Famous 21st Century Athletes

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Athletes, including Ross Rebagliati, Usain Bolt, Oscar Pistorius, Debi Thomas and Jerry Collins.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Athletes

 1 Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt.
8
Famous As: Olympic athlete
Birthdate: August 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sherwood Content, Jamaica

One of the greatest athletes ever, Usain Bolt is popular by the nickname ‘Lightning Bolt’. He holds the world record for 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay and is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).

 2 Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge.
7
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: November 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya
Recommended Lists:

 3 Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill.
7
Famous As: Track & Field Athlete
Birthdate: January 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Jessica Ennis-Hill is a British retired track and field athlete. She specialized in multi-eventing disciplines and 100 meters hurdles. In 2012, she won an Olympic gold in the heptathlon. She was introduced to sports as a young girl and immediately took an interest in athletics. She has won several other titles as well in addition to her Olympic gold. 

 4 Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya.
8
Famous As: Olympic Athlete
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Polokwane, Limpopo, South African

Two-time Olympic gold medalist middle-distance runner Caster Semenya in an intersex woman, with high testosterone levels. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was asked to take medication to decrease her testosterone levels, to participate in the 2021 Olympics women’s events, and filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights.

 5 Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius.
8
Famous As: Runner
Birthdate: November 22, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sandton, South Africa

From being an infant whose both legs were amputated below knee, Oscar Pistorius went on to become a top athlete with wins in Paralympic Games and other sporting events. The South African sprinter also became the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympics Games. However, later, he was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend and is currently imprisoned.

 6 Milkha Singh

Milkha Singh.
6
Famous As: Indian track and field athlete
Birthdate: November 20, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Govindpura, Muzaffargarh District, India
Died: June 18, 2021

Indian track and field legend Milkha Singh, also known as "The Flying Sikh,” was orphaned during the Partition of India. The former army man won four Asian Games gold medals. He also competed in the 1956, 1960, and 1964 Summer Olympics, finishing fourth in the 400-meter event in 1960.

 7 Yohan Blake

Yohan Blake
8
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: December 26, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. James Parish, Jamaica
You May Like

 8 Allison Stokke

Allison Stokke
6
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: March 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach, California, USA

Allison Stokke became an internet sensation after a few of her images went viral when she was 17. The talented high-school pole vaulter earned the 2011 All-American honors. She later gained more fame as a fitness model and a sex symbol than as a sportsperson. She also failed her Olympic trials.

 9 Wim Hof

Wim Hof
8
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: April 20, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands

 10 Eddie Hall

Eddie Hall
10
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: January 15, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, UK

Eddie Hall is a British former professional strongman who won the World's Strongest Man 2017 competition. Previously, he had won the UK's Strongest Man and England's Strongest Man competitions many times. As a young man, he trained as a bodybuilder and entered the strongman circuit. He is the subject of the documentary titled Eddie: Strongman.

 11 Donovan Bailey

Donovan Bailey.
4
Famous As: Former Sprinter
Birthdate: December 16, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchester, Jamaica

Donovan Bailey is a retired Jamaican-Canadian sprinter. He once held the world record for the 100 meters and is considered the greatest Canadian sprinter of all time. Noted for his top speed, he became the first Canadian to legally break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters. In 2004,  he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

 12 Antonio Rüdiger

Antonio Rüdiger
7
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: March 3, 1993
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 13 Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings
4
Famous As: Beach Volleyball player
Birthdate: August 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santa Clara, California, United States

American beach-volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings was born to a baseball player father and a volleyball player mother, and was naturally drawn toward sports. She later attended Stanford on a sports scholarship and won three gold medals at the Olympics. She is married to fellow beach-volleyball player Casey Jennings

 14 Alex Scott

Alex Scott
10
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: October 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

Alex Scott is an English TV presenter and former professional football player. Apart from playing for popular clubs like Arsenal and Birmingham City, Scott also represented the women's national football team. She also played for Great Britain at the London Olympics. In 2019, she was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.

 15 Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov

Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov
4
Famous As: Coach, Athletic
Birthdate: December 10, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sil'di, Russia
Died: July 3, 2020

 16 Wayde van Niekerk

Wayde van Niekerk
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: July 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

Wayde van Niekerk is a South African athlete who competes as a sprinter in the 200 and 400 metres. He is the current Olympic and world record holder in the 400 metres. Wayde van Niekerk holds the world record in the 300 metres as well. He won the gold medal in the 400 metres event at the 2016 Olympic Games.

 17 Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly.
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Millersburg, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 29, 2013

Athlete and martial artist Jim Kelly won hearts with his Afro hairstyle and his roles in action film such as Enter the Dragon and Black Belt Jones. Apart from films, he also excelled in karate, winning contests such as the International Middle Weight Karate Championship. He has also played professional tennis.

 18 Larisa Latynina

Larisa Latynina
4
Famous As: Gymnast
Birthdate: December 27, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kherson, Ukraine

 19 Fanny Blankers-Koen

Fanny Blankers-Koen
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: April 26, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lage Vuursche, Netherlands
Died: January 25, 2004

 20 Dominique Moceanu

Dominique Moceanu
4
Famous As: Gymnast
Birthdate: September 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

Gymnast Dominique Moceanu was part of the Magnificent Seven, the women’s team that won the gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. After retiring, she has studied management and also penned a book. She also sued her father for misusing her earnings as a gymnast and won the case.

 21 Burak Yılmaz

Burak Yılmaz
4
Famous As: Football
Birthdate: July 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Antalya, Turkey

 22 Phil Davis

Phil Davis
4
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: September 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Mr. Wonderful Phil Davis is a popular American MMA fighter who represents Bellator MMA. He has previously been a four-time NCAA D-I All-American at Penn State and also boasts of a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He had also excelled in tennis and cross-country running in his younger days.

 23 Dafne Schippers

Dafne Schippers
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: June 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands

 24 Dave Mirra

Dave Mirra
8
Famous As: Extreme sports athlete
Birthdate: April 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, USA
Died: February 4, 2016

Dave Mirra was an American BMX rider who set the X Games record for most medals won in BMX Freestyle. He was also a rallycross racer, competing alongside the Subaru Rally Team USA for many years. Dave Mirra committed suicide in 2016. Later that year, he was inducted into the BMX Hall of Fame.

 25 Dominique Dawes

Dominique Dawes
4
Famous As: Gymnast
Birthdate: November 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Known as Awesome Dawesome, Dominique Dawes is a retired star gymnast from the U.S. who was part of the gold-winning team at the Atlanta Olympics. She also became the first African-American to earn an individual Olympic medal, with her bronze. She is also part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 26 Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister.
8
Famous As: Former British Athlete Who Ran The First Sub-Four-Minute Mile
Birthdate: March 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harrow, England

British middle-distance athlete and neurologist Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes. Before achieving such feat, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres during the 1952 Summer Olympics. In the medical field, Bannister became a neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.

 27 Magnús Scheving

Magnús Scheving.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Borgarnes, Iceland

Magnús Scheving is best known as the creator of the BAFTA-winning children’s series Lazy Town, which has its roots in Scheving’s first book and centers around children’s fitness. The Icelandic aerobic gymnastic champion is also a motivational speaker and has previously been a fitness trainer at a school.

 28 Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
6
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: October 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States

Wrestler Chavo Guerrero, Jr. currently represents the All Elite Wrestling and has previously been part of organizations such as WCW and WWE. Known for his trademark moves such as the Tornado DDT, the Frog Splash, and the Deathlock STF, he is the grandson of legendary wrestler Gory Guerrero.

 29 Clarence Clemons

Clarence Clemons
6
Famous As: Musicians
Birthdate: January 11, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Died: June 18, 2011

Clarence Clemons, also popular as The Big Man, gained fame as the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. While he joined the Maryland State College on both football and music scholarships, a car accident later ended his football dreams. He also had his own band, The Red Bank Rockers.

 30 Breaux Greer

Breaux Greer.
4
Famous As: Olympic Athlete
Birthdate: October 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Houston, Texas

Retired American javelin thrower Breaux Greer holds a national record in the sport. The three-time Olympian earned the bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships in Japan and has been a US National Championship eight times. He is married to actor Katy Mixon and is a father of two.

 31 Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba
3
Famous As: long-distance runner, athletics competitor
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 32 Tia-Clair Toomey

Tia-Clair Toomey
4
Famous As: Weightlifter
Birthdate: July 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nambour, Queensland, Australia

Tia-Clair Toomey is an Australian CrossFit Games athlete and weightlifter. As a weightlifter, she won a gold medal for Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Toomey has also won five CrossFit Games Championship titles so far; she won these titles in five successive CrossFit Games starting from 2017.

 33 Tommie Smith

Tommie Smith
4
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: June 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarksville, Texas, United States

Winner of the 200-meter sprint finals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, Tommie C. Smith finished the race in 19.83 seconds, thus becoming first to break the 20 seconds barrier. Today however he is better remembered for raising a black gloved fist over his head at the victory stand in protest against the injustice meted out to the blacks.

 34 Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton.
10
Famous As: Television presenter
Birthdate: July 19, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Carlisle, Cumbria, England

Best known for her work on BBC productions like Blue Pete, English television presenter Helen Skelton is also a trained lap dance teacher and an adventurer, who kayaked the entire length of River Amazon to raise fund for Sports Relief 2020. Author of Amy Wild: Amazon Summer, she is also the first person to reach South Pole using a bicycle.

 35 Dot Jones

Dot Jones.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Turlock, California, United States

Best known for her roles in Lizzie McGuire and Material Girls, arm-wrestler-cum-actress Dot-Marie Jones never aspired to become an actress. Instead she competed in shot put and power lifting, eventually becoming 15-time world arm wrestling champion. Discovered at a body-building tournament by Shirley Eson, she debuted on screen with Knights and Warriors, thereafter appearing in numerous films and television productions

 36 Armand Duplantis

Armand Duplantis
4
Famous As: Pole vaulter
Birthdate: November 10, 1999
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lafayette, Louisiana, United States

Armand Duplantis is a Swedish pole vaulter. He currently holds the world indoor record with a height of 6.18 meters. When he was 15 years old, Duplantis won a gold medal at the 2015 World Youth Championships. He then went on to win a gold medal at the 2018 European Championships and a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships.

 37 Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes
4
Famous As: Ultramarathon runner
Birthdate: August 23, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, U.S.

Dean Karnazes began running for fun while in kindergarten; taking diversionary routes while returning home from school. Slowly, he started taking it more seriously, running a marathon to the South Pole in 2002, embarking on the Endurance 50: 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days in 2006.  Currently a businessperson, he has also written a book on marathon.

 38 Alistair Brownlee

Alistair Brownlee
6
Famous As: Triathlete
Birthdate: April 23, 1988
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dewsbury, England

Alistair Brownlee made history by becoming the only athlete with two Olympics medals in the triathlon event. His brother, Jonathan Brownlee, too, is a star athlete. Born to a runner father and a swimmer mother, he was introduced to triathlon by Simon Hearnshaw, his uncle, who was also an avid athlete.

 39 James Cracknell

James Cracknell
6
Famous As: Rower
Birthdate: May 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sutton, London, England

James Cracknell is a British athlete who specializes in rowing. With six World Rowing Championships and two Olympic gold medals under his belt, Cracknell is regarded as one of the most successful English rowers of his generation. He is also known for his charitable activities; in 2008, he raised funds for the BBC's Sport Relief charity.

 40 Evgeni Plushenko

Evgeni Plushenko
4
Famous As: Figure Skater
Birthdate: November 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dzhamku, Russia

 41 Yelena Isinbayeva

Yelena Isinbayeva
4
Famous As: Pole vaulter
Birthdate: June 3, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Volgograd, Russia

 42 Katrín Davíðsdóttir

Katrín Davíðsdóttir
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 10, 1993
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reykjavík, Iceland

 43 Sara Sigmundsdóttir

Sara Sigmundsdóttir
4
Famous As: Weightlifter
Birthdate: September 12, 1992
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reykjanesbær, Iceland

 44 Grete Sadeiko

Grete Sadeiko
4
Famous As: Heptathlon
Birthdate: May 29, 1993
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Türi, Estonia

 45 David Rudisha

David Rudisha
4
Famous As: Middle-distance runner
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya

 46 Tanni Grey-Thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson
4
Famous As: Television presenter, Politician, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: July 26, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales

Winner of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, Tanni Grey-Thompson is a former wheelchair racer, who won the London Marathon six times and held more than 30 world records. Also a successful television personality and patron of numerous charities, she was created a Life Peer in 2010 and made Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe in Stockton-On-Tees.

 47 Jahking Guillory

Jahking Guillory.
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 14, 2001
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moreno Valley, Riverside County, California, USA

Jahking Guillory is an American rapper and actor who has been active in the entertainment industry since the mid-2010s. Beginning his career as a teenager, he played the leading role of Brandon in the film, Kicks. His role in the Netflix series On My Block also earned him much appreciation. Since then, he has appeared in many popular TV shows. 

 48 Shannon Moore

Shannon Moore
6
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: July 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cameron, North Carolina, United States

Wrestler Shannon Moore is known for his stints with the WCW, the WWE, and TNA. Loved for his trademark moves such as the Twist of Fate, he is also a talented musician who composes his own entry music and owns a band named Peroxwhy?gen with fellow wrestler Jeff Hardy.

 49 Kōhei Uchimura

Kōhei Uchimura
3
Famous As: Artistic gymnast
Birthdate: January 3, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan

 50 Kaetlyn Osmond

Kaetlyn Osmond
4
Famous As: Figure skater
Birthdate: December 5, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marystown, Canada