Cancer Athletes

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 1 
Carl Lewis
(American Track-and-Field Athlete Who Won Nine Olympic Gold Medals During the 1980s and 1990s)
Carl Lewis
13
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

A dominant sprinter and long jumper, Carl Lewis has won ten Olympic medals, nine of them gold. From 1981 to 1991, he topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events, slowly starting to lose his dominance thereafter, eventually retiring in 1997. Currently a businessperson, he has also appeared in films and television productions.

 2 
Wilma Rudolph
(The First American Woman to Win Three Gold Medals in a Single Olympic Games)
Wilma Rudolph
11
Birthdate: June 23, 1940
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: November 12, 1994

Sprinter Wilma Rudolph made history by becoming the first American female athlete to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympic game. As a child, she needed orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The sports icon lost her life to cancer but was immortalized through books and movies.

 3 
Wayde van Niekerk
(South African Track and Field Sprinter Who Competes in the 200 and 400 Metres)
Wayde van Niekerk
6
Birthdate: July 15, 1992
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.

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 4 
Liu Xiang
(hurdler, athletics competitor)
Liu Xiang
4
Birthdate: July 13, 1983
Birthplace: Shanghai

Hurdler Liu Xiang created history by becoming the first Chinese Olympic gold medalist in any men’s track-and-field event. While he excelled in high jump in his younger days, he deviated to hurdles by 15. He has also earned gold medals at the world championships and the Asian Games.

 5 
Lasse Virén
(Finnish Retired Athlete who Specialized in Long-distance Running)
Lasse Virén
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1949
Birthplace: Myrskylä, Finland

Lasse Virén is a Finnish retired athlete who specialized in long-distance running. He is best known for his performance in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, where he won two gold medals at each Games. Lasse Virén is also known for winning a bronze medal at the 1974 European Championships in Rome.

 6 
Teemu Selänne
(Former Finnish Ice Hockey Player Who Played as a Winger)
Teemu Selänne
5
Birthdate: July 3, 1970
Birthplace: Helsinki

Teemu Selänne is a Finnish retired ice hockey player who played as a winger. Dubbed the Finnish Flash, Teemu is the highest scoring player from Finland in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL). In 2017, he became only the second Finn after Jari Kurri to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

 7 
Antonina Krivoshapka
(Russian Athlete)
Antonina Krivoshapka
2
Birthdate: July 21, 1987
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 8 
Abebe Bikila
(First African to Win Olympic Gold Medal and the First Athlete to Win Two Olympic Marathons Back-to-Back)
Abebe Bikila
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1932
Birthplace: Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: October 25, 1973

Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikil,a became the first black African Olympic gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Four years later, he won his second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He created world record both the times. A pioneer in long-distance running, he participated in a total of 16 marathons. 

 9 
P. T. Usha
(Retired Indian Track and Field Athlete)
P. T. Usha
5
Birthdate: June 27, 1964
Birthplace: Payyoli, Kuttali, Kerala, India

Considered one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced, P. T. Usha is often called the Queen of Indian track and field. She has won 14 gold medals throughout her illustrious career. She missed out on the bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics by a hundredth of a second.

 10 
Tom Longboat
(Onondaga Athlete Who Specialized in Distance Running)
Tom Longboat
5
Birthdate: July 4, 1886
Birthplace: Six Nations Reserve Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 9, 1949

Tom Longboat was an Onondaga athlete who specialized in distance running. Nicknamed the bulldog of Britannia, Longboat also served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a soldier during the First World War. In 1996, Tom Longboat was honored posthumously with an induction into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. 

 11 
Billy Mills
(American Former Track and Field Athletes and Olympic Gold Medalists)
Billy Mills
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1938
Birthplace: Pine Ridge, South Dakota, United States
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 12 
Alexander Radulov
(Russian Professional Ice Hockey Player)
Alexander Radulov
4
Birthdate: July 5, 1986
Birthplace: Nizhny Tagil, Russia
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 13 
Dan O'Brien
(Former Decathlete and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Dan O'Brien
0
Birthdate: July 18, 1966
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 14 
Mary Peters
(British Former Athlete)
Mary Peters
6
Birthdate: July 6, 1939
Birthplace: Halewood, Liverpool, England

Mary Peters is a Northern Irish former athlete who specialized in the pentathlon and shot put. She was athletic from a young age and received encouragement from her father to pursue her passion. She represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Summer Olympics in 1972 and won the gold medal in the women's pentathlon.  

 15 
LaShawn Merritt
(American Track and Field Athlete)
LaShawn Merritt
4
Birthdate: June 27, 1986
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 16 
Angelica Bengtsson
(Swedish Pole Vaulter)
Angelica Bengtsson
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1993
Birthplace: Väckelsång, Sweden

Angelica Bengtsson is a Swedish athlete who competes in track and field events with a specialization in the pole vault. In 2010, she became the first athlete to win the pole vault event at the first Summer Youth Olympics. The current national record holder, Bengtsson has won many medals, including bronze medals at the 2015 and 2017 European Indoor Championships.

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 17 
Pietro Mennea
(Italian Sprinter, Politician, and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Pietro Mennea
5
Birthdate: June 28, 1952
Birthplace: Barletta, Italy
Died: March 21, 2013
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 18 
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
(American Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Babe Didrikson Zaharias
1
Birthdate: June 26, 1911
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas, United States
Died: September 27, 1956

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was an American athlete who specialized in golf, track and field, basketball, and baseball. Considered one of the greatest female athletes ever, Didrikson won two gold medals and a silver medal in track and field at the Summer Olympics in 1932. She then went on to win 10 LPGA major championships, becoming USA's first female golf celebrity.

 19 
Mauro Prosperi
(Italian Former Police Officer and Pentathlete)
Mauro Prosperi
5
Birthdate: July 13, 1955
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
 20 
Balian Buschbaum
(German Former Pole Vaulter)
Balian Buschbaum
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1980
Birthplace: Ulm, Germany
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
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 21 
Michelle Jenneke
(Australian Hurdler and Model)
Michelle Jenneke
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1993
Birthplace: Kenthurst, Australia

Michelle Jenneke is an Australian track and field athlete and model. She won a silver medal for Australia at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics. She received international recognition in 2012 when her pre-race warm-up dance became famous on the internet. As a model, Michelle Jenneke was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2013.

 22 
Maria José Martínez-Patiño
(Spanish Former Hurdler)
Maria José Martínez-Patiño
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1961
Birthplace: Spain
 23 
Filbert Bayi
(Middle-distance runner, Steeplechase runner)
Filbert Bayi
0
Birthdate: June 22, 1953
Birthplace: Karatu, Tanzania
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 24 
Lalu Muhammad Zohri
(Athletics competitor)
Lalu Muhammad Zohri
4
Birthdate: July 1, 2000
Birthplace: North Lombok Regency North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 25 
Anna Chicherova
(Olympic athlete)
Anna Chicherova
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1982
Birthplace: Yerevan

Anna Chicherova is a Russian high jumper who won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has also won medals at World Championships, which includes a gold and silver medal. She is the third female high jumper to win medals at both the World Championships and the Olympic Games. She also holds the Russian national record (2.07 meters).

 26 
Yuliya Stepanova
(Russian Middle-Distance Runner)
Yuliya Stepanova
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1986
Birthplace: Kursk, Russia
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 27 
Asbel Kiprop
(Kenyan Middle-Distance Runner)
Asbel Kiprop
4
Birthdate: June 30, 1989
Birthplace: Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 28 
Mutaz Essa Barshim
(High jumper)
Mutaz Essa Barshim
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1991
Birthplace: Doha, Qatar
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 29 
Harrison Dillard
(World’s Fastest Man in 1948 and the World’s Fastest Hurdler in 1952)
Harrison Dillard
0
Birthdate: July 8, 1923
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: November 15, 2019
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 30 
Joe Kovacs
(American Track and Field Athlete and Olympic Medalist)
Joe Kovacs
2
Birthdate: June 28, 1989
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 31 
Arthur Lydiard
(One of the Greatest Athletics Coaches of All Time)
Arthur Lydiard
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1917
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: December 11, 2004

Arthur Lydiard was a New Zealand athlete and coach. He is credited with popularizing running as a sport and making it mainstream across the sporting world. Arthur Lydiard is also credited with coaching legendary athletes like Peter Snell, who won two gold medals at the 1964 Summer Olympics under Lydiard's tutelage.

 32 
Zharnel Hughes
(British Sprinter)
Zharnel Hughes
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1995
Birthplace: The Valley, Anguilla
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 33 
Brian Cody
(Irish Former Hurling Manager and Player)
Brian Cody
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1954
Birthplace: Kilkenny, Ireland
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 34 
Hassiba Boulmerka
(Former Algerian Middle Distance Athlete)
Hassiba Boulmerka
0
Birthdate: July 10, 1968
Birthplace: Constantine, Algeria
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 35 
David Hemery
(British Former Track and Field Athlete)
David Hemery
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1944
Birthplace: Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England

Born in England and raised in the U.S., David Hemery competed for England as a hurdler and won the 400m gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics. He also has two Commonwealth gold medals to his credit. He owns the charity 21st Century Legacy and has penned several books, including a memoir.

 36 
Raelene Boyle
(Australian Retired Athlete)
Raelene Boyle
1
Birthdate: June 24, 1951
Birthplace: Coburg, Victoria, Australia

Raelene Boyle is an Australian former athlete who won silver medal in 200m in 1968 Olympics and silver medal in 100m and 200m in 1972 Olympics. In 1985, she was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Raelene Boyle was named in Australia's Top 100 Sportswomen of All Time list in 2013.

 37 
Natalya Lisovskaya
(Russian Former Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Natalya Lisovskaya
0
Birthdate: July 16, 1962
Birthplace: Alegazy, Bashkir, Russian
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 38 
Herb McKenley
(Jamaican Track and Field Sprinter)
Herb McKenley
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1922
Birthplace: Clarendon, Jamaica
Died: November 26, 2007

Legendary Jamaican sprinter Herb McKenley not only won an Olympic gold medal but also had 3 Olympic silvers in his kitty. He remains the only person to have ever made the final rounds of the 100m, 200m, and 400m Olympic events. He had also won 3 Pan American Games bronze medals.

 39 
Dovilė Kilty
(Lithuanian Track and Field Athlete)
Dovilė Kilty
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1993
Birthplace: Šiauliai, Lithuania
 40 
Steven Hooker
(Australian Former Pole Vaulter and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Steven Hooker
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1982
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Steven Hooker is an Australian former athlete renowned for his skills as a pole vaulter. His personal best of 6.06m makes him the fourth-highest pole vaulter of all time. Hooker won gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 World Championships, and 2010 World Indoor Championships. In 2017, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

 41 
Bruny Surin
(Former Canadian Track and Field Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Bruny Surin
1
Birthdate: July 12, 1967
Birthplace: Cap-Haitien, Haiti

A 4-time Olympian and an Olympic gold medalist, retired Canadian track and field athlete Bruny Surin has been a master of the 4×100m relay. He is also a former Commonwealth Champion and a 2-time World Champion. The Haitian-born athlete had moved to Canada as a child. He has been knighted by the Quebec government.

 42 
Olha Bryzhina
(Retired Ukrainian Sprinter)
Olha Bryzhina
0
Birthdate: June 30, 1963
Birthplace: Krasnokamsk, Russia
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 43 
Churandy Martina
(Dutch Sprinter)
Churandy Martina
1
Birthdate: July 3, 1984
Birthplace: Willemstad, Curaçao
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 44 
Shirley Strickland
(Australian Athlete)
Shirley Strickland
2
Birthdate: July 18, 1925
Birthplace: Guildford, Australia
Died: February 11, 2004

Shirley Strickland was an Australian athlete who won three Olympic gold medals in running sports. The daughter of an athlete, she developed an early love for running and also played hockey. As a young woman, she pursued a teaching career. She took up running seriously in the late 1940s and participated in several competitive events with great success. 

 45 
Abeba Aregawi
(Former Ethiopian-Swedish Middle-Distance Runner)
Abeba Aregawi
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1990
Birthplace: Adigrat, Ethiopia

Abeba Aregawi is an Ethiopian-Swedish former athlete who specialized in middle-distance running. She won all her major medals in the 1500 metres event; bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, silver medal at the 2014 European Championship, and a gold medal each at the 2013 World Championship, 2013 European Indoor Championship, and 2014 World Indoor Championship.

 46 
Beatrice Chepkoech
(Kenyan Long-Distance Runner)
Beatrice Chepkoech
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1991
Birthplace: Bomet, Kenya
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 47 
Jefferson Pérez
(Racewalking)
Jefferson Pérez
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1974
Birthplace: Cuenca, Ecuador Cuenca
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 48 
Rashid Ramzi
(Moroccan-Bahraini Track and Field Athlete)
Rashid Ramzi
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1980
Birthplace: Safi, Morocco
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 49 
Sasha Zhoya
(French-Australian Athlete)
Sasha Zhoya
2
Birthdate: June 25, 2002
Birthplace: Subiaco, Australia
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 50 
Olusoji Fasuba
(Sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres)
Olusoji Fasuba
0
Birthdate: July 9, 1984
Birthplace: Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)