Athletes work hard day in and day out to make sure we enjoy the game when they play. Some players can be incredibly talented, but their character off the pitch may not be something to look up to for the young people.
However, some athletes have incredible skills with great impact on the game and still translate the same chastisement outside the game. Such athletes have known to inspire lots of generations throughout time.
The following is a compilation of five athletes across different sports who changed the world through their outstanding attributes.
- Muhammad Ali (Boxing)
Ali is one of the iconic boxers and perhaps the greatest of all time. He became the highlight of boxing after he became the first person to win the world heavyweight boxing title thrice. During his prime, Ali rejected the call of the U.S. army to be enrolled in the military to battle in Vietnam. The most inspirational quality of Ali is how he used his popularity to enlighten the Americans on the plagues of racial inequality.
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr (Basketball)
Even after a successful career of becoming a 5-time NBA champion and a 3-time MVP, Magic Johnson may still not be as talented as Michael Jordan. However, this lad changed the world by swaying the perspective of many people on HIV.
In 1991, Johnson retired suddenly and stated that he was HIV positive. This news was shocking to many people since during that time, AIDS was viewed as a deadly disease, and the society stigmatized the victims.
That did not stop Johnson as he raised awareness on the ailment. In the process, Earvin established the Magic Johnson Foundation which generated plenty of cash to help the people affected by the virus to live a healthily.
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Multi-sports)
While feminism and chauvinism was an issue for the women, Didrikson Zaharias defied all odds and became the World’s Greatest Woman Athlete. Zaharias was a living proof that women could do anything as she dominated in almost all sports.
Babe Didrikson was exemplary in tennis, basketball, track and field (won 2-gold medal and 1-silver in the Olympics of 1932), baseball and golf (won 82 tournaments). She passed on at the age of 45 due to colon cancer.
- Tiger Woods (Golf)
Woods who is also known to be a golf genius has won every medal there is in the tournament. In fact, there are times that Tiger Woods has scooped the U.S. Open, British Open, Masters, and PGA Championships all in one year. Despite the several scandals over the years, Tiger’s dominance in the game of golf has still been prosperous.
The most significant contribution of Tiger Woods to the society is through his Foundation where he has made possible the scholarship for academic programs for the less fortunate children. This is his intent to stop poverty through educational excellence.
- Pele (Soccer)
There are many arguably best players in the world of soccer. However, no one will come close to score as many goals as Pele. Pele has more than 1000 goals in his career and also made history by becoming the youngest player to play in the world cup at the age of 17.
The impact of Pele was also felt even when he was off the pitch. Pele was very successful at a very young age hence his socio-economic status was high. This showed a sense of equality when the racial tension was aggravating in the world.
Sports have the power to change the world, and the athlete of the respective games play a major role in inspiring people globally. Make sure you look for the positive qualities that you can mimic to change your life.