With the 2012 Summer Olympics games about to kick off in London, join us for a look at some of the most famous British athletes ever.
With the 2012 Summer Olympics games about to kick off in London, join us for a look at some of the most famous British athletes ever, starting with those still active and then those from the past.
Perhaps the best known English athlete, soccer star and London native David Beckham has played professionally for Manchester United and Real Madrid and currently plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.
Andy Murray is the only British player to reach the Wimbledon men's singles final since 1938, when it was still restricted to amateur players, losing to Roger Federer in the 2012 finals. He's also been runner-up in three other Grand Slam finals.
Bradley Wiggins is the first British winner of the Tour de France as well as the first cyclist to have won both the Tour and an Olympic track cycling gold. Although born in Belgium, he moved to London with his mother at age 2.
Long-distance runner Paula Radcliffe is the current women's world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2:15:25 hours. She's a three-time winner of the London Marathon, two-time New York Marathon champion and won the 2002 Chicago Marathon. She's also represented England in four Olympics, but has not yet won a medal.
Making his Formula One debut at age 22, Lewis Hamilton finished second overall in his rookie season in 2007 and came back to win the World Championship the following season. He's had a total of 18 wins in his career so far.
Luol Deng was born in Sudan but his family moved to London when he was a boy. The Chicago Bulls star is playing with the Great Britain national basketball team at the 2012 Olympics.
Diver Tom Daley was 14 years old when he represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, making him the Brits' youngest competitor in Beijing. While he did not medal, he won a world title in the 10 meter platform event in 2009 and is back to compete in London.
Amir Khan is the youngest British Olympic boxing medalist, winning silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics at the age of 17. He is also one of the youngest British world champions ever, winning the WBA Light Welterweight title at age 22.
Wayne Rooney (left) and Steven Gerrard are among the best English soccer has to offer. Although the two are opponents in the English Premier League, Rooney for Manchester United and Gerrard for Liverpool, they are teammates on the England national team.
While he may not have the same name recognition as his fellow countryman Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button has matched in titles, winning the Formula One World Championship in 2009, a year after Hamilton won. He was also runner-up in 2011 and has a total of 13 career wins.
Laura Davies is England's most accomplished female golfer of modern times, becoming the first non-American to finish at the top of the LPGA money list in 1994 and topping the Ladies European Tour money list a record seven times.
With his three gold medals in Beijing 2008, cyclist Chris Hoy (right) became Scotland's most successful Olympian, the first Briton to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games since in 1908 and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.
Audley Harrison is a British professional boxer from Harlesden, England, who fights in the heavyweight division. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney he became the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold medal in the superheavyweight division.
Professional boxer David Haye is the former WBA heavyweight champion and the former unified world cruiserweight champion, holding the WBA, WBC, WBO, and The Ring cruiserweight titles. He has a career record of 26-2 and won a silver medal as a heavyweight at the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
Stephanie Proud, a 23-year-old swimmer from Durham, England, will be representing England in her first ever Olympics in 2012.
Bristol, England, native Trish Johnson has a total of 21 career victories to her name as a golfer, including three on the LPGA Tour. She's also represented Europe in the Solheim Cup eight times.
London-born Lennox Lewis has dual citizenship with Canada and won Olympic gold in 1998 representing Canada. As a pro he went 41-2-1 with 32 knockouts, avenging his only two defeats in rematches and winning the heavyweight championship three times before retiring in 2004.
Dan Wheldon was the 2005 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion and won the Indianapolis 500 in both 2005 and 2011. The Emberton, England, native died from injuries shortly after a collision at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, 2011, at the age of 33.
Ice dancing pair Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill won a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
London native Joe Calzaghe is a former super middleweight and light heavyweight boxing champion. He retired in 2009 with a 46-0 record, becoming only the 12th World Champion boxer to retire as an undefeated World Champion.
Harold Abrahams (1899–1978) was Olympic champion in 1924 in the 100 meters sprint, a feat depicted in the 1981 movie "Chariots of Fire." He also won a silver as part of the 4x100-meter relay in those same games.
Sir Roger Bannister is best known for running the first mile in less than 4 minutes, which he did on May 6, 1954. The achievement also earned him the honor of becoming the inaugural recipient of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award in January 1955.
Fred Perry (1909-1995) won three consecutive Wimbledon Championships from 1934 to 1936 and was World No. 1 four years in a row. Perry also became the last British player to win the men's Wimbledon championship in 1936. He's also the last male British player to win a singles Grand Slam title, winning the 1936 U.S. National Championships.
Virginia Wade won three Grand Slam singles championships and four Grand Slam doubles championships during a pro tennis career that stretched between 1968 and 1986. She won the women's singles championship at Wimbledon on July 1, 1977, and remains the last Briton to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament.
Graham Hill (1929-1975) twice won the Formula One World Championship. He is also the only driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and a Formula One World Championship.
Bobby Moore (1941–1993) captained West Ham United for more than 10 years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, and was cited by Pelé as the greatest defender that he had ever played against.
Another member of that 1966 World Cup-winning England national team, goalie Gordon Banks was picked by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as the second best goalkeeper of the 20th century after Russian goalie Lev Yashin. His 1970 World Cup save of a goalbound header from Pelé is often regarded as arguably the greatest save ever.
Bobby Charlton also played for England in the 1966 World Cup and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He's also scored more goals for England and Manchester United, where he spent the majority of his pro career, than any other player.
Geoff Hurst is best remembered for making his mark in history as the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, doing so in the 1966 final and leading England to a 4-2 win over West Germany.
Stanley Matthews (1915-2000) is often regarded as one of the greatest English soccer players. He is the only player to have been knighted while playing and became the oldest player ever to play in England's top football division before retiring in 1965 at age 50. Matthews was also an inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ricky Hatton is a former light welterweight and welterweight boxing champion. After losing his last fight to Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, Hatton put his career on a long hiatus, before announcing in July 2011 that he was retiring with a 45-2 career record.
Naseem Hamed, known as Prince Naseem during his boxing career, is the former world featherweight champion. Although he retired in 2002 with a 36-1 career record, he is better remembered for his antics and spectacular ring entrances, including his trademark front somersault over the top rope into the ring.
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