40 Most Successful Athletes Of The 21st Century

Source: Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

31. Shaquille O’Neal
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 4x NBA Champion, 1x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat
> Career length: 1992-2011
> Other accomplishments: 15x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 1x MVP

As one of the most dominant centers in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal has won four NBA championships — he won three titles in a row with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2002 before winning his fourth in 2006. O’Neal won NBA MVP in 2000.

Source: Clive Rose / Getty Images

32. Shaun White
> Sport: Skateboarding, snowboarding
> Championships: 15x X Games gold medal, 3x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: United States
> Career length: 2000-present
> Other accomplishments: 23 total X Games medals

Shaun White is one of the most successful two-sport athletes of all time. White is a skateboarding and snowboarding legend, having won 23 X Games medals, 15 of them gold, as well as three Olympic golds for halfpipe snowboarding.

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

33. Sidney Crosby
> Sport: Hockey
> Championships: 3x Stanley Cup, 2x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: Pittsburgh Penguins
> Career length: 2005-present
> Other accomplishments: 8x All-Star, 2x Hart Trophy

After entering the NHL as one of the most exciting prospects ever, Sidney Crosby has managed to live up to the hype. Crosby won three Stanley Cups before his 30th birthday and his Pittsburgh Penguins seem poised to keep winning. Crosby has also led the NHL in points and goals twice, assists once, and won two Hart Trophies as NHL MVP.

Source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

34. Simone Biles
> Sport: Gymnastics
> Championships: 4x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: United States
> Career length: 2016-present
> Other accomplishments: 5 total Olympic medals

Simone Biles had one of the most impressive Olympic debuts in 2016, when she took home four gold medals and one bronze. She finished first in the individual all-around, vault, and floor events, and third in the beam. She also propelled her “Final Five” teammates to gold in the team gymnastics event. Biles has taken home an unprecedented 25 medals in world championships, 19 of them gold, to make her the most decorated gymnast of all time.

Biles is aiming to add to her impressive tally, competing in six events in the postponed 2020 Tokyo games, taking place in 2021. Biles was unable to finish the team competition, but helped Team USA take silver. Though she qualified for all individual events, it remains unclear as of this writing whether she will be able to compete.

Source: Flickr / Keith Allison

35. Stephen Curry
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 3x NBA Champ
> Team or country: Golden State Warriors
> Career length: 2009-present
> Other accomplishments: 2x MVP, 7x All-star

Steph Curry is one of the greatest pure shooters of all time, shattering multiple NBA 3-pointer records on his way to consecutive NBA MVPs in 2015 and 2016. Curry is the leader of the Warriors dynasty, which won three titles and made it to four consecutive NBA Finals. He has led the league in scoring twice and steals once, and has a remarkable 43.3% lifetime shooting percentage from three.

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