Raikkonen achieves polysport status
Despite being arguably one of the most well-rounded athletes in history, Michael Jordan's exploits on the baseball diamond didn't go close to matching the heights he achieved on the basketball court. Indeed, it's so uncommon to achieve world competitiveness in more than one sport, there's no word to describe (polysport?) such notables as Jim Thorpe, Lionel Conacher, Babe Didrikson, John Surtees and Denis Compton. World 2007 F1 champ Kimi Raikkonen is the latest to achieve international success in two sports, finishing eighth in the Jordan Round of the World Rally Championship this weekend, scoring world championship points in his second sport and just his third WRC rally.
Driving a Citroën C4 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team Raikkonen finished the Jordan Rally with his first WRC points.
“It was an extremely difficult rally with the most complex special stages I have ever had to drive” said Räikkönen. “But we eventually achieved our objective of getting to the finish without making any big mistakes.”
“I’m feeling more comfortable in the Citroën C4 WRC every day,” said Raikkonen after the event.
The story of Raikkonen's sport swap has been previously documented on Gizmag.
The first paragraph lists five famous athletes who have been successful at the highest level in more than one sport, yet not much has been written about the subject. Even wikipedia almost binned the category. Anyone we missed?
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A better example of a two-sport star might be Bo Jackson, who could hit a curveball AND run through linebackers in American football.
Also, Joe Leonard, 3-time AMA Grand National motorcycle champion (including back-to-back championships in 1956 and 1957) and 2-time USAC (Indy car) champion, in 1971 and 1972.
And, of course, Tazio Nuvolari and Rudolf Caracciola, two other champions on 2 and 4 wheels.
Also, Dan Gurney, who won races in USAC, NASCAR, the Can-Am and Trans-Am Series, Le Mans in both GTs and prototypes, and F1.
It may all include wheels but I\'d say the difference between riding a BMX bike and a race cars at 200 mph are bigger than basket and baseball.