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Venus Williams and Mary Fowler honoured with one-of-a kind Barbie dolls

Mattel has honoured nine athletes from around the world with Barbie dolls in their likeness to encourage young girls to stay in sports.

Sports athletes and icons such as Venus Williams and Mary Fowler have been presented with one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls to show the younger generation that anything is possible.

Ahead of the 2024 Olympic games in Paris, Mattel has created dolls in the likeness of nine female athletes from around to world to highlight the stories of sporting role models who have broken boundaries in their field and to encourage young girls to stay in sports.

US tennis player Venus Williams said she was “honoured” to be recognised as a sports role model and to “join forces with Team Barbie to continue empowering the next generation of young girls to never stop believing in their dreams”.

US tennis player Venus Williams posing with a Barbie doll created in her likeness
US tennis player Venus Williams said she was ‘honoured’ to be recognised as a sports role model (Mattel/PA)

The five-time Wimbledon champion said: “I never thought I would be made as a Barbie doll so this moment for me is top of my dreams.

“Getting the opportunity to share my life and my story and pass on my knowledge and experiences, for me, is icing on the cake.

“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.”

Williams’ Barbie doll, dressed in tennis whites, comes with its own miniature racquet and ball and gold coloured earrings.

Manchester City striker Mary Fowler, whose Barbie doll features her favourite football boots and bubble braid hairstyle, said sports has “definitely shaped (her) into the person (she) is today”.

Manchester City footballer Mary Fowler poses with Barbie doll
Manchester City footballer Mary Fowler is among the nine athletes being honoured by Mattel ahead of the Paris Olympic games (Mattel/PA)

“Sport has been important to me in terms of creating my sense of self,” the Australian professional footballer said.

“The advice I like to give to aspiring athletes is to not be afraid of making mistakes.”

The athletes being honoured by Mattel also include Spanish doctor and paratriathlete Susana Rodriguez, French boxer and 2016 Olympic champion Estelle Mossely and Italian former swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Federica Pellegrini.

French Boxer Estelle Mossely poses with Barbie doll
French boxer Estelle Mossely, who is training for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with a Barbie doll in her likeness (Mattel/PA)

The famous brand, which is celebrating Barbie’s 65th anniversary this year, is also partnering with Voice In Sport to keep girls in sports through mentorship opportunities.

Krista Berger, senior vice president of Barbie and Mattel’s Global Head of Dolls, said: “Barbie is thrilled to continue the brand’s 65th anniversary celebration by recognising the impact of sport in fostering self-confidence and ambition among the next generation.

“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.”

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