Sports
807 voters

The Most Influential Athletes Right Now

Updated August 5, 2019 15.9k votes 807 voters 2.3k views70 items

List RulesVote up the current athletes who continue to push the boundaries of their sport each time they play.

Whether they're top stars of their sport or they're changing the way the game's played, these are the most influential current athletes. Keep in mind, simply being the best isn't the only thing that constitutes an influential athlete. While these stars are certainly at the top of their class, they're also recognized for the contributions they make to the world of sports, among many other factors and achievements. All things considered, who do you think are the most influential athletes right now? Could they go down as the most influential athletes of all time?

When it comes to iconic athletes, no player may be making headlines and dominating their sport more than Lebron James. He breaks a record almost any time he steps on the court, making him one of the best current NBA players, as well as of all time. Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and the MLB's Mike Trout are really no different. These star athletes continually prove themselves to be the best out right now—and they continue to contribute to their sport. Of course, there are plenty more names to consider in determining the most influential athletes actively competing. 

Check out the list of notable athletes below and vote up the sports stars you think are influencing generations and players to come. Also feel free to add others that may be missing from the list.

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  • 1
    Maria Sharapova
    474
    95

    BirthplaceNyagan, Russia

    Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова, IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ˈjʉrʲjɪvnə... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Mikaela Shiffrin
    256
    46

    Mikaela Shiffrin

    Age: 25

    BirthplaceVail, Colorado

    Mikaela Pauline Shiffrin is an American World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team,... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Kevin Mayer
    179
    17

    Kevin Mayer

  • 4
    Ilya Zakharov
    173
    16

    Ilya Zakharov

  • 5
    Sebastian Vettel
    190
    25

    BirthplaceHeppenheim, Germany

    Sebastian Vettel (German pronunciation: [zeˈbasti̯an ˈfɛtl̩]; born 3 July 1987) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Manuel Neuer
    178
    25

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ, -ɛl -]; born 27 March 1986) is a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Max Heß
    152
    19

    Max Heß

  • 8
    Annie Thorisdottir
    156
    25

    Annie Thorisdottir

  • 9
    Karsten Warholm
    126
    19

    Karsten Warholm

  • 10
    Dafne Schippers
    135
    26

    Dafne Schippers

    Age: 28

    BirthplaceUtrecht, Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Dafne Schippers is a Dutch athlete competing in heptathlon and the sprints.

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  • 11
    Charlotte Kalla
    139
    31

    Charlotte Kalla

    Age: 32
  • 12
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    486
    250

    BirthplaceSanto António, Portugal

    Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Katinka Hosszú
    123
    28

    BirthplacePécs, Hungary

    Katinka Hosszú (Hungarian: [ˈkɒtiŋkɒ ˈhossuː]; born 3 May 1989) is a Hungarian competitive... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Roger Federer
    295
    137

    BirthplaceBasel, Switzerland

    ← Roger Federer (German pronunciation: [ˈrɔdʒər ˈfeːdərər]; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Johannes Vetter
    104
    21

    Johannes Vetter

  • 16
    Novak Djokovic
    264
    135

    BirthplaceBelgrade, Serbia

    Novak Djokovic (Serbian: Новак Ђоковић, romanized: Novak Đoković, pronounced [nôʋaːk... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Gesa Felicitas Krause

    BirthplaceEhringshausen, Germany

    Gesa Felicitas Krause is a German athlete who specialises in the 3000 m steeplechase. In the... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Ronda Rousey
    94
    32

    BirthplaceUSA, California

    Ronda Jean Rousey (; born February 1, 1987) is an American professional wrestler, actress,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Laura Dahlmeier
    91
    36

    BirthplaceGarmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

    Laura Dahlmeier is a German biathlete. Dahlmeier started in her first world cup races in the... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Rafael Nadal
    240
    163

    BirthplaceManacor, Spain

    Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera (Catalan: [rəf(ə)ˈɛl nəˈðal pəˈɾeɾə], Spanish: [rafaˈel naˈðal... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Brooke Henderson
    85
    34

    Brooke Henderson

    Age: 23

    BirthplaceSmiths Falls, Canada

    Brooke Mackenzie Henderson (born 10 September 1997) is a Canadian professional golfer on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Lewis Hamilton
    86
    37

    BirthplaceStevenage, United Kingdom

    Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver who races in... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Usain Bolt
    241
    170

    Usain Bolt

    Age: 34

    BirthplaceSherwood Content, Jamaica

    Usain St Leo Bolt (; born 21 August 1986) is a retired Jamaican sprinter. He is a world... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    Annemiek van Vleuten
    70
    36

    Annemiek van Vleuten

  • 25
    Anna Veith
    69
    35

    Anna Veith