Ever wondered if your adored sports stars would trade in their boots for boxing gloves? Tennis rackets for riding saddles? Or have you seen a famous face on an unfamiliar field? Fan favourites have made some surprising and rather unusual career changes according to the new infographic by SBO.net.
While many sporting stars have achieved some memorable feats in their own fields, there are also the few that have chanced the odds of changing lanes, hoping to tackle and achieve success in their new arenas:
- Victoria Pendleton, a multiple track sprint Olympic and World Champion between 1989 to 2012, wandering into horse riding, cashing up to £200,000 per race.
- Adam Gemili found his fame on the football pitch until 2012 when he transferred from the field to the Athletics track, representing Team GB in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
- In 2009, the All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams started leaning more towards heavyweight boxing, successfully winning all seven of his competitive fights, while still actively playing on the rugby field.
- Rebecca Romero, silver medallist for rowing in the 2006 Olympics, became the first-ever British woman to compete in two sports at the Olympics Games, when she decided to make the move to cycling. She went on to take home the gold for individual pursuit in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Martina Hingis, 5 Grand Slam single title-winner, took a break from the professional tennis world at just 22 to compete in equestrian competitions. She later returned to the court in 2005.
Other sporting heavyweights have decided to downsize when making a move, proving how the pay cheque isn’t always the deciding influence. Michael Jordan, six-time NBA champion and five-time NBA MVP, decided to take a break from the basketball lime-light in 1993 and move into baseball, despite lowering his earnings to $850 a month plus $16 daily meal allowances. He made a comeback to basketball in 1995, but has since retired.
After retiring from cricket, Adam Hollioake transferred to MMA fighting in 2012, leaving behind his average salary of £50,000 a year and claiming no earnings to date in his new career.