Some athletes have broken barriers and defied the odds to become the best in the world at their sports. Here are some of the most inspirational athletes of all time.
She is a 100m hurdler and also a bobsled athlete for the USA. She grew up in a family of five with a single mother, after her father tragically died. They moved around a lot, even living in the basement of a church at one time. She didn’t let this hold her back, and her determination to be an athlete got her into university, and the Olympics later on.
A heptathlete who got into sport aged ten, when she won a race and a pair of trainers for it. An injury prevented her from going to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, but her hard work and perseverance earned her a gold medal in London 2012. After some years out have a baby, she wondered if she would ever come back to sport. Months later, she won gold at the Beijing World Championships in 2015.
At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, British athlete Derek Redmond was all set for the 400m semi-final. However, his dreams were shattered when he injured his hamstring. Instead of stopping, he hobbled around the rest of the track in his determination to finish. His father was watching his son's agony from the stands, and fought his way onto the track to help his son cross the finish line. The image of both father and son crossing the finishing line became a defining one for the 1992 Olympics.
One of the fastest athletes of all time, Bolt has smashed many world records and won many gold medals at the both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, as well as at World Championships and Commonwealth Games. He uses his fame to give back to the people of Jamaica; by giving running shoes to younger athletes and fixing up his old schools.
He emigrated to the UK from Somalia at the age of eight and didn’t speak English. He excelled in sports, and got into long distance running. He works very hard, and has gone on to win gold medals in the 5K and 10K at both the London Olympics and World Championships.
He was born without fibulae in his lower legs, and his parents made the decision to have them amputated when he was 11-months-old. Though he could feel vulnerable on stumps, he didn’t let his disability hold him back. He went to to become a Paralympic champion in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 4x100m relay. He also became to first double-amputee to run against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympics.