I know I’m a little early for the Olympics, but the hype is already starting. I’m not a sports freak, but I do have an appreciation for athletes and the hard work they put into the sport. Some get paid millions to entertain us with their athleticism, some work two jobs just to pay for training time. But all are trying to be the very best at what they do…
If you have trouble thinking of some, check out ESPN’s top athletes of the century.
Ten Athletes that You Admire
1. Michael Jordan - I’m from Chicago, he had to be my number 1. The best basketball player (and maybe even athlete) ever. As smart a businessman as he is a player.
2. Muhammad Ali - The fire in his eyes is undeniable, you can see it even now, as his body fails him. The spirit is still alive in there. He was brash, arrogant and definitely the greatest.
3. Lance Armstrong - He’s overcome so much and has never let the obstacles in his life stop him from reaching his goals, again and again. And now he’s hooked up with hottie Sheryl Crow.
4. Billie Jean King - Her tennis match against Bobby Riggs showed the world women can beat men at something other than knitting and cooking.
5. Jackie Robinson - He broke the color barriers in the all American sport of baseball. But that was never his intention. He just wanted to play ball.
5. The Williams Sisters - These girls brought women’s tennis to a new level. They’re strong, they’re confident, and they dominate.
6. Walter Payton - Oh Sweetness! As a kid I loved him so much. No one ever played football with as much heart, grace and determination as Payton. Not only that, but he was loved and respected by his fellow team mates, as well as players on other teams.
7. Tiger Woods - Singlehandedly, he turned golf into a COOL sport. Which is a pretty hard task! And he’s pretty cute, too…
8. Pat Tillman - A lot of controversy was made about the media making him a hero, who died in Iraq after giving up a promising football career worth millions. He never wanted to be a hero, he never wanted the attention, he just wanted to do what was right.
9. Dorothy Hamill - Although having her bowlcut haircut throughout my childhood, I still remember wanting to be a figure skater when I was a kid. Even now, no other possesses the grace and beauty that she has when she takes the ice.
10. Olympians - Apolo Ohno, Rusty Smith, Michelle Kwan, Rulon Gardner, Greg Louganis, Jackie Joyner Kersey, Mark Spitz, Mary Lou Retton and thousands who compete knowing that their medal chances are slum…they’re in the sport not for the money, but to become one of the best in the world, to compete against people from all over. Most of them don’t even get paid to train and have to raise the money themselves or get jobs. They don’t have the luxury of corporate sponsorships.
Next Week: Ten Scenes from the Movies that Make You Hot and Bothered, submitted by Amy.