There are so many athletes to look up to these days. For example, NBA’s “The King” Lebron James who struggled during his childhood days in Akron, Ohio. Bethany Hamilton who survived a shark attack in 2003 but lost her left arm. Despite that, she still went back to professional surfing and managed to win awards against the best surfers in the globe.
Hamilton and James are just some of the athletes’ little kids look up to today. Here are three more.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao – Boxing
Pacquiao from the Philippines is the only boxer in history to win major boxing titles from eight weight classes. He is a future hall of famer and is truly one of the best boxers of all time.
Pacquiao grew up in extreme poverty and was denied his childhood. At a young age, Pacquaio would drink loads of water just to fill his stomach.
When Pacquiao started boxing, he was living in the streets of Manila, Philippines. He turned pro at 16 and many years later, he is one of boxing’s biggest legends to ever step in the ring.
Pacquiao is now serving the Philippines as a Senator and is on a mission to help young athletes get all the resources and support they need. Unlike his experience when he was young dreaming of a better life for his family.
Pacquiao inspired thousands of boxers out there and millions of people all over the globe with his life story of coming from nothing and then giving everything he had for a better future.
Jackie Robinson – Baseball
Robinson was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. Robinson faced not only the challenges of sports but the inequality of life as well. When he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1947, Robinson endured severe racism and discrimination as the first African-American to play in the MLB.
He received death threats towards him, towards his wife and towards his newborn baby son. His own teammates would refuse to play with him but despite all of that and more, Robinson is one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game.
Robinson proved his worth in his team, in the league and then to the world. He truly broke the color barrier that signified major racism against African Americans. He paved the way for others to play and he inspired millions of people to put away their differences and find common ground. That ground is the baseball field.
Pelé – Soccer
Recognized as the Greatest Footballer ever by players, critics and fans worldwide. Pelé is from Brazil and grew up working at tea shops in his hometown as a servant. Raised in poverty, he was not even able to buy a ball to play with so he would settle for grapefruit or a sock covered with newspaper.
Pelé at age 17 rallied the Brazilian football team in 1958 to take home the World Cup back to his country. Pelé was a beast when he takes possession of the sport. His playstyle was called “The Beautiful Game” and it was indeed beautiful.
Pelé motivated young kids not only in Brazil but throughout the entire globe to dream. Most of the soccer stars today are inspired by Pelé finesse and love for the game.