There are new fantastic sports men and women rising to the forefront of their respective sports all the time, but while many of them might be capable of incredible feats of athleticism, only a select few rise above their sport or event and become true stars. Whether it’s because of moments of pure genius on the turf, or whether it’s because of their natural leadership and charisma, the following top 10 sports stars have transcended any single sport to become icons.
10 Usain Bolt – Usain Bolt recently smashed the record for the 100 meters and made it look easy – even slowing down at the end. His seeming ambivalence towards setting an unbeatable record makes him frustrating, but his talent really can’t be denied and neither can his place as one of the top ten sports stars.
9 Tiger Woods – Tiger Woods’ extra-marital activities may have left him less popular than he has been, but he nevertheless managed to make golf more attractive to a younger audience and has undeniable skill making him another of our top 10 sports stars.
8 Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – The Rock was a tour de force in the world of wrestling and quickly became a fan favorite with his ‘people’s elbow’ and his infamous eyebrow. His charisma was such that he has since managed to break Hollywood and become the next big action star.
7 Michael Schumacher – Michael Schumacher may not be at the top of his game, but in his hey day his aggressive driving style ensured that he was always talked about as did his record breaking achievements and unrivaled successive wins. A household name and one of the top 10 sports stars.
6 Arnold Schwarzenegger – Arnold Schwarzenegger took the underground sport of Bodybuilding and made it into a multi-million dollar industry and for that alone he is one of the top 10 sports stars. Following that though his charisma and smarts helped him to succeed also in acting, politics and even business.
5 Michael Jordan – Michael Jordan is a household name and in fact it was his charisma and clever marketing which helped to promote NBA around the world. He has also been in films and is a successful businessman helping him to become incredibly successful and another household name.
4 The Williams Sisters – The Williams sister (Serena and Venus) are among the top 10 sports stars for being unusually talented siblings, for their infamous yells while playing tennis and again for being instantly recognizable.
3 Lance Armstrong – Lance Armstrong makes it this high on our list of top 10 sports stars for being a perfect poster boy for the power of determination and positive thinking overcoming cancer to win the Tour De France five times in a row (and look out for a brilliant cameo in Dodgeball).
2 David Beckham – David Beckham is a soccer who’s famous the world over and just as big in countries like Japan as he is in the US or his home-country England. He’s fancied by women the world over, part of one of the most famous celebrity marriages ever and has sold more boxer shorts than perhaps any other man – all making him one of the top ten sports stars.
1 Mohamed Ali – Mohamed Ali has to top a list of top 10 sports stars for being quite simply the greatest. With a sharp wit, balletic grace and some amazingly memorable fights (George Foreman of course, but also the shockingly short bout with Sonny Liston), he also stood up for what he believed in making him a true legend.