Top athletes with two successful careers
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This article is from the magazine Panorama. Some athletes are so talented that they cannot stop at a discipline. These are the athletes with an unexpected second talent.
Michael Jordan, basketball and baseball
Michael Jordan is 30 when he suddenly organizes a press conference. He has just been champion three times in a row with the Chicago Bulls, is undoubtedly the best player in the NBA, but he is doing it. He wants to play baseball.
That decision has a lot to do with the assassination of his father - a big baseball fan - from earlier that year (1993). "This is what my father always wanted me to do. He taught me to play baseball at the age of six. I am sure he will follow everything closely."
His baseball performance is not nearly good enough to reach the Major League, but a level below he works his way around to improve. After an absence of eighteen months, he returns to the NBA. "In the end I realized that I am only a basketball player. That is who and what I am, nothing more."
Fabien Barthez, football and motor sport
After his career, the former goalkeeper of, among others, Manchester United focused on motorsport. "Motorsport has always fascinated me, even when I was playing soccer. I wanted to know what it feels like to be in a racing car. To experience that, I had to wait until my soccer career was over."
Barthez only competes in smaller races, until in 2014 he is at the start of the famous Le Mans 24 Hours. Together with former Formula 1 driver Olivier Panis, Barthez now has his own racing team: The Panis Barthez Competition.
John Surtees, car and motorcycle racing
It is both racing, but driving on two or four wheels makes a big difference. For most people then, not for John Surtees. The Brit is still the first (and probably the last) to drive both the car and the motorcycle at the highest level and to become world champion.
From 1958 to 1960 he became world champion in the 350 and 500 cc class. Formula 1 teams want to lure him to motor racing, but the answer from Surtees is always the same. "No, I am a motorcycle racer." He says: "I had never been in a racing car. Never seen a race, you obviously had no matches on television then either."
In the end, he gives in to the new challenge and will continue to drive Formula 1 for another twelve years. In 1964 he even became world champion. John Surtees died two years ago. He turned 83 years old.
Primoz Roglic, cycling and ski jumping
"When I first started, I already liked to ride in the mountains. Only later did it become apparent that I can also do time-driving. I just want to be good at everything I do," said the Slovenian.
Roglic has never ambitious the bicycle, the ramp is his domain. Wins gold and silver with his country at the World Junior Championships. But a fall in 2007 changes everything. He launches himself too quickly, loses his balance and lands on his head. Roglic comes off with a serious concussion and that he can retell it is a miracle. However, he never returns to his old level afterwards, also because of painful knees.
To get enough exercise, he resorts to the bicycle. And he appears to have talent for that as well. At a modest level, he cycles for around three years before he can draw at Lotto-Jumbo. A fine piece of scouting work, because in the meantime Roglic has grown to become a world class champion, with stage wins in the Tour of Italy and the Tour of France. In the Tour he even finished fourth in the final classification last year.
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