It is difficult enough to perform well in one sport, but from time to time there are athletes who can achieve great results in different sports as well. We can find examples in motorsport, track and field athletics or NFL for these special sportsmen. The top 10 multi-talented athletes in history have managed to succeed and win trophies in different disciplines. Let’s see who they are.
Primoz Roglic is one of the best road cyclists at the moment. Even though he has just missed out winning this year’s Tour de France. His results are talking for themselves as he is the winner of the 2019 Vuelta and several stages of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Roglic started his sports career as a ski jumper though. As a junior he achieved great results there like winning the gold medal in the Junior World Team event in 2007. But as he couldn’t compete with the best skiers, he switched to cycling in 2012. Well, he is not the only athlete who changed disciplines from one day to another and achieved successes in both sports.
Top 10 Multi-talented athletes
10. Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker was an NFL star and played for Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Viking and New York Giants. Before his football career Walker competed in track and field in different events from 100yard to shot put. At college he was still doing both sports but achieved bigger successes in football. In the middle of his NFL career Walker took part in the 1992 Winter Olympics as a member of the American bobsleigh team. After his retirement from football, he tried another sport and competed in MMA.
9. Deion Sanders
Staying with NFL players, Deion Sanders is the only athlete to take part in both Super Bowls and World Series. He managed to have great careers in both football and baseball, practicing both at the same time. Football had a bigger part in his life, he joined the NFL in 1989 and played there for 14 seasons. He won two Super Bowls with his teams, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. But Saunders also competed part-time in the Major Baseball League and took part in the 1992 World Series with Atlanta Braves. Online sportsbooks in the US like Bovada offer odds for games in both sports.
8. Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson’s name is in the history books mostly due to his achievements in baseball. He was the first African American player to play in MLB. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and broke the baseball color line. Robinson was the MVP of the National League in 1949 and an All-Star for six consecutive years. He won the World Series in 1955 with his team. But before his baseball career, Robinson was a top athlete at UCLA. He earned awards there in four different sports: football, basketball, track and baseball.
7. Curtis Woodhouse
Switching continents, let’s see a multi-talented athlete from England in the top 10 multi-talented athletes. Curtis Woodhouse began his career as a footballer first in 1994 in York. Then he played for different clubs including Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Hull City. But in 2006 he switched to boxing and took part in a welterweight contest in London which he won. After that Woodhouse played football part-time for smaller teams and focused on his boxing career. His biggest achievement in his second sport was winning the British light-welterweight title.
6. Bo Jackson
Back in the US, we have Bo Jackson on the list, who also played in NFL and baseball. He was the only professional player named in the All-Star teams in both sports. Despite his massive figure, Jackson was a fast player which helped him to succeed in his games. Interestingly he was more talented in baseball but during college he played more football. He signed a professional contract with the Los Angeles Raiders in the NFL and Kansas City Royals in the MLB. His football career was cut short due to a hip injury in 1991, while he played four more seasons in baseball.
5. Michael Jordan
We couldn’t miss out one of the greatest athletes of all time from the list of the top 10 multi-talented athletes. As Michael Jordan wasn’t only a top basketball player, but also very talented in baseball. Following his first retirement from basketball in 1993, he played in the Minor League Baseball signed by Chicago White Sox. He produced three home runs for Birmingham Barons, and also appeared for Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. But he was just too good to finish his basketball career and returned back to Bulls in 1995. The rest is history. Online gambling sites in the US now concentrate on the winner of this season, with Los Angeles Lakers being the favorite.
4. John Surtees
One of the most talented athletes in motorsport was John Surtees, who won the world championships in both motorcycling and Formula 1. His first successes came in 500cc motorcycling where he won the title four times between 1956 and 1960. Then the English sportsman switched to four wheels in 1960 and joined the team of Lotus. But eventually he won the championship with Ferrari in 1964. Surtees also took part in the 24h Le Mans race a few times and other auto racing events, becoming the legend of motor sports.
3. Rebecca Romero
The only woman participant in the list is Rebecca Romero, who produced an amazing sports career. First she became a world champion and Olympic silver medalist in rowing in 2004 then she switched to track cycling. Amazingly she achieved even better results there, as she won three gold in the 2008 World Championships. And also the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. With her achievements, Romero became only the second woman to win a medal in two different sports in the Olympic Games.
2. Alex Zanardi
Another fantastic athlete from the world of motorsport is Italian Alessandro Zanardi, who won the CART championship twice, and also drove in Formula 1 for three seasons. He continued his sports career even after losing his legs in 2001 in a serious car accident. Zanardi was taking part in the European and World Tour Car Championships, and also started to compete in handcycling. He won gold medals in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics. Hopefully we can see him racing again after his latest accident this summer.
1. Jim Thorpe
The best multi-talented athlete of all time title must go to American Jim Thorpe. He played professional football, baseball and basketball but also won Olympic gold medals in pentathlon and heptathlon in 1912. Probably even he couldn’t achieve these successes now, but in the beginning of the 20th century it was possible. Still, his results are incredible, he truly embodies multi-sport athleticism. After the Olympics Thorpe played baseball in New York Giants beside playing football in Canton Bulldogs. He played baseball until 1922. While his football career ended in 1928 at the age of 41, after playing 52 NFL games for six teams.