The sporting fraternity frequently remembers the brave, resolute, and amazing humans who pushed themselves to the limits. This article is all about a few of those daring souls.
Regarded as the greatest woman to ever grace a tennis court, Steffi Graf has a whole list of records she has broken. None came close to her dominating the WTA rankings for 377 consecutive weeks at the very top. She is the only player to have achieved that. In a career that spanned 18 years, she collected 107 titles.
Michael Phelps holds the distinction of being the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. By the end of the 2012 Olympic, Phelps boasted 22 Olympic medals of which 8 were golds - won in the 2008 Olympics. In fact, the press raised eyebrows at his feats, terming them “too good to be true”. In retaliation, he volunteered for Project Believe, a project by the Unite States Anti-Doping Agency, and passed all nine tests.
In the cricketing world, only one name dominated the beginning of the 20th century – Sir Donald Bradman. Throughout his career, he amassed runs at an astounding rate with an equally astounding average. In his last test at The Oval in 1948, he required just 4 runs to acquire a cent percent average, but he fell for a duck. A misjudgement hindered him from reaching this exceptional feat. Nevertheless, he will always be remembered for his contribution to the sport.
Considered by the diehard Squash fans to be the greatest in the history of the game, Jahangir Khan from Pakistan was a dominant figure in the 1980s. However, he is fondly remembered for his unbeaten run between 1981 and 1986, i.e for a total of 55 consecutive matches. His brother was also a squash player who died of heart attack while playing. He pursued the sport as a tribute to him.
At barely the age of 25, Brian Lara waltzed into the cricketing record books with an unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire. He broke the previous record, which was held by Hanif Mohammad for 35 years. In fact, just two months ago he had scored a mammoth 375 against England in a Test match.
Arsenal – 2003/04
For only the second time in the English Premier League history, a team emerged as the cup holders without losing a single match. This feat was first accomplished by Preston North End in the 1880s and the next time it happened in 2003/04 when Arsenal went the whole season without losing a single match. The ‘Invincibles’, as they were called, won 26 matches and drew 12.
In a word, you can call Bert Trautman a Nazi. But, it was his exploits for Manchester City that made him a hero. Though he was met with stiff resistance (from Manchester City supporters, not the French), the criticisms died after they witnessed his ability. He’s well known for playing the last 17 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck. He made several crucial saves to hand City the FA Cup.
When you hear the phrase “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport”, you are most likely to associate it with football. On the contrary, that phrase refers to Jesse Owens breaking 3 world records and equalling another in under an hour at the Berlin Olympics of 1936. In doing so, he rubbed dirt on the face of Adolf Hitler who was a proponent of Aryan supremacy.
Currently, he may seem to be a dying star, but Roger Federer has numerous records against his name. One particular record that stands out is the one for the most appearances in a Grand Slam final – 26, the most recent one being the 2015 Wimbledon. If I have to list out the rest of his records, I would require a day or two.
Andres Iniesta is synonymous with FC Barcelona. The footballing world remembers the La Masia product, more than for his long association with the Catalans, for being one of the most decorated players in La Liga history. The mid-fielder's trophy collection is mind boggling, but what astounds football maniacs around the globe is the way he has stayed at the top of his game for almost a decade.
This was the first part of the series. MySportsAdda will soon come up with more demigods in the next instalment. Till then you can continue to browse football turfs in Mumbai on mysportsadda.com.