10 Greatest Athletes Who Became Politicians

by Sameer Arshad | Posted on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 | 0

Politics often influence sports and there are rare moments when professional sports athletes turn to politics after their illustrious career’s are over. Today are going to take a look at top 10 professional athletes from different sports who became renouned politicians in their countries. The list contain some of the world champions in different sports categories. The ranking is according to how powerfull athletes become in politics.

Imran Khan – Cricket (Pakistan)

Imran Khan Pakistan politics

Probably the greatest cricket player pakistan has ever produced, and one of the best all-rounder to have graced the gentlemen’s game in the last 70s, 80’s and early 90’s. Imran Khan guided Pakistan to their first ever World Cup win in cricket back in 1992. He was 40 year old by than and widely adored by ever pakistan youngster. Imran Khan was much more than just a cricketer.

He went to oxford University and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, he graduated from the same college in oxford. His early cricket flourished in United Kingdom and became a big player in Pakistan National side. Once retire as a hero by winning 1992 world cup he started his own political party (Paksitan Tehreeke Insaaf) which narrowly lost in 2013 elections. He leader of the youth in pakistan and one day desitned to be the leader of the country. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger – Boybuilding (United States)

arnold schwarzenegger politician

Now this man don’t need any introduction do he ? He was mr olympia several time in his younger days, as a professional bodybuilder he was a total gem, young bodybuilders still adore him to date. Arnold made his name in the movie business. Did several movies of which a couple were all time blockbuster hits.

Schwarzenegger became the Governor of california and passed the first ever Greenhouse gas emission cap in united states. Although he was not as successful in his political career as his bodybuilding and acting career.

Manny Pacquiao – Boxing (Philippines)

Manny Pacquiao is 8-division world champions, he had very successful boxing career and still have couple of good fights left in him and who knows the one with Mayweather. Manny Pacquiao, just like Arnold in United states, is a massive star in his native country.

Although he is not doing bad in his political career having elected for “House of Representatives” in philippines and as the things stand Pacquiao looks much more interested in his political career than boxing.

Vitali Klitschko – Boxing (Ukraine)

Another boxer, who is former former WBC, WBO and The Ring magazine heavyweight champion and probably one of the best in recent history. Klitschko gave up his boxing career to be part of Ukraine politics, he was appointed full-time advisor to president of Ukraine back in 2004 and a year later he started campaigning for his political plateform.

Now he has his very own political party and act as the leader of the “UDAR”. He has been putting constant pressure on current government to ease the integration of Ukraine into the “European Union” and transparent government process with less corruption.

Romario – Football (Brazil)

Former World Championship with Brazil National side, Romario is a proven goalscorer and one of the greatest footballers from Brazil. He was elected for the legislativ body “Chamber of Deputies” and since than campaigning against the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Andriy Shevchenko – Football (Ukraine)

I dont know what is it with 3rd world countries, any world class athletes from these countries think he can run the country, take example of another ukrainian athlete, Shevchenko who is a former AC Milan and Chelsea striker while captained national football team in 2010 world cup.

He took part in Ukraine’s political elections and running for a party called “Forward Ukraine” he only got 1.6% of the votes. Which will make him think twice to make such a mistake again.

So there you have it, top 5 athletes who became politicial in their native countries. But its fair to say that none of the athlete could get the proper success in their political career as they would have hoped and one must wonder what is the motive behind getting into politics.

Here is the list of few american athletes who became politicials.

  1. Lynn Swann – NFL (USA)
  2. Ken Dryden – Hockey (USA)
  3. Steve Largent – NFL – (USA)
  4. Kevin Johnson – Basketball (USA)
  5. Bill Bradley – Basketball (USA)
About the Author

Formula one fan, blogger, designer and entrepreneur. Knows thing or two about a thing a two of sports, tweak codes, make cool infographs.

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