Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Roger Bannister

Sir Roger Bannister (1929 – ) was the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile – one among the foremost iconic athletic milestones.

Born in 1929, he studied medicine at Oxford University and represented Great Britain within the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. At the Olympics, Bannister finished 4th within the 1500 metres. But, inspired by the intensive training and three gold medals of Emil Zatopek, Bannister decided to form a determined effort to beat the magical four-minute barrier for the mile.

At the time, Bannister was working as a doctor and only had limited time for training within the evening. He focused on short intervals, anaerobic training and therefore the use of block training.

For an extended time, the gorgeous symmetry of the four-minute mile had fascinated many. Some experts even suggested that such a time was impossible. In 1923, Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, recorded a time of 4.10

In 1953, Bannister saw a chance at an athletic meeting between Oxford University and Amateur Athletics Association on 6 May.

The actual day was cold, wet and windy and therefore the record attempt was nearly called off. However, at the last moment, the wind died down, and Bannister decided to require his chance. He was led out by two pacemakers Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher who led him for the primary three laps. Then Bannister made his last effort for the road. Clearly, on the verge of exhaustion, Bannister almost fainted over the road, before the time keeper (Norris McWhirter,) read out his time. McWhirter who went on to figure on the Guinness Book of World Records read out the time to make suspension.

The seconds weren’t heard because the 3,000 crowd cheered the historic moment. Six weeks later in Finland, the Australian John Landy became the person to beat the four-minute mile setting a replacement record of three minutes 57 seconds. But, who remembers the person to run a sub four-minute mile? Bannister held the one mile record for the shortest time.

After breaking the record, Bannister targeting his medical career and remained modest about his ground breaking achievement. He also served as Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. He later said there was a component of luck in being the primary person to interrupt the four-minute mile. It remains one among the good milestones of athletic history.

He went on to be a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, before retiring in 1993. When interviewed 50 years after the famous four-minute mile, Bannister was asked whether he thought the sub four-minute mile was his life’s greatest achievements. He said no. He felt his add neurology was of greater importance. Bannister made discoveries within the field of autonomic failure.

The current mile record is held by Hicham El Guerrouj’s with a time of 3:43.13.

Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Ayrton Senna (part 2)

Ayrton Senna he signed a contract with Williams in 1994. Expressing reservations about his new car and the new rules for Formula One, he said that it was going to be a season with many accidents and he would risk saying that they would be lucky if something really serious didn’t happen.

In the first two races of that season, althouh he gained pole position, he failed to finish for different reasons.

Senna said his campaign would start at the third race of the season at Imola, San Marino – leaving him to win the 14 out of the remaining 16 races. But the weekend was marred by tragedy and accidents. Firstly, Rubens Barrichello, his compatriot, was badly injured in an accident in the practise round on Friday as his Jordan car flipped over and smashed into a fence. Later on Saturday, Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed after smashing into a concrete wall. Although Senna had only recently met Ratzenberger, he was emotionally affected. He climbed over the medical fence to see the crash site. Therefore, he spent his final morning meeting with fellow drivers and considering how to improve the safety for drivers in Formula One.

Unluckily, Senna suffered a fatal crash on the 7th lap. On the high-speed Tamburello corner on, his car left the track and hit the concrete retaining wall at high speed. He was immediately taken to hospital but was dead on arrival.

Senna’s death was a great shock to the world of car racing, and in particular, to Brazil. It is estimated that there were three million people lining the streets of Sao Paulo for the return of his body – a record for any memorial.

Senna donated millions of dollars to poor people and created the Ayrton Senna Institute shortly before his death to help disadvantaged people in Brazil. He inspired millions across the world because of his skill and dedication to the sport.

Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Ayrton Senna (part 1)

Ayrton Senna da Silva, better known as Ayrton Senna, (March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994), was a Brazilian Formula One driver. He won the world championship three times, in 1988, 1990 and 1991. He is regarded as one of the world’s greatest drivers of all time.

He died in a tragic accident at Imola, San Marino, in 1994, when his motor racing career was at peak.

Senna was born to a wealthy family in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His family supported his aspiration to race. He started driving karts at an early age with the earliest recorded race being a fun go-kart race at the age of four. He won the South American Kart Championship at aged 17.

In the early 1980s, Senna moved to England to develop his motor racing career. One year later, he won the British Formula Ford 1600 championship. It was around this time he settled on his mothers’ maiden name of Senna – rather than his father’s name de Silva, which was much more common.

In 1982, he made higher progress by winning the European and British Formula Ford 2000. With an increasing reputation as a skillful driver, he received testing from various Formula One Teams, like Williams and McLaren, but due to intense competition, his first Formula One Team was Toleman, whom he drove for in 1984.

In spite of not having the best technical car, Senna managed to achieve his first Formula One points and impressed with his driving skill, particularly in the wet.

In 1982, Senna won two European championships, including the European and the British Formula Ford 2000. In 1984, after testing with McLaren, Williams, Toleman, and Brabham, he got a place within the Toleman team for the Formula One season.

In 1988, he joined Alain Prost at McLaren – Honda, one amongst the top Formula One teams. That season 28-year-old Senna was able to claim his first world championship. He continued to repeat this ultimate prize. Senna won the world championships in 1990 and 1991, amidst a great rivalry with Alain Prost.

Biographies of famous sportsmen

Biography of Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona, an Argentine former football player, was born 30 October 1960. He is. He is widely considered as one of the world’s greatest football players of all time.

During his professional club career, Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Boca Juniors, Newell’s Old Boys, and Sevilla, setting world-record contract fees. In his international career, he played for Argentina, earned 91 caps, and scored 34 goals.

Maradona played in 4 FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 1986 one, where he captained the Argentina national team, led them to their victory over West Germany in the final, became the tournament’s best player, and won the Golden Ball award. In the quarterfinal round of that tournament, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over England and entered the history of football, though for two different reasons. The first goal was through an unpenalized handball known as the “Hand of God” and the second one, which was voted “The Goal of the Century”, was a remarkable 60 m effort that involved dribbling past six England players.

Maradona is considered as one of the most controversial and newsworthy figures in the history of football. In 1991, he was suspended from football for 15 months after failing a drug test, for cocaine, in Italy. In 1994, he was sent home from the World Cup in the USA after testing positive for ephedrine. After retiring from playing on his 37th birthday in 1997, he gained weight, suffered ill health and the effects of cocaine use.

In 2005, he overcame his cocaine addiction after a stomach stapling operation helped control his weight gain. His outspoken manners have sometimes put him at odds with journalists and sports executives. In Nov 2008, despite having little managerial experience, he was head coach of the Argentina national team until his contract expired after the 2010 World Cup.

In spite of losing in the quarterfinals, Diego Maradona was a larger than life figure on the touchline. He displayed a great rapore with his players, such as the new star Lionel Messi.

Career Highlights

  • 1976–1981 Argentinos Juniors 167 appearances (115 goals)
  • 1981–1982 Boca Juniors 40 (28)
  • 1982–1984 Barcelona 36 (22)
  • 1984–1991 Napoli 188 (81)
  • 1992–1993 Sevilla 26 (5)
  • 1993–1994 Newell’s Old Boys 7 (0)
  • 1995–1997 Boca Juniors 30 (7)
  • Total 494 (258)

National team

    1977–1994 Argentina 91 Appearances (34 goals)

Biographies of famous sportswomen

Biography of Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King was a champion American tennis player who won a total of 39 grand slam titles during her illustrious career. Jean King also played a key role in the fight for greater equality between men and women’s tennis.

Of her 39 grand slam titles, 20 were achieved at Wimbledon. She had an aggressive, impatient style. She hit the ball very hard and was quick to come to the net. It was this style of tennis that perfectly suited the Wimbledon grass courts.

In 1961, she first appeared at Wimbledon as a young tennis player named Billie Jean Moffat. She continued to play at Wimbledon on 22 occasions during 23 years. She was a firm favorite of the crowd and in the early days was better known at Wimbledon than in her home country. She played a total of 265 matches at Wimbledon in both singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

In 1974, she took part in one of tennis’ most famous encounters – dubbed ‘The Battle of the Sexes.’ Bobby Riggs was a former number one tennis player. Now 55, he boasted that the men’s game was so superior to the women’s game that he could easily beat any of the best women players of the time. Initially, Billie Jean King was fearful of playing because she felt if she lost it would put women’s tennis back 50 years.

However, after Bobby Riggs beat Margaret Court (who was her great opponent and beat her twice in grand slam final), Jean King took up the challenge at Houston Astrodome in Texas.

Throughout her career, Billie Jean King campaigned for better pay and recognition for female tennis players.

For her efforts related to elevating tennis, she was also named as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th Century by Time Magazine.

Since her retirement, she has worked for GBLT and is an active promoter of Gay and Lesbian rights in America. She also serves on the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS campaign.

In 2007, she launched Green Slam an organization trying to make tennis more environmentally aware.

Biographies of famous sportsmen

Lionel Messi Biography (part 2)

International Career

Brought up in Spain, Messi has Spanish nationality since he was 11 years old. In 2004, Messi was invited to play for Spain’s U20 side, but he decided to play for the country of his birth, Argentina. He led his homeland to victory in the 2005 FIFA Youth Championship. The young star made his official international debut in August 2005, during a friendly match against Hungary. In his first match, Messi was sent off for allegedly elbowing a player. The decision of the referee was contentious and not in keeping with Messi’s style which is generally clean and fair play. In fact, he has rarely been accused of diving.

In 2006, he played in the World Cup, becoming the youngest player of Argentina to play in this great tournament. However, Argentina were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Two years later, he won an Olympic gold medal for his nation in football at the Beijing Olympics. Although Barcelona had not allowed him to play, new coach Pep Guardiola allowed him time off.

In the 2010 World Cup, wearing the number 10 shirt, Messi played well to help Argentina reach the quarter-finals, but then he struggled to score, and Argentina disappointingly lost 4-0 to Germany. Messi has admitted that he is desperate to play in a world cup final. Success in the World Cup would be the last test of his greatness.

The Argentinian superstar is worldwidely regarded as one of the most exciting players of the modern age. He has a great ability to dribble and take on opponents. Maradona has described Messi’s ball control as supremely good. Messi has said that he wishes to retain the joy of how a child plays football.

Messi and Ronaldo

Although Messi has usually been compared to famous Real Madrid goalscorer Christiano Ronaldo, both have been keen to downplay the rivalry.

Biographies of famous sportsmen

Lionel Messi Biography (part 1)

Lionel Messi (Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini) is an Argentinian football player who plays as a forward and captains both the Argentina national team and Spanish club Barcelona. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of the modern generation. He has won FIFA world player of the year for 4 times. He has usually been described as Diego Maradona’s successor thanks to his ability to dribble past opponents and prolific goal-scoring record.

Short Biography of Lionel Messi

Messi was born on 24 June 1987, in Rosario, Argentina to a working-class family. His mother was a cleaner and his father was a factory steelworker.

Messi started playing football from an early age, and then his talent was soon apparent. However, he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) at the age of 11. This was a condition that stunted growth and also required expensive medical treatment, especially the use of the drug Human growth hormone.

His local club, River Plate, was interested in signing him, though, didn’t want to pay for his expensive medical treatment. However, Messi was given a trial with FC Barcelona, and coach Carles Rexach was impressed. He offered Messi a contract (written on a paper napkin!), including paying for his treatment in Spain. Messi moved to FC Barcelona with his father and became part of the prestigious Barcelona youth academy.

He progressed through the ranks and was given the chance of his first appearance in the 2004/05 season, which made him become the youngest player to score a league goal. In 2006, he was part of the double-winning team that won both Champions League and La Liga (Spanish League). By next season (2006-07) when aged just 20, Messi was the first choice striker and an essential part of the FC Barcelona – scoring 14 goals in total 26 league games.

In the 2009-10 season, he scored 47 goals in all competitions, equaling to Ronaldo’s record total for Barcelona. Messi kept improving and breaking his own records as the seasons have progressed. In 2012, he broke the world record of all time for most goals scored in a calendar year. His final total of goals in that year was 91 – beating the previous record of 85 by Gerd Muller from German, and Pele’s milestone of 75 in 1958.