Money usually follows success, but to get to the point where you are on top of your game, you need to be of the mindset to build a legacy. Today I’ve done some serious reading and research, and some acquired some help from the team to bring you a look at some of the people that might close their legacy this decade, leaving behind something that will inspire generations to come.
Image by Roman Grac
Saul Canelo Alvarez is one of the best boxers in the world right now. Out of his 57 fights, he has only lost once, and that was to the defensive genius Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s quite incredible to think that Alvarez’s only loss out of almost 60 fights was to someone who has never lost. Yet, at 30 years old, is still going strong. He has won 54 fights, 36 by knockout. For someone who is a middleweight, this is a record that is hard to match. But why is he seen as someone who will leave behind a record that every Mexican fighter will try to reach? Well, look close, and you’ll see it’s not just the numbers.
Canelo has changed his style. Before, he was more of the classic Mexican slugger. He would go out and try to trade and using his speed and power. He would overwhelm his opponent with shots and eventually get through with a good solid punch to end the fight in his favour. After losing to Floyd, he became more defensively aware, copying many of his rival’s moves. He now slips punches, rolls the shoulder and counters with straights and uppercuts. He has shown every boxer out there, who is hellbent on turning every fight into a war, that you can learn and adapt your style to become more successful and have a longer career.
F1’s new star
For a long time, Michael Schumaacher was the darling of F1. It was clear why; he is the 7-time world champion. No one has been able to match his record of wins, both in races and in pole positions. However, Lewis Hamilton has done just that. He has earned the most pole positions and is now on six world championship titles. Soon he may be able to match this and equal Schumacher’s record. However, the rules for Formula One are changing. With much more even cars, they will make racing closer, tighter, and much more difficult for the manufacturers to pull away in development.
The issue is, Hamilton is 36-years old, and that means he will be feeling the stress of handling the car more. Did you know that modern F1 cars can pull up to 7Gs when cornering? It’s quite a remarkable feat, considering 5G was held as extreme just a decade ago. The question is, does he want it? To most people’s surprise, Hamilton seemed to be haggling over the contract with Mercedes, the team that has given him most of his wins. It boiled down to money, but the news is, he has finally signed with the team for a few more years. Let’s hope that he can redraw the title chart, making him the most successful F1 pilot of all time.
One of the greatest NFL players of all time, Tom Brady, is now the seven-time NFL champion. After recently having won his seventh title, at the age of 43, people are wondering when he will hang up his boots? For a while now, people have poked fun at Brady for being old. However, he has a unique role. As the quarterback, his role is mainly tactical. He doesn’t need to out-run the other guy. He doesn’t need to out-muscle the opponent or jump over any hurdles in the form of a 300-lb man. He’s there to make excellent throws, the right speed, distance, timing and pick the right player making the right run.
The issue is, will he continue to 50? The internet doesn’t seem to think so. He’s had a fantastic career, and just like all brilliant players, there could be a coaching role waiting for him. Tom Brady has made some excellent choices in very crucial plays, where his butt was on the line. He has shown himself to understand the game at a higher level than any other player. With seven rings on his fingers, we hope he makes it ten rings but realises for the sake of his health when he should retire.
Still the tiger?
After such a long stint away from the sport and at the sport’s top-level, Tiger Woods made a triumphant return to his former self by winning the 2019 Masters. The last time he won a major title was back in 2013, while he was still suffering from his very public divorce and DUI charge. Tiger Woods’s issue is that he has had many surgeries on his back, knee, and other muscle tears. His famous swing has always been one of the best things about golf. No one can drive the ball quite so fast and effortlessly like Tiger. However, do we see him still at the top or near the top in 10 years? Maybe, maybe not.
Very recently, he was in a car crash. The initial word was, he had surgery on his leg. This could mean that he needs a lot of time to recover, and being away from the sport while there are so many young and hungry players, may mean his retirement comes earlier than we all expected.
Are you retiring for real?
Michael Phelps may be the best swimmer ever to live. No one can glide through the water like he does, even at the age of 35. Right now, he is technically retired. He retired in 2012 and then returned out of retirement for 2016 to compete in the Rio Olympics 2016, where he won another five gold medals. He got gold for the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter medley, 4×100 meter freestyle, 4×200 meter freestyle, and 4×100 meter medley. He also won the silver in the 100-meter butterfly. The question is, why did he ‘retire’ in the first place? In one Olympic games, he won 5 gold medals! Clearly, he was not retired. The thing is, he didn’t go to many events in between his retirement.
So he trained in secret!
At the age of 35, he’s still very young. The world has changed, and we have better nutrition and recovery knowledge. So really, he’s probably about 30 years old physically. Maybe even less, probably his late 20s. Could he come back? You never know if he will. Since he shocked the world not that long ago in Rio, many people believe that he will make a comeback for this year’s Olympics. Maybe he will, perhaps he won’t. But he will close his legacy out with great pride either way.
The best gymnast
Although she is continuing to leap and bound to new heights, Simone Biles has talked about retiring. She has said that after the Tokyo Olympics this year, she will finally hang up the leotard. This comes as a shock to many people, and she’s still very young. She’s only 23, but she knows her body better than anyone else. It seems that after the games, we should expect a statement or press conference where she announces her retirement. As the gymnast with the most gold medals and medals full stop, she has inspired millions of young girls to follow in her footsteps.
There may very well be many great people retiring this decade, and quite frankly, many of them will have earned it. These are just some of the most prominent names. Can you name any others that will have earned their right to be called a great for the ages?