Tuesday 26 September 2017

Five child sporting prodigies who made it big

Rory McIlroy makes his appearance on UTV as a child
Rory McIlroy makes his appearance on UTV as a child

With the video of 10-year-old and future All Black Chicago Doyle taking the internet by storm we look at five child prodigies who lived up to their promise and became superstars.

Click here to view Chicago in action.

1. Rory McIlroy

The former world number one and three-time major winner was destined for stardom from a very early age.

At the age of two McIlroy was hitting 40-yard drives and there was more to come.

In this archived footage from 1999, Rory who had just won the Under-10 World Championship in Florida is seen chipping balls into a washing machine, in front of a live studio audience on the Kelly Show.

The rest is history

2. Lionel Messi

At the tender age of 11 Messi was diagnosed with his hormonal deficiency just about when local champions River Plate expressed their interest in him.

He travelled to Spain to link up with Barcelona and they got him treatment for his condition and he has repaid them in kind.

He has won every honour possible at the Nou Camp and as a player, only the World Cup alludes him and he could put that right this year.

Here's a video of him in action when he was just 10-years-old.

3.  Tiger Woods

Woods was golfing on national television as a toddler, competing at two in a putting contest against comedian Bob Hope.

He was featured on "That's Incredible!" when he was five and continued his remarkable ascent, becoming the world's number one golfer and the most recognisable athlete on the planet.

He has won 14 major championships, including four Masters' titles and is the first golfing billionaire.

4. Michael Owen

Michael Owen established himself as one of the most promising young players of the 90s at a very early age.

He was playing against 11 year olds when he was just eight.

The top teams in the English Premier League were courting Owen from the time he was 12.

When he made a decision on a club, Owen chose Liverpool over Manchester United and Chelsea.

5. Nadia Comaneci

One of the greatest child sporting prodigies of all.

She came 13th in the Romanian Gymnastic Championship at eight years of age and when she was 13 her meteoric rise hit overdrive as she won all-around and gold medals on every event but the floor exercise(where she came second).

The following year, Comaneci became the first gymnast to achieve a perfect 10 on the uneven bars (see video below).

Over the course of the Olympics, Comăneci would earn six additional tens, en route to capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles, and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. The Romanian team also placed second in the team competition, capturing silver.

Her legend was complete

 

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport