knowing that girls involved in team sports are more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career, have high opinions on their abilities and competencies, increased leadership aspirations and enjoy higher levels of self-confidence 1, Barbie is bringing together these inspiring stories that are shaping the future to show girls that anything is possible if you relentlessly pursue your passions.

Through initiatives like the Barbie Dream Gap Project, Barbie is committed to leveling the playing field for girls globally, in sports and beyond, to close the gap that comes between girls and their full potential. Partnering with VOICEINSPORT - a digital sport platform dedicated to keeping girls in sport, Barbie Role Models will extend their impact through virtual mentoring sessions throughout the year.

“Barbie is thrilled to continue the brand’s 65th anniversary celebration by recognizing the impact of sports in fostering self-confidence, ambition, and empowerment among the next generation,” said Krista Berger, Senior Vice President of Barbie and Global Head of Dolls, Mattel. “After welcoming Kristi Yamaguchi to our Barbie Inspiring Women line last month, we are proud to continue fueling the momentum surrounding women in sports by welcoming these nine athletes as our newest role models. The sports one-of-a-kind role model dolls serve as an embodiment of our shared values of passion, empowerment and individuality. By shining a light on these inspirational athletes and their stories, we hope to champion the belief that every young girl deserves the opportunity to pursue her passions and turn her dreams into reality.”

“Throughout my career, I’ve always been driven by the idea of shattering glass ceilings and staying true to myself, and Barbie’s mission couldn't resonate more deeply with that ethos,” said Barbie Role Model and American Professional Tennis Player, Venus Williams. “I’m honored to be recognized as a sports role model and join forces with Team Barbie to continue empowering the next generation of young girls to never stop believing in their dreams.”

The Barbie brand remains committed to empowering girls to pursue their interest in sports, encouraging their continued beliefs in their limitless possibilities by:

  • HONORING NINE TRAILBLAZING WOMEN ATHLETES AROUND THE WORLD with one-of-a-kind role model dolls made in their likeness to celebrate the barriers they have broken for women in their respective fields.

Venus Williams (United States): Tennis Player

One of the most decorated Olympic athletes with four gold medals and the first woman in tennis to earn equal prize money at Wimbledon, Venus Williams has courageously persevered through countless obstacles to inspire social change within tennis and the sports industry at large. 

Christine Sinclair (Canada): Soccer Player

As soccer’s greatest international scorer with 190 goals to her name, Christine Sinclair has solidified her status as the most successful soccer player from Canada [of all time].

Mary Fowler (Australia): Football Player

At just 21 years old, Mary Fowler has become a key player for the Matildas and Manchester City football teams. She was selected for the FIFA World Cup in 2019 and became the team’s youngest player at 16 years old. Since then, she has been to two FIFA World Cups and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Estelle Mossely (France): Boxer

Crowned Olympic champion in 2016 and has won numerous professional and world amateur boxing titles. 

Alexa Moreno (Mexico): Gymnast

As Mexico’s first female world medalist in gymnastics, Alexa Moreno is recognized by Forbes Mexico as one of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico. 

Rebeca Andrade (Brazil): Gymnast

Olympic gold and silver medalist, Rebeca Andrade is regarded as one of the best gymnast of all time. The Brazilian girl is a two-time World Championship champion and has won more than ten medals in World Cups.

Susana Rodriguez (Spain): Paratriathlon Athlete

Born with albinism, Susana Rodriguez began running at age 10 and has since become a barrier-breaking paratriathlon athlete. She has not only set records in her sport, but she doubled as a young doctor on the front lines amid the pandemic, earning her the cover of TIME magazine in 2021.

Federica Pellegrini (Italy): Swimmer

Federica Pellegrini is a former swimmer and an Olympic gold medalist, she has been the first woman to break the 4:00 barrier in the 400mm freestyle. Right after her last competitions in 2020, she got an important international recognition: election to the IOC Athletes Commission.

Ewa Swoboda (Poland): Track and Field Sprinter

Top ranked European sprinter, Ewa Swoboda’s determination, talent, and fearless nature have served as a source of inspiration for young girls across the globe. She is a three-time European Indoor Championship medalist, as well as a World Indoor Championship medalist, holding the world lead of 7.01 seconds in the 60-meter race.

By recognizing athletes that have broken barriers for women in sports, Barbie hopes to help amplify the voices of women in sports to commemorate their accomplishments on and off the field.  


o   To encourage girls to stay in sports, Barbie is extending its partnership with VOICEINSPORT, a global digital platform that connects and inspires girls and women in sports through mentorship, educational content, and expert services, to help support and empower the next generation of women leaders in sports to thrive. Through this partnership, Barbie and VOICEINSPORT will host inspirational virtual mentoring sessions with Barbie Role Models on the VOICEINSPORT platform, designed to encourage girls to pursue their interest in sports. The sessions will be free to attend and continue into 2025. Girls in sport ages 12+ may sign up at to unlock the free mentoring with Barbie Role Models and educational content.

"As a young girl and now a mother of a young girl in sports, unlocking access to professional athlete mentors on the VOICEINSPORT platform with Team Barbie is a dream come true,” said Stef Strack, Founder of VOICEINSPORT. “We built VOICEINSPORT to bring more visibility to women athletes globally so that girls around the world would be inspired to dream big and build confidence to stay in the game.”

The Barbie brand is continuing to commemorate its 65th anniversary throughout the year, with new celebratory offerings, including:

  • NEW SPORTS DOLL LINEUPS AND PLAYSETS are available at retail to encourage the next generation of empowered women to explore a future in sports through play.

o   The 2024 Barbie Sports Doll lineup includes a basketball player, boxer, tennis player and volleyball player featuring sports uniforms and equipment. 

o   The 2024 Soccer Doll Assortment includes four soccer players in a variety of uniforms, featuring a soccer ball, cleats and tall socks.

o   The Gymnast Playset features a gymnast wearing a purple leotard and 10+ accessories including a balance beam, warm up mat, medal and gym bag.

o   Barbie Inspiring Women Kristi Yamaguchi doll honors the U.S. figure skating champion and Olympic gold medalist to inspire even more stories through play.

  • MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE AT RETAIL with yearlong partnerships activating in-store and online to celebrate Barbie’s 65th anniversary.

o   Walmart is releasing exclusive content from Barbie Role Model honorees Katya Echazarreta and Venus Williams on social and digital channels, along with in-store Barbie displays across the country under the theme “65 Years of Inspiration, Dreams Made Here,” and new products across toy, apparel, accessories, sporting goods, and food and beverage.

o   Target is contributing a $65,000 donation to The Dream Gap Project to help girls continue to write their legacy, with a portion of the donation going directly to Girl Talk, an organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be leaders through peer-to-peer mentoring programs. Target guests will also be able to shop exclusive assortment of Barbie-themed apparel for girls featuring the Barbie 65th “Write Your Legacy” collection, explore the new collection of Barbie Fashionistas inspired by her most iconic looks over the decades and view exclusive behind the scenes content from Target designers at

o   Amazon has a Barbie 65th Brand Shop featuring Barbie-themed products including toys and apparel.

o   Mattel Creations is launching a capsule collection inspired by iconic looks across the decades beginning in1959. Featuring new drops each month, fans can purchase exclusive celebratory 65th anniversary items from UNO Canvas™ Barbie to apparel, accessories, and more.

  • UNVEILING NEW BARBIE-THEMED COLLABORATIONS featuring 12+ brand partners across fashion, food, beauty, accessories and publishing for fans to continue the 65th anniversary celebration, including:

o   OLIPOP, Ked’s, Random House Children’s Books, Assouline, CHI, FUNBOY, Monnalisa, Pottery Barn Kids, Yoobi, Aldo, The Frozen Farmer, Cheryl’s Cookies and Unique Vintage.

o   To celebrate sports during Barbie's 65th anniversary, the brand teamed up with Nettie, the design-forward brand creating high-quality pickleball gear, to create a limited-edition bright and bold Barbie™ x Nettie collection,  available at DICK’s Sporting Goods locations across the U.S., and online at

By amplifying the stories of trailblazers and championing the momentum surrounding women in sports, Barbie hopes that young girls can be inspired to stay in sports and pursue their passions.

1 According to the NAACP + The Girls’ Index