Athletic Elite: 30 Amazing Facts About the World’s Top Athletes

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1Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is an Honorary U.S. Marshall, a reserve officer, and a Sheriff’s Deputy in Georgia.

2. Tiger Woods’ affairs led to an estimated shareholder loss of $5-12 billion due to dropped sponsorship deals.

3. Junípero Serra High School JV football team recorded a historically bad season in which they failed to win a game or even score a touchdown yet they never attempted to start their backup quarterback. That backup quarterback they refused to start is four-times Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady.

4. Lebron James was so hated back in 2012 that even a captured Al-Qaeda member wrote letters expressing his disgust at his decision to go to the Miami Heat. He told his lawyer that “LeBron James is a very bad man and should apologize to the city of Cleveland.”

5. Kobe Bryant’s grandmother only came to see him play one game his entire professional career. In that game versus the Toronto Raptors, he scored 81 points.

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6Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher donated $10 million in aid after the Indian Ocean Tsunami. This surpassed the amount given by any other individual, sports team/league, corporation, and even some countries. Schumacher’s bodyguard Burkhard Cramer, and Cramer’s two sons, were killed in the tsunami.

7. Usain Bolt’s resting heart rate is 33 beats per minute.

8. The 1992 Olympics US basketball team, a.k.a. “The Dream Team” has been called “the most dominant squad ever assembled in any sport.” Magic Johnson said “I look to my right, there’s Michael Jordan ... I look to my left, there’s Charles Barkley or Larry Bird ... I didn’t know who to throw the ball to!”

9. Serena Williams was around 8 weeks pregnant when she beat her sister Venus in the final to win the 2017 Australian Open. It was her 23rd Grand Slam singles title, surpassing Steffi Graf's Open Era record of 22.

10. The legs of 6’4” Michael Phelps are the same length as 5’9” marathoner Hicham El Guerrouj. It is Phelps' short legs and long torso that help make him such a great swimmer.

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11Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan had a "love of the game" clause in his contract, allowing him to play basketball against anyone, anytime and anywhere.

12. In his entire 19 year career, NBA player Shaquille O’Neal only made 1 three-point shot, out of 22 attempts.

13. Out of the top 30 100m sprint times, only 9 were run by athletes not associated with doping, all 9 are by Usain Bolt (as of January 2020).

14. When the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the LA Kings, the Canadian government stepped in and wanted to block the trade.

15. After Nike released Air Jordan sneakers in 1985, the NBA banned Michael Jordan from wearing them because its colors didn’t match his team’s uniform. Nike supposedly paid the fine of $5000 the NBA charged Jordan each game so he would continue wearing them.

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16Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tom Brady's wife Gisele Bundchen, has earned more money in modeling and business than he has in the NFL at near $300 million next to his $120 million. She has also made more money than just about every other Pro-Athlete in History.

17. The night before the Olympic final, Michael Jordan apparently spent the night drinking and gambling all night, then he went on a long day of press appearances, plus 18 holes of golf in Barcelona before he went on to lead Team USA in a gold-medal-winning victory over Croatia.

18. In 1990 Muhammad Ali went to Iraq to meet with Saddam Hussein about releasing 15 American civilians being held in Iraq by Hussein against their will. After meeting with Hussein, Ali got all 15 American prisoners released and they returned to America 3 days later.

19. Elite athletes sleep longer than average humans. Roger Federer sleeps 12 hours a day. Usain Bolt 9-10 hours a day. Le Bron James also sleeps 12 hours. For a long time, while he was struggling with his form, Tiger Woods had a sleep disorder.

20. American basketball player Wilt Chamberlain once challenged Muhammad Ali to a boxing match. Wilt was a foot taller, 60 pounds heavier, and had a 92-inch reach. During a joint press conference, Ali answered every question with “Timberrrrr!” After breaking to meet with his lawyers, Wilt returned and called the fight off.

21Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson was drafted in the first round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he refused to sign because he believed that they tried to sabotage his baseball career by purposefully making him ineligible for his senior season.

22. Michael Jordan took home economics in high school to learn to cook because he was worried his big ears would make it hard to find a woman who would want to marry him.

23. Snoop Dogg and David Beckham are such good friends that Snoop sends Beckham his new music before it’s officially released.

24. Cristiano Ronaldo refuses to get any tattoos on his body just so he can continue on donating blood.

25. After Usain Bolt broke the 100 m world record at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, the mayor of Berlin awarded him a 12 foot long, 6000-pound piece of the Berlin Wall. Bolt accepted and it is now housed at the Jamaica Military Museum.

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