Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 Legends Who Overcame Great Odds And Excelled At Their Chosen Sport

You can do anything you want. Have you realized how lucky you are? Some people don't have that luxury. Due to disability they have to start well behind the starting line. But for some, that doesn't stop them. They are fighters. They are champions. Even though life has dealt them a crap hand somewhere along the way, they throw it away like it doesn't even matter and they reach the top of their game. They achieve greatness. I want you to be inspired by these 5 sportsmen and women who have reached unbelievable heights when everything was stacked against them.

Signed Jim Abbott Photo - CA Angels 8x10 JSA COABaseball - Jim Abbott
Jim wasn't like most other kids at school. He was born without a hand, and you would think school sports would be a problem. Well it definitely wasn't. No only was he one of the best baseball players on his team, but he also excelled at football. He carried his team all the way to the state championships. With one hand! He secured a gold medal for the US baseball team at the 1988 Summer Olympics, then he went on to have a great career as a pro. He didn't even touch the minor leagues, instead starring in the majors and finishing with an impressive 87-108 record.

Swimming - Natalie du Toit
Natalie was a keen swimmer, always training hard. Then one horrific day she was involved in a big crash as she drove home from swimming practice on her little scooter. Unfortunately, she lost a leg. Now you're maybe thinking she would go on to have a successful career in the Paralympics. She did and actually won 4 gold medals, but that was nothing to Natalie. She wanted much more. Finally she did what no woman had ever done before: she qualified for the Olympics and placed 16th out of 24 while racing against able bodied swimmers.

Football - Tom Dempsey
Tom was another one born a little different to most children. He never had any toes on his right foot. Now he loved football, but what could he possible achieve? Well he didn't even think about it. Instead he went on to become one of the best kickers around. Because he never had any toes on his right foot, he couldn't take a run up like everyone else. He found the answer by running straight onto the ball. And after he hung up his boots he could look back and be proud of his career, including an NFL record for kicking the longest field goal in the history of the game. The record, 63 yards, still stands today.

Football - Rlocky Beier
Rocky was a lucky guy. He had the world at his feet when he was drafted by the Steelers, then something terrible happened. He was sent to the Vietnam War. Sometime during a fight he was seriously injured by a grenade that exploded close by. It caused almost 40% disability to the right leg and foot. Was his promising career ripped out from under him? Not a chance. He trained as hard as any man could and made his way back on to the team. And somewhere along the way he helped his team win 4 Super Bowls.

Baseball - Lou Brissie
Another war casualty here, and this one is more serious than the last. Lou was serving his country in the Second World War while based in Italy. It was there that he was shot in the leg and it broke his shin into 30 pieces. He also had a broken ankle and foot. Doctors decided they needed to amputate the leg, but Lou was having none of it. Luckily he managed to talk them out of chopping it off. He needed over 20 operations that took years. And soon after that he made it to the majors. He even pitched 3 innings when chosen for the All-Star team in 1949.

Liam Riordan works as a sports editor for Bonus Sports Blog covering football and cricket. He loves blogging about famous sportsmen and women who have achieved incredible heights in sports.

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