Here's to Mexico's stars

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Lorena Ochoa stayed true to her roots during her career, frequently going to the maintenance barn during LPGA events to speak with the workers, many of them from Mexico.

On this day in 1821, Mexico gained its independence from Spain, providing a new homeland for several future noteworthy female sports stars. At the top of the list is Lorena Ochoa, who was the first Mexican golfer – male or female – to be ranked No. 1 in in the world. She won 27 LPGA tournaments – including two majors -- and $14.7 million during her seven seasons on the tour. She held the No. 1 ranking for more than three years, right up until her retirement in May of 2010, when she was 28. Other top Mexican-born female athletes include the late Soraya Jiménez, a weightlifter who became the first Mexican woman to win an Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000; Maria Espinoza, who won gold in taekwondo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; and Alejandra Orozco, who won a silver medal in London in 2012 in synchronized diving.