Ever hear the saying about swimmers with big hands and feet? They’re sunk unless they’ve got the ability and heart to match. Not a problem for Michael Phelps, the greatest all-around competitor in the history of his sport. Every time he splashed into the water, he was determined to produce a once-in-a-lifetime performance—according him rock-star status among swim fans and drawing a tidal wave of attention from the non-chlorinated world, as well. Iron Mike began his career hoping to win a few medals and inspire others to embrace competitive swimming. Five Olympics later, he stands as the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Games. This is his story…
For the elite athlete, the brass ring of immortality—aka a professional sports championship—often dangles just beyond his grasp. The longer he goes without one, the more the public focuses on what he hasn’t accomplished instead of what he has. LeBron James knows all about this cruel irony. For eight frustrating seasons, he was the NBA’s king without a crown. Finally, in years 9 and 10, LeBron put the championship stamp on an otherwise unprecedented career and became an official part of the “basketball’s greatest-ever” debate. Then, for an encore, he pulled off the NBA’s greatest homecoming and delivered a title to his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers. This is his story…
Kevin Garnett: The Man
He was once “Da Kid.” Then “The Man.” When he became one of Boston’s “Big Three” the only thing Kevin Garnett hadn’t done in the NBA was take his team to a title. He checked that one off his to-do list in 2008. In a career that has seen him log 50,000+ minutes and score 25,00+ points, KG ranks among the most enthusiastic, demanding and dedicated players to ever set foot on the hardwood. This was true when he was at the top of his game, and it is still true in his twilight years as a mentor to his young Minnesota teammates. This is his story…
Bartolo Colon: Big Sexy
When Bartolo Colon sits down to the dinner table, he takes no prisoners—and leaves no scraps. He owns the plate when he steps on the mound, too. Bartolo has been devouring big-league hitters for nearly two decades, with a Cy Young award and one of baseball’s best nicknames (Big Sexy) to show for it. After overcoming shoulder woes and losing the steam off his 97 mph heater, Bartolo has continued to baffle the baseball world and kept winning into his 40s. This is his story…
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