Successful athletes are real-life super heroes of today. With their awe-inspiring physical stamina, sporting prowess and often rugged good looks, these personalities are courted by billion-dollar brands as well as global audiences across all media platforms. In this way, sports-persons turn into sportstars and then often into cultural icons as well.
For the purposes of this book though, this is not enough. The genuinely successful sportspersons are those who have had some far-reaching impact on the sport or game concerned. They may have brought about a major innovation in the way the sport is played or perhaps popularised the sport in a way that it was not before. Additionally, some sportspersons may have had raised the bar so high in their particular sport that for years and decades, the records they set remained unbroken.
Based on such achievements, this book has zeroed on these twenty sportspersons who are truly the greatest of all time. These men and women have not just attained fame and financial success – some belonging to the earlier half of the twentieth century in fact did not – but have contributed to their game and to sports in general, in such a way so as to award high points in the evolution of the human both in body and mind.
Introduction — Pgs. 5
1. Dhyan Chand – Field Hockey — Pgs. 9
2. Jesse Owens – Track and Field — Pgs. 19
3. Babe Ruth – Baseball — Pgs. 27
4. Don Bradman – Cricket — Pgs. 37
5. Muhammad Ali – Boxing — Pgs. 48
6. Pele – Soccer — Pgs. 57
7. Sergey Bubka – Athletics — Pgs. 67
8. Nadia Comaneci – Gymnastics — Pgs. 75
9. Sachin Tendulkar – Cricket — Pgs. 86
10. Michael Phelps – Swimming — Pgs. 96
11. Michael Jordan – Basketball — Pgs. 104
12. Martina Navratilova – Tennis — Pgs. 113
13. Valentino Rossi – Moto GP — Pgs. 122
14. Michael Schumacher – Motor Car Racing — Pgs. 130
15. Sir Steven Redgrave – Rowing — Pgs. 139
16. Jackie Joyner-Kersee – Track and Field — Pgs. 145
17. Wayne Gtretzky – Ice Hockey — Pgs. 153
18. Gareth Edwards – Rugby — Pgs. 161
19. Roger Federer – Tennis — Pgs. 166
20. Kelly Slater – Surfing — Pgs. 175
Kalyani Mookherji is an alumnus of Jadavpur University, Kolkata where she did her graduation and post-graduation in English. Having specialized in Post-Colonial Literature and Women’s Writing, she acted the National Eligibility Test in 2001 and for a brief while taught university students as a Research Scholar.
Since 2007, the author however has returned to her first love, writing. After a long stint in the digital world, she is now a full-fledged writer of books besides contributing to magazines. Her thoughts on all the varied aspects of life can be found at her blog www.alittlebettertoday.com where she regularly uploads posts on health, fitness, lifestyle and relationships.
Being married to an army officer, the author has practically travelled the length and breadth of India. As of now, she is located in New Delhi where despite being a busy Mom to a ten-year old, she finds time to pursue other interests in life like music, cooking and travel.