Special Report

37 Most Successful Athletes of the 21st Century

Source: Denis Poroy / Getty Images

Madison Bumgarner
> Sport: Baseball
> Championships: 3x World Series
> Team or country: San Francisco Giants
> Career length: 2009-present
> Other accomplishments: 4x All-Star

Pitcher Madison Bumgarner takes his game to the next level in the World Series. Bumgarner has never lost a start in the World Series, going 4-0 in the three Fall Classics in which he pitched. He was named the 2014 World Series MVP.

Source: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

Manu Ginobili
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 4x NBA Champion, 1x gold medal
> Team or country: San Antonio Spurs
> Career length: 2002-2018
> Other accomplishments: 2x All-Star

As one of the best bench players in NBA history, Manu Ginobili helped the San Antonio Spurs win four of the franchise’s five titles. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004.

Source: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Marit Bjørgen
> Sport: Olympic skiing
> Championships: 8x gold medal
> Team or country: Norway
> Career length: 2002-2018
> Other accomplishments: 15 total medals in five Olympics

Though she may not be a household name, Marit Bjørgen has established herself as one of the greatest Olympic athletes ever. The Norwegian skier has won 15 medals, eight of which are gold, during five Olympics.

Source: Elsa / Getty Images

Martin Brodeur
> Sport: Hockey
> Championships: 3x Stanley Cup, 2x gold medal
> Team or country: New Jersey Devils
> Career length: 1991-2015
> Other accomplishments: 7x All-Star, 4x Vezina Trophy

Martin Brodeur was the centerpiece of the New Jersey Devils dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Brodeur played goalie for three Stanley Cup championship teams, won four Vezina Trophies as the NHL’s best goalie, and took home two Olympic gold medals for team Canada.

Source: Adam Pretty / Getty Images

Michael Phelps
> Sport: Olympic swimming
> Championships: 23x gold medal
> Team or country: United States
> Career length: 2000-2016
> Other accomplishments: 28 total medals in five Olympics

American swimmer Michael Phelps is by far the most decorated Olympian of all time. He’s won 28 medals, 23 of them gold, at five different Olympic games.