Serena Williams is arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time and has claimed an astonishing 23 Grand Slam titles since her debut US Open win in 1999. As noted in a recent magazine article from Lottoland, the American athlete, along with her sister, Venus Williams, had to overcome class and color barriers on their way to the top of a sport that was previously dominated by white people. Now aged 36, many expected Serena’s career to begin winding down but she is still excelling at the highest level. In 2017, the Michigan-born star followed up an exceptional 2016 by defeating her sister in the Australian Open final.
LeBron James is one of the most decorated NBA stars in existence, with four NBA Most Valuable Player awards, three NBA Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic Gold Medals. In 2016, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic NBA title, which was their first major prize after a 53-year drought. While this was an incredible achievement, it’s the American’s work off the court that has led him to be one of the most popular and inspiring athletes in the world. James is known for his charity work and, last year, he pledged over $40 million to send disadvantaged children to college. It’s great to see such a household name and respected player using his excessive wealth to do some good.
At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil, there was a moment of magic in the Women’s 5000-meter preliminary heat, when two of the athletes took a tumble in the early stages of the race. Nikki Hamblin was running in front of Abbey D’Agostino when the New Zealand international tripped over on the track, leading the American to also get tangled and end up on the ground. The two athletes helped each other up and checked whether the other was ok, which prompted D’Agostino to realize that she had suffered quite a serious injury. Despite damaging her ankle, the runner continued the race and made it to the finish. In doing so, she became the true embodiment of the Olympic spirit.
Other notable mentions should go to Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, who works to bring clean water to Brazil, and WWE icon John Cena, who has granted more than 500 wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation.