“Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose-it teaches you about life.”
Sports are an integral part of everyone`s lives. They not only keep us fit but also reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, instills a feeling of team spirit within. Along with this, we have a number of sports personalities, who inspire us in many different ways. Their struggle is something we all get to learn a lot from.
Here is the list of some inspiring personalities, in no particular order :
1. Michael Jordan :
He is an American former professional basketball player. He played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. Jordan was scrapped from the High School Team and at 5’11″ was deemed too short to play at that level and was told to lack skills. But he didn`t give up and trained rigorously, and grew 4 inches taller.
2. Milkha Singh :
Known as The Flying Sikh, he is an Indian former track. Introduced to athletics while serving in the Indian Army, he was the only athlete to win an individual athletics gold medal at a Commonwealth Games until 2010. He wanted to be a dacoit, but destiny took him to the Indian Army and the rest is history.
3. MS Dhoni :
International cricketer, who captained the Indian National Team has an inspiring struggle story behind. From working as a ticket collector in Kharagpur to representing our country overseas, Mahi has come a long way. This was only possible because he realized his goal and worked hard against all odds to achieve it.
4. Serena Williams :
Ranked as “World number one ” by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Serena Williams is the only player to win 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two different decades. She underwent surgery on the quadriceps tendon in her knee in early August 2003, and after 8 months away from the tour, during which time her desire was questioned, Williams began her comeback at 2004. And there is no looking back after that.
5.Geeta Phogat :
A freestyle wrestler, who brought India’s first ever gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. She has seen many ups and downs in her life and none could break her spirit. Coming from a small city and she achieved what everyone desires to achieve.
6.Sandeep Singh :
Famous as Flicker Singh in media, Sandeep Singh is an Indian professional field hockey player from Haryana and an ex-captain of the Indian national team. Having met with an accident he was almost paralyzed and on a wheelchair for two years of his life. But he didn`t give up and he scripted a glorious comeback, not only recovering from a serious injury but also establishing himself as one of the vital cogs in the Indian side.
7.Lionel Messi :
He is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team.. He was diagnosed with a hormone deficiency as a child but since then has worked his way up the ladder to become one of the finest soccer players Argentina has ever produced.
8.Michael Phelps :
Being the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals, he is one of the greatest swimmers. Phelps is the long course world record holder in the men’s 100-meter butterfly, the 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley. He has many more such records in his name.
9.Saina Nehwal :
She is an Indian professional badminton singles player. A former world no. 1, she has won over 23 international titles, which include ten Superseries titles. She became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. To promote sports culture in India she is in the process of opening a badminton academy in her native state of Haryana.
10. Sachin Tendulkar :
Often addressed as “master blaster” and “god of cricket” he is one of the greatest cricketers. He is the highest run scorer of all time in International cricket. He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in an ODI.
11. Tiger Woods :
An American professional golfer, he is amongst the most successful golfers of all time. Currently, Highest Paid Golfer is also termed as the one of richest sportsman in the world. Introduced to golf by his father, before the age of two, he developed a liking for it. Woods overcame difficulties with stuttering as a boy.
12. Mary Com :
An Olympic boxer hailing from Manipur, only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships, she is an inspiration. Hailing from a poor and a humble family. Kom kept her interest in boxing a secret from her father, himself an ex-wrestler, as he was concerned that boxing would hurt Kom’s face and spoil her chances of marriage. However, he learned of it when Kom’s photo appeared in a newspaper after she won the state boxing championship in 2000. After three years, her father began to support Kom’s pursuits in boxing as he grew convinced of her love of boxing.
13. Babe Ruth :
He was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed as ‘Bambino’ and ‘the sultan of swat’ , he has a long and inspiring struggle story. Ruth rose to fame from an orphanage, where he stayed after his father died while he was still a child. Starting from his early struggling life at the reformatory school, he established himself as one of the finest baseball players in the American baseball history.
14. Ravindra Jadeja :
His father was a watchman in a shopping complex and he always wanted his son to join the army. Survived on Rs. 10 per day, Ravindra Jadeja is now a well-known cricketer. He lost his pillar of support when his mother died at age 17. This made him lose all his hopes until he remembered his mother`s last wish – to see her son play for the Indian cricket team. He then bounced back and the rest is history.
15. Mithali Raj :
Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian women’s cricket team in Tests and ODI, she proves everyone wrong who says that women can`t play cricket. She started to play the game at the age of 10 and at the age of 17, she was picked for the Indian team. Raj is the only player (male or female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005and 2017. She truly is one of the best batswomen India has.
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