Benny Leonard ‘The Ghetto Wizard’

Benny Leonard learned to fight on the streets of New York, hence his nickname ‘The Ghetto Wizard’.

One of the greatest lightweight boxers ever, Leonard was famed for his speed, technique and potent punching power.




Maria Sharapova ‘The Siberian Siren’

Maria Sharapova was born on April 19, 1987 in the western Siberian town of Nyagan. Sharapova got the nickname ‘The Siberian Siren’ for the loud grunting sounds which accompanies her strokes. Her loudest grunts get as loud as 105 decibels.

  • Maria signed her first deal with Nike in 1997 when she was only 11.
  • London is one of her favorite cities, and she finds British accents sexy.
  • Yellow and pink are her favorite colors.
  • She likes Russian and Thai cuisine.
  • She was the most searched athlete on Yahoo in 2005 and 2008.
  • Is a UN Goodwill Ambassador.


John McEnroe ‘Superbrat’

John McEnroe was nicknamed ‘Superbrat’ by the British tabloids in 1979, it was a name that was used in the headlines of the sports pages to sell newspapers.

McEnroe was known for his tantrums and arguing with tennis umpires, however being called ‘Superbrat’ was undeserving and often undermined how great of a tennis player he was.


Frank Thomas ‘Big Hurt’

“‘The Big Hurt’ describes me perfectly – not as a person, but as a player. It’s what I do to a baseball.” – Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas received his nickname ‘Big Hurt’ from retired Chicago White Sox broadcast announcer Ken Harrelson in 1992 because of his phenomenal home run hitting power.



Marcelo Ríos ‘El Chino’

Marcelo Ríos is a retired professional tennis player from Chile, and the only man in the open era to reach world number one ranking without ever winning a Grand Slam in his career.

Ríos has the weird nickname ‘El Chino’, which translates as ‘the Chinaman’, a nickname he got because his facial features supposedly make him appear Asian.

Ríos was exciting to watch, and is often referred to as one of the most talented tennis players ever to play. The problem however, was that his mental game did not match his shot-making abilities and this resulted in him having a relatively underachieving career for a player with his natural talents.



Carles Puyol ‘Lionheart’

Known by fans as ‘Lionheart’, former Barcelona star and Spanish football legend Carles Puyol will always be remembered as a world class defender, supreme leader, and having an amazing head of hair. Hardworking, strong leadership and demanding of his team mates, Puyol’s presence on the football pitch had a massive impact for his club Barcelona and for Spain.


Tony Hawk ‘Birdman’

Tony Hawk is the most influential and well-known professional skateboarder of all time. Hawk’s nickname is ‘Birdman’ because of his surname and also thanks to his outstanding aerial tricks.

One of Hawk’s biggest skateboarding accomplishments was when he became the first skater  to land the extremely difficult trick called the 900 (two and a half revolutions), this was achieved at the 1999 X-Games.


Jeremy Lin ‘Linsanity’

Jeremy Lin created a worldwide phenomenon known as ‘Linsanity’, when he burst onto the scene out of nowhere during the 2011-12 NBA season and captivated the media and basketball fans. Lin brought excitement to New York Knick fans when he was placed into the starting lineup and went on his iconic 26-game run.

Phil Heath ‘The Gift’

Phil Heath is a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, having placed 1st in the competition for 7 consecutive years from 2011 to 2017.

Heath was suggested his nickname by an old roommate named Andreas who told Phil that ‘The Gift’ would be perfect for him. Phil explains in this video what ‘The Gift’ means to him and how he took his gift and he worked hard to become successful.