There are many professional athletes who play well and win often. But the following five athletes don’t just do that; they have completely dominated their sport in the past decade by excelling at what they were born to do.
1. Albert Pujols
Current first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels and former player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols has been dominating the diamond for the last ten years both on the field and at the plate. He has won the NL MVP award three times, led the Cardinals to two World Series victories, and has broken multiple batting records throughout his career. The 2013 season was Pujols’ worst, but he made a quick comeback in the beginning of the 2014 season, hitting both his 499th and 500th home run in a single game.
2. Martin Brodeur
One of the best goaltenders in the history of ice hockey, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils is still at the top of his game after over 20 years in the NHL. During this time, he has won a whopping five Jennings Trophies, four Vezina Trophies, two Olympic gold medals, and has led the Devils to win three Stanley Cup championships throughout his success-filled years in the rink. Holder of numerous records in the NHL and with the 2013-2014 season rumored to have been his last, it may finally be time for Brodeur to realize his success and hang up his hockey sticks once and for all.
3. Kobe Bryant
Shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant has had a long and distinguished career. Although he’s hit a few bumps in the road, dealing with a widely-publicized sexual assault allegation and being fined for an on-the-court gay slur, the numbers don’t lie. Bryant is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a 16-time NBA All-Star player, and a four-time All-Star MVP Award winner. He was also awarded NBA MVP in the 2007-2008 season and scored 81 points in a single game in 2006, the second highest in NBA history.
4. Roger Federer
This professional tennis player from Switzerland is arguably the greatest of all time considering all that he has accomplished in his many years on the court. Federer has won the most Grand Slam tournaments, has played in the most Grand Slam finals, and has been ranked number one for the most consecutive weeks. And the two-time Olympic gold medalist continues to play strong in 2014.
5. Bethany Hamilton
She may not be a hugely popular sports player like the other names on this list, but Bethany Hamilton is an exceptional example of the determination, hard work, and persistence that makes an athlete successful in their sport, and her story is extraordinary. In 2003, at the age of 13, Bethany was viciously attacked by a shark while surfing, ending in the unfortunate loss of her left arm. This traumatic experience didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a professional surfer. In fact, it seemed to almost propel her to face her fears and push herself to the limit. Bethany has learned not just to surf with her handicap, but to excel at it, going pro in 2007 and competing worldwide ever since.
Bethany Hamilton Bio