One of the most entertaining elements of watching sports is that it offers the chance to witness great athletes pushing themselves to their outermost limits in the pursuit of victory.
As a result, legends are made. However, no matter who your favorite sports star, all players who make it to the top in their respective fields have one thing in common; they’ve worked hard to get there. Becoming an athlete requires complete and utter dedication and nobody gets an easy ride.
Going one step further, it’s hard to visualize the effort and dedication that athletes have put into mastering more than one sport. With this in mind, we look at five players who have starred in different sports.
Sonny Bill Williams
In truth, this is probably the easiest of the lot as the two rugby codes aren’t completely different, and there are several players who have featured in both.
But, few can compare to New Zealand international Sonny Bill Williams. The powerhouse has reached the highest level in both codes, and his presence with the Sydney Roosters is why they are 4/1 third-favorites to win the NRL Grand Final.
If that wasn’t enough, he also has a 7-0 professional boxing record!
We haven’t ranked these athletes from first to fifth, but many would argue Thorpe is the best multi-sport athlete ever.
That’s because the American won a gold medal in the 1912 Olympics and then went on to play professional football for 13 years. As well as that, he spent seven years at the top level in MLB and two years as a pro basketballer. Thorpe is as impressive as he is versatile.
The Florida native is in the record books as he is the only man to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series, demonstrating the levels of success he reached in the NFL and the MLB.
Whilst he was clearly very good at the latter, it was the NFL where Sanders really shone, enjoying an illustrious career that saw him win the biggest prize on two occasions. He was mainly remembered for his time with the Atlanta Falcons, whilst he went on to feature for the New York Yankees in baseball. Since retiring, Sanders has stayed in the game as a coach and an analyst.
The American was a well-known athlete who wowed fans first in the NFL and then as a baseball player. His devastating speed and ability on the football field meant he was always an eyecatching player who was equally as skilled with a bat in his hand.
Unfortunately, injuries disrupted Jackson’s shining career. Later stating that he would never have played football had he known the extent of the risks involved.
Hayes is in the record books as the only man to have a Super Bowl ring and an Olympic gold medal; which just about says it all.
He won two prestigious medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, scooping gold in the 100m sprint and the 4x100m relay. Then, he went on to be a key figure for the Dallas Cowboys and was key as they thrashed the Miami Dolphins in the main event back in 1972.
These athletes are heroes to many. Even for the sporting novice, it’s impossible to not have respect and ad