The 11 Biggest Sporting Legends of All Time
These sportspeople are some of the best-known and best-loved of all time. Let’s learn a little bit more about them and their sports.
11 Biggest Sporting Legends of All Time
There are many different ways to distinguish yourself in the world of sports: as many different ways as there are different sports, in fact. Whether its basketball, long jump, figure skating, pro wrestling, darts, or track racing, each sport has those few people that have risen all the way to the top and stayed there in the minds of the public for generation after generation. The only way you’ll ever have a chance at a win with online sports betting is if you know who and what you’re betting on; if you understand a little more about these people and how they got where they are.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to share with you our top 11 sporting legends: people who are the absolute best of the best for one reason or another, with some being the highest paid MLB players. Let’s get going!
1. Tony Hawk- Skateboarder
Anthony Frank Hawk was born in 1968. When he was a child, he really didn’t have any patience for coming in second place or losing in any form. It was this lust for being the best that would take Tony from being just like any other child to being one of the best-known skateboarders in history. He started skating at age 9 and entered his first competition at 11, where it was clear from the start that he was innovative and daring. At 14, he joined the Bones Brigade and went on to skate professionally until 1999. He built a skateboarding empire that he still promotes to this day.
2. Zinedine Zidane- Footballer
Fondly known as Zizou, this French football player (soccer, not American football) has found incredible success both as a player and manager. His rise to fame was the work of a full career, from the day he started playing professionally in 1989 to the day he hung up his boots for good in 2006, to the day he became assistant manager of Real Madrid in 2016. Over the course of his playing career, he was capped by France 108 times, named to the All-Star Team and awarded the Legion of Honor in 1998. He was also the Player of the Tournament after the UEFA Euro 2000.
3. Larry Bird- Basketball Player
If you’ve ever been a basketball fan, then this man needs no real introduction. He led his team, the Celtics, to three NBA championships and is well known as one of the best shooters ever to have played the game. He was once Rookie of the Year, was one half of the bird Johnson rivalry and was a 12-time all-star player.
4. Martina Navratilova- Tennis Player
She’s a left-handed genius who was first coached by her stepfather, who raised her. Over the course of an illustrious career in a sport once entirely dominated by men, she has captured 18 Grand Slam titles, 10 Grand Slam mixed titles and 31 Grand Slam doubles titles. As one of the first openly gay sports figures, her legacy extends far beyond just her talent on the court.
5. Jean Driscoll-Wheelchair Racer
Jean Driscoll was never going to let something like Spina Bifida get in the way of her love for competition. As a wheelchair racer for America, she won five gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals at the Summer Paralympic Games. She also won her division of the Boston Marathon seven times in a row and once more to boot, making her the woman who has won the most Boston marathons in her division.
6. Babe Ruth- Baseball
There’s not an America alive today who doesn’t know the name Babe Ruth. This baseball player made his career by breaking all of the sport’s most important batting records: he had the most years leading the home run charts, most bases in a single season, highest batting percentage for a season and the most home runs in history, until 1974.
7. Wayne Gretzky- Ice Hockey Player
Hockey fans the world over know Gretzky as The Great One– a nickname he more than earned over his career. His NHL career spanned from 1979 to 1999, and he played for four different teams. His legacy is one of the most goals and assists in NHL history. At the time of his retirement, he held a crazy 61 NHL records and was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame shortly after.
8. Mary Lou Retton- Gymnast
Trained by the controversial Bela Karolyi, Mary Lou Retton was the very first female gymnast outside of Eastern European competitors ever to win the women’s all-around; in 1984. Her career as a gymnast began when she was very young and she trained with Karolyi for most of it. She retired in 1985.
9. Katarina Witt- Figure Skater
When this German figure skater started skating at the tender age of five, she had no idea that she would go on to become one of the most decorated women in the sport. She was the first woman ever to win consecutive gold medals in Olympic figure skating since 1936. Her style redefined the sport entirely – she was both graceful and flirtatious at the same time, and modern audiences gobbled it up.
10. Muhammad Ali- Boxer
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” is only one part of this boxer’s legacy. He was an Olympic gold medalist, the first boxer ever to win the heavyweight title three times and won 56 matches over the course of a 21-year career. He was incredibly outspoken about both religion and politics.
11. Bruce Lee- Martial Artist
Long before Lee was famous in American films, he was a martial artist. He initially learned to fight to defend himself on the streets. His dancing lessons improved his Kung Fu footwork to no end, and in 1958 he won his first championship: as a cha-cha dancer! After relocating to California in 1968, he developed his own style of Kung Fu.
These are some of the greatest sportspeople of all time: do you recognize any of their names?