Tag Archives: Athletes

Top 7 Stunning Sports Comeback Stories of All Time Inspire Success in the Face of Tragedy

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Everyone loves a comeback story! These seven sports stars sustained painful (and sometimes horrific) injuries but stepped into the limelight again with sensational victories. Tiger Woods kicks off our list, eleven years after his last major win. Tiger underwent his third back surgery in 2017. He is now fully recovered, after passing time playing mobile casino blackjack, and moved to the top of the Masters leaderboard on April 14th, 2019, with three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine. His story and others stir the imagination of sports fans around the world, reminding us why we play in the first place.

Tiger Woods (Golf)

Gaming Club Casino: Tiger Woods celebrating
Source: Yahoo Sports

Once a giant in the world of golf, more than a decade has passed since Tiger Woods won his first Masters in 2005 and the US Open in 2008. Since 2008, he has undergone four major surgeries and received criticism for his personal life.

But on April 14th he claimed the 2019 Masters title. Now the legend is back with one of the most incredible sports comebacks in history. This most recent Masters win is his 15th career major.

Brian O’Driscoll (Rugby)

Gaming Club Casino: Brian O’Driscoll holding child
Source: Cathal McNaughton

Brian O’Driscoll is known for his hard-headed resolve to keep playing, regardless of injury. However, in 2005, he experienced a spear tackle during the Lions tour in New Zealand that ended his resilience.

The head-first impact dislocated his shoulder and forced him to undergo surgery, putting him out of the game for seven months. However, he returned to lead his Irish team in the 2006 Six Nations. The team won the Triple Crown that year. O’Driscoll was named Player of the Championship in 2006, 2007, and 2009.

Pele (Soccer/Football)

Gaming Club Casino: Pele holding work cup trophy
Source: FIFA.com

Pelé is likely the finest soccer player in history. Born Edison Arantes do Nascimento, he had helped Brazil claim the World Cup trophy in both 1958 and 1962. They began to campaign for a third in England in 1966.

Once at England, Bulgarians continually fouled and kicked Pelé, injuring him to a point of excluding him from the match. He was not able to help his team win a World Cup that year and remains his most devastating moment.

Clint Malarchuk (Hockey)

Gaming Club Casino: Clint Malarchuk portrait
Source: Speakers’ Spotlight

Winning the “Most Gory” category, Clint Malarchuk had his throat slit by the skate of an opposing player. In 1989, Malarchuk was the Buffalo Sabres’ goalie in the National Hockey League. A collision led to the skate’s blade partially severing his jugular vein.

Jim Pizzutelli, Malarchuk’s team trainer, rushed across the ice and stopped the bleeding, saving his life. Once in the hospital, the doctors told Clint to take the season off, but he was back on the ice four days later like the champion he is. 

Niki Lauda (Formula One)

Gaming Club Casino: Niki Lauda in F1 car
Source: The Advertiser

A fiery car crash in 1976 at the German Grand Prix could have sealed Niki Lauda’s fate, but his drive to win kept him reaching for the finish line. Engulfed in flames, Niki suffered severe burns on his head, lost most of his right ear, and slipped into a coma.

Yet, less than six weeks after the crash, he returned to the track for the Italian Grand Prix and finished fourth. He had already won the title in 1975, missed it by a point in 1976, and continued to win it again in ’77 and ’84.

Monica Seles (Tennis)

Gaming Club Casino: Monica Seles with microphone
Source: Wall Street Journal

In 1993 Monica Seles experienced her worst nightmare when a Steffi Graf fan stabbed her in the back with a knife. This put Seles out of tennis until 1995. Up until the stabbing, Seles had won eight Grand Slam titles before turning 20 and was number one in the world. These titles included the French Open, which she scored when she was 16.

Fully recovered by 1996, she came back and won the Australian open. In 2009, she was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.

Bethany Hamilton (Surfing)

Gaming Club Casino: Bethany Hamilton surfing
Source: surferrule.com

While most people might consider a vicious shark attack a significant setback, Hamilton has merely focused on becoming a champion. After the 2003 attack severed her left arm, she returned to her professional surfing career the following year. A movie, Soul Surfer, was made about her life in 2011.

Not viewing her lack of an arm as an impediment, Bethany has enjoyed incredible success, including placing third in the Fiji Women’s Pro Competition in May of 2016, during which she beat six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and top-ranked competitor Tyler Wright.

Sports Stars Who Went Broke

Sports Track
Source: Pixabay

Sports stars are known for earning millions. While earning money is great, keeping it has proven to be hard for some. Here are the top 10 formerly rich athletes who lost all their money.

1. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson boxing
Source: Wallpaperplay

Tyson is an American professional boxer. He was the world heavyweight champion and still holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title. He also won the WBC in 1986 and the WBA and IBF in 1987. He earned over US$30 million for several fights and US$300 million over his entire career. In 2003 he was reportedly US$23 million in debt. How? He liked to show off by purchasing houses he didn’t live in, cars and gifts for his friends, and even Rolexes for random strangers who complimented him.

2. O.J. Simpson

OJ Simpson
Source: Wikimedia

Simpson is an American actor and former running back, winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first NFL player to ever rush for over 2,000 yards in a regular season. His first NFL contract was for US$650,000 over 5 years – the largest contract in pro sports history at the time (1969). He also has a criminal record and was released from prison at the end of 2017 after an armed robbery in Las Vegas. But the source of his debt comes from a civil suit for the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995. He owes over US$70 million plus interest to the families as he has not paid them any of the money he was ordered to.

3. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather
Source: Wikimedia

Mayweather Jr. is an American former professional boxer (1996-2007, 2009-2015). Over the course of his career he held multiple world titles in five weight classes and retired with an undefeated record. He had over US$1 billion in earnings. Unfortunately, he has a love of gambling that got out of control, with an estimated US$50 million in debt. If Floyd would have played casino games in a responsible and safe gaming environment such as at Gaming Club, this wouldn’t have happened.

4. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona
Source: Wikimedia

Maradona is an Argentinian retired professional footballer. He played in four FIFA World Cups including the 1986 one in Mexico where he led Argentina to victory and won the Golden Ball. He won tens of millions of dollars over his career. However, due to numerous legal troubles from narcotic fines to tax crimes, most of his fortune is gone.

5. Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman
Source: Sporting News

Rodman is an American retired professional basketball player. He won five NBA championships during his 14 years, earning almost US$30 million as an athlete and millions more from endorsement deals. Personal struggles, namely alcohol and substance abuse, led to him losing a hold on his finances. In 2012 he was broke and unable to pay US$800,000 in child support.

6. Marion Jones

Marion Jones
Source: Wikimedia

Jones is an American former world track and field champion who won five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. She received multimillion-dollar endorsement deals in addition to earning around US$75,000 per race. She was later stripped of her medals due to steroid use and lost her sponsorships. She went broke and lost her US$2.5 million mansion in North Carolina.

7. David James

David James
Source: Sportskeeda

James is an English retired footballer. He is fourth on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, held the Premier League record for most clean sheets with 169, and was England’s goalkeeper for the 2010 World Cup. Over his career he earned £20m but declared bankruptcy in 2014 mainly due to debts incurred since his divorce in 2005.

8. George Best

Source: Wikimedia

Best was a Northern Irish professional footballer universally regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He debuted at the age of 17 and spent most of his career with Manchester United. He made over US$100 million dollars before he lost it all when he became an alcoholic.

9. Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario
Source: Wikimedia

Sánchez Vicario is a Spanish former World No. 1 retired professional tennis player. She won four Grand Slam singles titles, six Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She also has four Olympic medals and five titles in the Federation Cup for Spain. She made US$40 million over her career, but lost almost everything through family fights, divorces, and tax fraud.

10. Bobby Orr

Source: Wikimedia

Orr is a Canadian former NHL ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. Orr won eight consecutive Norris Trophies and three consecutive Hart before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 at age 31. When he retired, Orr discovered that his agent Alan Eagleson had mismanaged his money, leaving him broke. Eagleson was even the reason Orr left the Boston Bruins because Orr was told the Bruins no longer wanted him – when in fact they offered him US$295,000 a year and an 18% ownership stake in the team, the most generous contract in NHL history at the time.