Elite athletes are capable of evoking a wide range of emotions, both positive and negative. Some athletes have achieved such a level of admiration that they are respected even by those who are not their fans, but others have been embroiled in scandals so embarrassing that their public image could not be worse. Today we will remember some of them.
This man is the embodiment of the saying: “From love to hate is only one step”. Armstrong earned the world’s admiration for his seven Tour de France titles and for beating testicular cancer. He was a motivational figure. However, that admiration turned to contempt when he admitted to having used performance enhancing drugs. Obviously he was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and nowadays he receives repudiatory comments wherever he goes.
Another example of overcoming that ended up becoming a fiasco. At eleven months of age, both legs were amputated because he was born without a fibula. Even so, Pistorius managed to set world records in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash events for athletes who have suffered a double amputation. Not only that, but in 2012 he became the first athlete with a double amputation to participate in an Olympic Games (yes, Olympic). However, in the early morning hours of February 14, 2013, he killed his girlfriend with a gun. He would be sentenced to 15 years in prison and went from exemplary athlete to murderer.
Fame knocked on his door thanks to his NFL career. He was later recognized thanks to his appearances on TV and in movies such as ‘The Naked Gun’. However, his public image was in the eye of the storm because of the widely publicized trial he faced for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown. Despite his acquittal, Americans hated him. Other crimes he would commit years later would not help his reputation either.
A man who generates much division in public opinion. Despite being a boxing legend, several regrettable events during his career have tarnished (and rightly so) his public image. The most serious was a six-year prison sentence for raping a woman. He also ripped off part of boxer Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight and threatened to eat a fellow boxer’s children. Embarrassing controversies that have undoubtedly tarnished his sporting legacy.
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