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Venus Williams among sports stars immortalised by Barbie

Tennis star Venus Williams, Manchester City striker Mary Fowler and seven other athletes have become the latest stars to be immortalised by Barbie dolls.

Gymnasts Rebeca Andrade, from Brazil, and Alexa Moreno, from Mexico, will also get their own Barbies, alongside Canadian footballer Christine Sinclair, French boxer Estelle Mossely, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, Spanish paratriathlete and doctor Susana Rodriguez, and Polish track and field sprinter Ewa Swoboda.

Announcing the new dolls, Mattel said it wanted to note “the impact of sports in fostering self-confidence, ambition, and empowerment among the next generation”.

US tennis star Williams, who has four Olympic gold medals, won Wimbledon five times, and was the first woman in tennis to earn equal prize money at the UK tournament, said she had “always been driven by the idea of shattering glass ceilings and staying true to myself” – and that Barbie resonates “deeply with that ethos”.

Mattel said Williams had “courageously persevered through countless obstacles to inspire social change within tennis and the sports industry at large”.

The tennis star’s Barbie doll comes with its own miniature racket and ball and gold-coloured earrings, and is dressed top to toe in tennis whites, including a visor.

No details have been given about a potential doll for her sister, Serena.

The sports stars are the latest to be given their own Barbies, following in the footsteps of Queen Camilla, Kylie Minogue and Helen Mirren earlier this year.

In 2023, Mattel launched the first Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome.

Fowler, who plays for Australian national team the Matildas as well as for Manchester City in the UK, has a doll sporting her trademark gloves and favourite football boots, and comes with its own miniature football.

“Sport has been important to me in terms of creating my sense of self,” she said. “I think it has definitely shaped me into the person I am today.

“If I look back on my journey and I think about the moments when I really felt like I took a step forward in my growth as a person, they’ve all been from moments where I was challenged as an athlete. The advice I like to give to aspiring athletes is to not be afraid of making mistakes.”

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