Trials and Tribulations of Crossover Athletes
Tim Wiese was a German goalkeeper who played for Kaiserslautern and Werder Bremen, and was capped no less than 6 times for his country. Then in 2014, he went in a completely different direction. Wiese, now 34, began training and piling on muscle to enter the world of professional wrestling. He has reached the pinnacle of success in this field too, and is now part of the WWE going by his new nickname, The Machine.
Wiese is hardly alone in crossing over disciplines. Michael Jordan has tried baseball; Michel Phelps has tried golf. Much like you might need to try out different games at your favourite online casinos, athletes sometimes need to experiment or cross over to see what else is out there.
There are countless examples of two-sport or crossover athletes, with many making their way into sporting history. Who could forget Deion Sanders winning both a professional game of football and a professional game of baseball within the space of 24 hours?
A Unifying Factor in Success
Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder before he went on to become an actor, and that was before he went on to become a governor. Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, has had a similarly successful path. He started out as an American footballer, crossed over into professional wrestling where he earned his nickname, and is now one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
Johnson actually recently put his own life experience and the knowledge he has accumulated working on sets to good use, producing a television series about an American football star who becomes a manager after he retires. Perhaps the common thread through professional sport, bodybuilding, wrestling, acting and politics is the showmanship that they all require!
Less than Successful Crossover Attempts
It must be noted that crossing over into another sport is not always a recipe for success. The most famous failure of recent times might be Michael Jordan, who was almost as unsuccessful in baseball as he was successful in Basketball.
Marion Jones is set to try her hand at Women’s NBA after her athletics drug shame, but her results in this endeavour remain to be seen. After being stripped of her athletics medals due to steroid use, Jones gave up the track and switched to the basketball court, possibly in the hope of putting her Olympics disaster behind her and starting afresh.
Starting Over or Returning to the Start
Whether the transition is smooth or not, many athletes recognise when they need to move on. They might want to stop at the pinnacle of their careers, like 2016 Formula 1 Champion Nico Rosberg, or they might simply feel that they need a new challenge to keep from stagnating.
They might find their next triumph, such as The Rock or The Machine did, they might need to keep looking, or they may opt to return to the sport they made their name in.