I love seeing people in the media spotlight who not only do the most incredible things, but set fantastic examples to others in the process. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, we often look to fame as the ultimate accolade rather than the reason the spotlight has found their face in the first place. Here are a few sporting celebrities that I think are phenomenal role models as well as athletes:
Roger Federer is not only one of the most successful tennis players of all time, but he’s the consummate professional. He grabs headlines for all of the right reasons and is gracious in both victory and defeat.
Lance Armstrong won the Tour De France a record seven consecutive times after surviving cancer. Yes, there is a media frenzy surrounding the cyclist at the moment, but personally, I don’t subscribe to them. Even if I did, it doesn’t change the fact that he fought a life-threatening battle with cancer and then went on to achieve what he did.
This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Jonny Wilkinson on this blog and I’m pretty certain it won’t be the last. His phenomenal discipline and determination lead him to the last-ditch drop goal that won England the Rugby World Cup in 2003. Of all of these athletes, I am inspired literally every day by the sheer will power of this man!
Stuart Lancaster is the coach of the current England rugby squad. What I love about him is his down-to-earth, honest and well-mannered nature. No bravado. So far, he has made notable strides forward with the England squad, but regardless of his achievements in the coming years, he’s a shining example of humility and integrity.
If you were making your own list, who would you put on it? I’d love to hear from you!