Can You Name the Sport From the Athlete?

By: Gavin Thagard
Image: Dmytro Aksonov / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

What does it take for an athlete to make it to the highest level of their respective sport: training, dedication, talent or a combination of many skills and attributes? For athletes who do reach the peak in their professions, there's little doubt that they put the time in to be as gifted as they are. Now, you can take the time to match those athletes to the sport they play with this quiz. Are you up for the challenge?

From a young age, sports is one of the first activities we are introduced to. They are ingrained in our culture and have been for thousands of years. After all, ancient civilizations were playing ballgames and combat sports all the way back to the BCE. These sports, of course, had stars of their own. You might even have heard of Milo of Croton, an ancient Olympic wrestler, or Gaius Appuleius Diocles, a Roman chariot racer. 

In the modern world, the popularity of these athletes has only increased. Have you been paying enough attention to sports to know who these athletes are? Here's your chance to find out.

If you think you know enough about the world of sports, jump into this quiz and see how competitive you actually are. 

LeBron James called his 2016 title victory in Cleveland the greatest accomplishment of his career. The three time NBA champion is probably right considering he had to lead the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 hole against the Golden State Warriors.

Tom Brady's six Super Bowl rings make him the greatest champion at the quarterback position that the NFL has ever seen. Love him or hate him, as many do, it's hard to deny that Brady has earned the respect of the entire football world.

Barring a trade, Mike Trout will be with the Los Angeles Angels until 2030. Considering he's already a two-time AL MVP and seven time All Star, the Angels are surely happy to have secured him on their roster.

Tiger Woods fell from the top of the golf world after winning the U.S. Open in 2008. With back problems and personal issues weighing on him, analysts thought Tiger Woods was done winning majors until he won the Masters Tournament in 2019.

Eight different times throughout her career, Serena Williams was ranked No. 1 in the women's singles division. In total, she held that position for 319 weeks, which puts her third all time in the Open Era.

Born in Argentina, Lionel Messi was part of the team that won gold during the 2008 Olympics. Messi performed extremely well during the tournament and even assisted on the only goal scored in the gold medal match against Nigeria.

Lindsey Vonn is one of only two females with four World Cup championships in skiing. Of those four championships, she won three in a row between 2008 and 2010. Her final title on this stage came in 2012.

Canelo Álvarez has only one loss on his record, which came against Floyd Mayweather Jr. when Alvarez was a much younger fighter. Alvarez lasted the entire fight, but the decision was given to Mayweather, whose defense proved to be too much.

Sidney Crosby was a major reason the Pittsburgh Penguins reached back to back Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009, where they faced the Detroit Redwings both years. The Penguins lost the 2008 Finals but got their revenge the next season, giving Crosby the first title of his career.

Conor McGregor rose to the top of the MMA world by trash talking his opponents to build hype for a match. Future stars in the sport followed his script, but none of them have been able to promote a fight quite like McGregor.

In 2018, Odell Beckham Jr. became the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL when he signed a five year contract with the New York Giants. However, over the course of the season, Beckham became a team distraction and was traded to the Cleveland Browns when the year ended.

Even though she's only 22 years old, Lydia Ko already has two major championships under her belt and has finished in the top three of each major at least once. Her victory at the 2015 Evian Championship made her the youngest women's major champion ever.

Steph Curry won back to back NBA MVPs in 2015 and 2016, mainly because of his three point shooting ability. Curry has been so good beyond the arc that he's on pace to break Ray Allen's record for three pointers in a career.

Gennady Golovkin was 37-0 when he went up against Canelo Alvarez in 2017. In a fight that Golovkin seemed to control, the judges called it a draw, leaving many to question if the match was fair from the beginning.

A testament to his talent, Connor McDavid was taken with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft. McDavid has not disappointed since then, twice leading the league in points while earning the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2017.

Aaron Judge set the rookie record for home runs when he sent 52 balls out of the park in 2017. His play earned him a trip to the All Star Game as well as the AL Rookie of the Year award.

Since reaching the top ten in tennis rankings in 2002, Roger Federer has become one of the greatest major champions to ever step foot on the court. He has been particularly great at Wimbledon, where he currently holds eight titles.

Holly Holm surprised the sports world when she defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. Both women went into the fight undefeated, but Rousey was viewed as the better fighter because of her submission skills. Those skills didn't save her from a head kick in the second round, though.

So far in his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the Balloon d'Or, an award given to the best soccer player each year, 15 times. He won the award five times, which puts him in a tie with Lionel Messi for the most ever.

Since Usain Bolt set the men's 100 meters record in 2008, the only challenger for the record has been Bolt himself. After completed the sprint in 9.72 seconds, Bolt upped the ante by finishing it in 9.69 seconds and then in 9.58 seconds, which is the current record.

Bryce Harper played the first seven years of his majors career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him with the first pick in the 2010 MLB draft. At the start of the 2019 season, Harper signed a 13 year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, ending his time in the nation's capital.

After leaving UConn in 2004, Diana Taurasi participated in the Olympics for the first time, winning gold with the U.S. Women's Basketball Team. She would win gold again in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

In only his second professional fight, Vasyl Lomachenko competed against Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title. In a match that went all 12 rounds, Lomachenko landed more punches but lost in a split decision because of his timidness early in the fight.

Though he stood 6 foot 11 inches, Giannis Antetokounmpo came into the NBA undersized in terms of muscle mass, which led to some struggles in his first season. Antetokounmpo quickly turned that around, bulking up significantly while increasing his presence under the rim.

After winning Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers have failed to surround Aaron Rodgers with enough playmakers to get back to the title game. They did make the playoffs each of the following seasons until 2017 when the team finished 7-9.

Maria Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam when she won the French Open in 2012. At the time, it was the only major tournament that had eluded her, but it's also the only tournament she's won twice after she earned another title in 2014.

Jon Jones' only loss in the UFC came against Matt Hamill, who Jones dominated for most of the fight. However, he used illegal elbows near the end of the first round, forcing the referee to call a disqualification.

After leaving college, Alex Morgan competed in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup as the youngest player on the team at 22 years old. The team finished second behind Japan, giving Morgan the first silver medal of her career.

Rory McIlroy is one Masters Tournament win away from completing a career Grand Slam. His best finish at the tournament was fourth place in 2015, and considering he hasn't won a major since 2014, he has an uphill climb ahead of him.

Alexander Ovechkin has been putting up big numbers since he entered the NHL in 2005. That season, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy after scoring 52 goals while also assisting on 54 shots.

Damian Lillard's path to being one of the best shot makers in the NBA was a long one that started as a two star prospect coming out of high school. Lillard wouldn't receive offers from any major universities, settling at Weber State, where it took him four years to establish himself as an NBA prospect.

Few MLB pitchers over the past decade are as accomplished as Clayton Kershaw, who has three NL Cy Young Awards and earned a Triple Crown in 2011. However, Kershaw has yet to win a championship despite two appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Todd Gurley was coming off an ACL tear when he entered the NFL in 2015, but the injury did little to slow the running back down. In his rookie season, Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards and ten touchdowns, earning him the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

When Cris Cyborg signed with Strikeforce in 2009, her popularity soared, but she failed to make weight in her first fight against Hitomi Akano. Akano took the fight anyways, but Cyborg defeated her in the third round with a technical knockout victory, setting up one of the biggest fights of Cyborg's career against Gina Carano.

Once Jordan Spieth turned professional in 2012, he quickly became one of golf's brightest young stars. In 2015, he had one of the best years of his career, winning two majors and finishing second in a third major.

Abby Wambach will forever be remembered for her last second goal against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The goal earned her an ESPY for Best Play of the Year.

After a three year absence from boxing, Tyson Fury returned to the ring in 2018, where he participated in three fights including a much anticipated bout against Deontay Wilder. Fury proved to be the better boxer for most of the fight, but a knockdown in the 12th round forced the judges to rule a draw.

With 23 gold medals, no Olympic athlete in the history of the games is as accomplished as Michael Phelps. His best Olympic performance came at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where he won eight gold medals.

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers were knocked out of the 2019 Playoffs after a last second shot from Kawhi Leonard in Game 7 of the Conference Semifinals. After losing the game, Embiid's emotions took over, and he wept on the shoulder of the opposing team's center, showing just how much he cares about winning.

Though he's a consistent batter, Manny Machado has proven that he's just as valuable on the defensive side of the ball, where he's split time between third base and shortstop. His fielding ability on defense has earned him two Gold Glove Awards and four All Star appearances.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes