50 Sporty Facts About World’s Top Athletes

1Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan says Kobe Bryant is the only player to ever have approached him in work ethic, waking up at 4:30 in the morning to practice before his required practice with his team.

2Lebron James

Lebron James

Lebron James rejected a $10 million offer from Reebok when he was just 18. When asked why he said that Nike or Adidas might offer him a bit more. Less than a year later, he accepted a $90 million offer from Nike.

3Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

When Cristiano Ronaldo was asked to donate his cleats for a charity auction benefitting 10-year old Erik Ortiz Cruz, who had a brain disorder that can cause 30 seizures a day. He instead paid the whole $83,000 for his surgery.

4Roger Federer

Roger Federer

As a male Swiss citizen, Roger Federer was compulsorily required to serve in the armed forces. However, in 2003, despite already having become a tennis pro, he was deemed ‘unfit’ because of a back problem and was relieved of his obligations.

5Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

At the age of 11, Lionel Messi was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency. The treatment was far too expensive for Messi’s family. While signing with FC Barcelona at the age of 13, they offered to pay for Messi’s treatment.

6Serena Williams

Serena Williams

In 1998, Serena and Venus Williams claim that they could beat any man ranked 200th or worse in a game of tennis. Karsten Braasch, who was then ranked 203th, accepted their challenge and easily beat them, 6-1, 6-2, after he played a round of golf and had a few beers.

7Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Nike had conditions before giving rookie Michael Jordan a record contract: Either be rookie of the year, or average 20 ppg, or be an All Star, or sell $4 million worth shoes in a year. Jordan was rookie of the year, scored 28.2 ppg, named All Star, and Nike sold $100 mill of shoes in 1984-85.

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8Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt suffered from scoliosis when he was younger and has an asymmetrical stride when he runs because his legs are of slightly different lengths. Researchers aren’t sure if this lack of symmetry is a personal mechanical optimization by Bolt that makes him the fastest human or not.

9Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps has more Summer Olympic gold medals than 80% of countries in history even when taking into account countries that no longer exist.

10Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky was so dominant in Fantasy Hockey, that many leagues split his stats into two players: Gretzky (Goals) and Gretzky (Assists).

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