Famous athletes have always been a part of the civilized society. They have constantly made efforts to reach farther and to stretch the limits of the human body. Throughout history, athletes have always managed to set the bar so high that ordinary mortals are unable to sometimes replicate the sheer size of the achievements. In that regard the Olympics has always been a stage where most athletes have managed to show up with a lot of training and with an aim to break existing records. That said most athletes have their own goals and the hopes of a nation of people behind them which can certainly be a great driving factor if not the only one. With that in mind, let us look at the top 10 famous athletes.
10. Jack Nicklaus:
Jack Nicklaus was born in Ohio in the year 1940 in the United States and is easily one of the best golfers there ever was. He turned pro in 1961 and has more than 100 career professional wins which makes him one of the most successful as well as one of the most celebrated golfers of all time. He has also written a best seller instructional book on golf and is also a successful entrepreneur.
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9. Pete Sampras:
Pete Sampras is among tennis’s most celebrated champions. He had a long career during which he laid claim to every trophy there is in professional tennis. He was world number one for as many as six years at year end which makes him among the most successful tennis players of all time. He turned pro in 1988 and his 14 year long career saw him win a total of 14 grand slam tourneys.
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8. Babe Ruth:
Babe Ruth is one of the best players to have stepped onto a baseball diamond. He spent 22 glorious seasons in Major League Baseball during which he turned the sport on its head. He was one of the best known hitters of his time and perhaps even of all time. He is ranked number one on many lists for the top baseball players of all time. He passed away in august 1948 leaving behind one of sports’ greatest legacies.
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7. Martina Navratilova:
Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest female tennis players of all time and undoubtedly one of the most famous athletes. Her impact on bringing woman’s tennis to the fore at a time when the men dominate the sport is great. She was an adept doubles player as well as being a singles champion with a total of 167 career titles. She started off her professional career in 1975 and retired in 1999 but she also had another comeback stint in the year 2006.
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6. Haile Gebrselassie:
Haile Gebrselassie is one of the greatest long distance runners the world has ever seen by a long shot. The Ethiopian has won every major world level event in long distance running both indoors and outdoors. He set and broke a number of records during the peak of his career and is a dominant figure in long distance running.
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5. Michael Phelps:
Michael Phelps is an American born swimmer who stunned the entire world with his amazing performances over the years. He is a winner of the world swimmer of the year title as many as six times and is one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He is also all set for the 2012 Olympic games and is to compete in 8 events which sets him up for an attempt to win all of them for a third time. Michael Phelps holds the record for the most number of gold medals in a single edition of the Olympics which is an iconic achievement. He is the youngest in this list of famous athletes.
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4. Lance Armstrong:
Lance Armstrong is an American pro-road cyclist who has won the Tour de France a record seven times and in the process he has also managed to battle with cancer and win. He retired from the sport in the year 2005 but made a comeback in 2009 and then finally retired from the sport of cycling in 2011.
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3. Muhammad Ali:
Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest legends in boxing. He is also considered as an icon of his time and was one of the most outspoken sports personalities at his peak. He has a career record of 56 wins and 5 losses but what made Muhammad Ali legendary was the way in which he managed to dominate the sport. He was involved in some of the greatest heavyweight bouts of all time with some of his equally legendary rivals.
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2. Michael Jordan:
Michael Jordan is a retired American professional basketball player and has also had a small stint in major league baseball. Known to almost the entire world as one of the greatest players to have played basketball, he dominated the sport in a way that nobody before or after him has managed to do. Jordan was most successful with the NBA team Chicago Bulls and has won a record six titles and always figures very high on any sports list as one of the greatest of all time.
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1. Jim Thorpe:
Jim Thorpe was an American born athlete who was probably the most versatile and talented of all time. He is also a high ranking figure on other lists for the top ten sports persons of all time but what truly sets him apart is the fact that Jim Thorpe was a professional American football player as well as a professional baseball player. He excelled in both and therefore he is the numero uno on this list of famous athletes. Thorpe died at the age of 64 in 1953 after serving as a coach for several years post his retirement.
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