Barbie Collection Honors Federica Pellegrini, Other Woman Athletes

As part of Barbie’s 65th anniversary celebrations, Mattel has released a line of nine dolls designed in the likeness of famous female athletes from around the world. The list includes Italian swimmer, Olympic champion, and World Record holder Federica Pellegrini.

The list of athletes who will get the barbie treatment includes:

  • Federica Pellergini, Italian swimmer
  • Venus Williams, American tennis player
  • Mary Folwer, Australian footballer (soccer player)
  • Ewa Swoboda, Polish sprinter
  • Susana Rodriguez, Spanish doctor and paratriathlon athlete
  • Christine Sinclaire, Canadian footballer (soccer player)
  • Alexa Moreno, Mexican gymnast
  • Rebeca Andrade, Brazilian gymnast
  • Estelle Mossely, French boxer

Pellegrini poses with her doll below:

“It…carries a unique and positive message for all the girls who have the courage to dream big,” Pellegrini said. “Participating in this project, which has its roots in the Dream Gap program of Barbie, I have the concrete opportunity to inspire children and young women to pursue their dreams with confidence, defy obstacles and overcome prejudices.”

The dolls are part of Barbie’s Dream Gap project that encourages girls to dream big, pursue diverse professions, develop leadership skills, and build self-esteem.

Pellegrini, 35, is widely regardedas Italy’s greatest female swimmer of all-time, winning 26 international gold medals over her 16-year swimming career, including an Olympic gold medal in the 200 freestyle in 2008. That made her the first Italian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.

Pellegrini primarily competed in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle. She was the first swimmer to break the 4-minute barrier in the 400m freestyle at the 2009 World Championships. At the same meet, she set the 200m freestyle World Record with a time of 1:52.98. Her record stood for over a decade before it was finally broken by Australian Mollie O’Callaghan last summer (1:52.85). Pellegrini was also dominant on the World Championship stage in the 200 freestyle, making every World Championship podium in the event from 2005 until 2019, including gold medals in 2009, 2011, 2017, and 2019.

Pellegrini retired on November 30, 2021, only a month after getting engaged to Giunta. The pair married on August 27, 2022. Giunta was Pellegrini’s personal coach from 2014 until her retirement in 2021.

Pellegrini and Giunta gave birth to this first child earlier this year.

Pellegrini has parlayed her success in the pool into a career in mainstream Italian media. From 2019 until 2022, she was a judge on the talent show Italia’s Got Talent, and has hosted episodes of Le Iene, a comedy sketch show.

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26 days ago

A shame they doubled up on gymnasts & soccer players. Surely those countries had athletes from other sports not already represented in the lists.

For Australia I would have thought someone like Jessica Fox (canoeing) – she’s won Olympic medals of all colours and is a 14-time World Champion.

Never even heard of that Mary chick..

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Oceanian
26 days ago

Mary was probably the second biggest name after Sam in the women’s World Cup in Australian media…

Reply to  Fraser Thorpe
26 days ago

Agree. Hosting the Women’s World Cup really raised the profile of the women’s game in the country with it being the best attended WWC to date and subsequent Matilda’s games being played to full houses (incl 50000+ in Perth & Melbourne.

Sam Kerr is certainly the highest profile AUS female player but it would be Fowler or Mackenzie Arnold (GK) next in line. She was a nominee for 2023 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year so she has the “bonafides”.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
26 days ago

Pellegrini was also dominant on the World Championship stage in the 200 freestyle, making every World Championship podium in the event from 2009 until 2019

from 2005* until 2019

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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