Athletes playing at the professional level must excel tremendously to maintain their level of performance. Depending on the sport they play, it can be physically and mentally tolling on the body and mind. Regardless of the specific sport, most professional athletes share a common thread, they are each driven to succeed. This drive and focus is needed to propel these individuals to compete at such a high level and success usually only come in sport. However, there are a few exceptional athletes that have had a passion and talent for multiple sports and gone on to have success at multiple professional-level sports. The following are a few of these remarkable athletes.
One of the most recent multi-sport athletes is Michael Jordan. Having played and dominated as a professional basketball player on the Chicago Bulls, he is still considered the best player to ever have played the game. Leading his team to multiple championships and breaking numerous records, there was nothing he could not do on the court. Towards the end of his career, Jordan played professional baseball on the Chicago White Sox for a short while. Although he did not triumph on the field, as he did on the court, he is one of the few athletes with the athletic ability to play two completely different professional sports.
Jim Thorpe is another amazing multi-sport athlete that was in his prime in the early 1900s. He is known for being competitive at the highest levels in Pentathlon, Decathlon, American Football, Baseball and Basketball. He earned two gold medals in the 1912 Olympics in the pentathlon and decathlon as well as leading professional baseball and football teams to titles. Many sports enthusiasts label him the greatest athlete of all time.
More recently, Deion Sanders was a professional football player, professional baseball player, and hall of famer. He was a talented player and the only multi-sport athlete to play in the super bowl and a world series. There was a time when he scored a touchdown and hit a home run during the same week. He is a very notable athlete that pushed everything to its limits.
Another name that deserves highlighting is Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson. He was originally drafted to the NFL by Tampa Bay and instead then took an offer to play baseball on the Royals. NFL teams recognized his ability and soon after the Raiders crafted an offer that allowed him to play in the NFL and MLB. He was unstoppable and his amazing speed earned him All-Star status in both leagues; the only athlete ever to achieve this. He was also named by ESPN as the greatest athlete of all time.
These multi-sport athletes were human anomalies who knew how to successfully transition their energy from one sport to the next. Proving that the game is not over when the time runs out, it’s just time to move to another sport.