6 Celebrities Who Started Out As Athletes
The list is surprisingly long.
The entertainment business is tough to break into, so the more talent you have to work with the better, right? That’s why it should come as no surprise some of the most successful actors started out as singers, or vice versa. From the Mickey Mouse Club to almost every Disney Channel show, celebrities like Britney Spears, Zendaya, Miley Cyrus, and Olivia Rodrigo have proven that the more talent you have, the better. But what about celebrities that started out in the sports realm? This list of celebrities that started out as athletes will totally surprise you.
Being an accomplished celebrity is hard enough in itself, so mixing that talent with physical exuberance is super impressive. Mastering the ability to perform in front of hundreds of people, to memorize lines, and to write song lyrics seems like the total opposite of practicing a high-level sport, but if you really think about it, the two have similarities. Both celebrities and athletes are often criticized by the public, they both face intense amounts of pressure, and they both need to perform during what’s known as money time. Either way, these celebrities are obviously talented in more ways than one, so get ready to get shook!
1. Kate Middleton
While the Duchess is preoccupied with motherhood and her royal duties now, Middleton used to play tennis, field hockey, and run cross country. In 2007, she trained to steer a female rowing team across the English Channel, but by order of the Queen, she pulled out. Today, she’s known as an amazing skier, and word on the street is that she’s even better than her hubby.
2. Caitlyn Jenner
Before her 10-season stint on Keeping on the Kardashians, Jenner was an Olympian! She had a whopping six-year decathlon career, even winning a gold medal in the men’s decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
Jenner gained fame as an “all-American hero,” and became the first-ever face of Wheaties.
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Before starring in films like The Mummy Returns, The Rundown, Skyscraper, Jumanji, and Fast and Furious, to name only a few, Johnson was known as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. He saw his first wrestling match with his father at only three weeks old and later learned basic wrestling moves, such as the headlock and armlock, at a mere six years of age. With his buff body and symmetrical face, he was immediately pushed to be the face of the WWF. While he was first called “Rocky Maivia,” he later became known by his most familiar moniker, “The Rock.”
4. Jamie Foxx
Foxx may be well known for his Oscar-winning role as Ray Charles in the film of the same name, but before his rise to stardom, he was a talented football quarterback. He played at Terrel High School in Texas, and he even won the title of the first-ever player in the school’s history to pass for more than 1,000 yards. He used to want to play for the Dallas Cowboys, but it seems like acting got the best of him.
5. Elsa Hosk
Before becoming a Victoria’s Secret model, Elsa Hosk played basketball for the women’s professional league for two years in Sweden. "I took a 2-year break [from modeling] because I was a professional basketball player in Sweden," Hosk told Fashionista. "It's not anything like the WNBA, I mean basketball is not that big in Sweden. But it was still very tough. We worked out probably like eight times a week, and then it was games on the weekend. It took up a lot of time, it got really serious and [I realized] I wanted to explore the world and meet people and not be tied down." At 5’ 9”, it’s no surprise this supermodel was a basketball star, too.
While today she is a world-famous singer and songwriter, Saweetie started out as a volleyball and track star in high school. She later played powder puff football at San Diego State University as the team's quarterback! The former student-athlete was also a dancer for the San Diego State dance team, and in July 2020, she posted a throwback video on Instagram with the caption, "I miss thiiiis 😭 how many of y'all knew I used to dance? lol might do it again...."
“I know what it feels like to be the new girl at school, trying out for the volleyball team, not being as good as the other girls who are trying out — being intimidated,” Saweetie tells Elite Daily. “But [I knew] if I worked hard, I would be a strong, respected player. And eventually, I was that. My name was forever in the gym. I was Athlete of the Year.”