Take a look at the below list of Top 10 most popular Shortest Athletes in The World 2017. Generally, the height of an athlete doesn’t limit their ability. Height does affect their ability to play certain positions, i.e., basketball centers who are generally the tallest players on any team. Presently, in football, shorter players are identified as running backs or defensive backs. Hard work and skill is an important factor in athletes displaying their skills in their respective sports.
Shorter athletes can cover a playing field faster and taller athletes can reach further. However, sometimes a shorter body is also a bonus. Scientifically, it takes less time for a nerve impulse to travel the lengths of short limbs to the brains. What this means, is that an athlete’s reaction times should be quicker and they should be more nimble. Shorter individuals can achieve greater “rotational acceleration,” which means that they excel in gymnastics, snowboarding, skating, skiing and diving.
We are use to thinking that athletes should be tall, thus stronger. However, short statured athletes are proving to be equal to their counterparts. They are excelling in all their endeavors and are at the peak of their careers. The shortest athletes 2017 below are a testament to how little their height really matters in sports. These athletes cover the sports gamut in soccer, hockey, football, basketball, body-builder, gymnast, boxing, baseball, tennis and swimming. They have proven that just because height may dwarf them, it does not mean that they are any less capable of competing at the highest levels.
List of Top 10 Most Famous Shortest Athletes in The World 2017
10. Tennis – David Ferrer Ern – ( 5’9″ )
David Ferrer is considered the shortest member among men’s top tennis players. The ideal height for most male players is at least 6 foot 1, but this is ever changing to much taller heights. Ferrer is currently ranked seventh in the world. He has achieved a Grand Slam final, won 24 titles overall and was once Number 3 in the world. David Ferrer has won tournaments at all levels and holds the honor of winning the most matches on the ATP tour without having won a Grand Slam, which passes Brian Gottfrieds title of the past 32 years. Despite his height, he is known as being dogged, agile and very fit. He excels both on clay courts and hard courts with dazzling foot-work, while quickly cutting off his opponents’ shots and volley, while just like a world champion, keeping them off balance.
9. Swimmer – Kosuke Hagino – ( 5’9″ )
Kosuke Hagino is a world class, versatile swimmer from Japan. The standard height of professional male swimmers is over 6 feet 4 inches in length. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, he raced in the 200 meter medley, winning a silver medal behind Michael Phelps. Hagino specializes in the IM events, backstroke events and freestyle meets. In the 2012 London Olympics, Hagino stopped Phelps from taking top medals. Hagino won the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympic games.
8. Major League Baseball – Dustin Luis Pedroia – ( 5’8″ )
Pedroia is an all American Major League baseball, second baseman for the Boston Red Sox. He is a four-time All-Star and an American League Most Valuable Player award recipient. He has also been awarded four Gold Gloves and a single Silver Slugger award. Despite his stature, he is considered an above-average contact hitter with a nearly non-existant strikeout rate that is packed with power.
7. National Football League – Darren Lee Sproles – ( 5’6″ )
Darren Lee Sproles is a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is currently ranked 11th in career yards in the NFL. Since his career, Sproles has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints and presently the Philadelphia Eagles. He attended Kansas State University and achieved the all time college rushing yards list in NCAA history. He led Kansas to their first Big 12 Conference championship and in the same year finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting. He graduated KSU with a degree in speech pathology. So far, his football career consists of the most combined total return yards in 2008 for a two game playoff span, he is also the most all purpose yards player in a single season with the Saints and he has the most career kickoff return yards with the Chargers. In his career with the Saints, he achieved the most all purpose years in 2011. Currently Darren Lee Sproles holds the record as the most career punt return touchdowns tied with DeSean Jackson.
6. Boxer – Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao (“Manny”) – ( 5’5 ½” )
As a world famous Boxer, Manny Pacquiao is currently a Senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines, who is serving a six-year term until 2022. As a Hall of Fame Boxer, Manny is coming out of retirement to fight again, possibly in November 2016. The fight will be a pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. At age 38, this Southpaw is the longest reigning top-10 boxing champion. His titles include Fighter of the Decade, Fighter of the Year for 2006, 2008 and 2009. He is ranked as the greatest Asian (Filipino) fighter of all time and pound for pound, the best boxer in the world as noted by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and Sporting Life.
5. National Basketball Player – Earl Boykins – ( 5’5″ )
In the NBA the point guards are generally around 6′ 5″ or slightly shorter. Currently, Earl Boykins is the top point guard for the Washington Wizards in Washington, DC. He is the shortest player ever to play in the NBA. He is well known for his high scoring techniques for the ten years he has played this sport. Boykins has played for many different NBA teams, i.e., LA. Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and many others.
4. Ice Hockey – Nathan Gerbe – ( 5’5″ )
Nathan Gerbe is the shortest player in the National Hockey League, where players are usually 6 feet tall. Gerbe has not let his height interfere with his playing feats in the NHL with over 150 games under his belt. Gerbe commented about his height by saying “in no way does your body type prohibit you from achieving your dreams. I no way should your size dictate your future.” He said that people will doubt you and call you names, making you feel like crap. Because of your height, you will have to learn to smile when you want to cry and laugh when you want to fight someone. Gerbe said to just ignore haters, but show them that you belong with hard work and discipline. Gerde further stated “just remember – it’s not what you do to work hard – it’s that you work hard, period.” Nathan Gerbe is a player with the New York Rangers and is one the team’s top players. He is one of the most famous Shortest Athletes 2017.
3. Soccer – Joao Plata — ( 5’2″ )
Ecuardorian born footballer (soccer), Joao Plata is the smallest player in the field of soccer. He is a winger who has established himself in Major League Soccer despite his short stature. He is a dynamic attacker on the Real Salt Lake Team (Utah) with five goals and total of eight assists in 29 games from 2015. Joao Plata’s quickness, dribbling skills and finishing ability is a threat to opposing defenses.
2. BodyBuilder – Choon Tan – ( 4’10” )
Choon Tan is Britain’s smallest competitive bodybuilder. Choon was born with a genetic birth defect called “x-linked spondylo- epiphyseal dysplasia tarda.” This condition impairs bone growth with accompanying pain and other complications. Choon was teased terribly as a young child to the point that he thought that he just couldn’t cope anymore. He decided one day that he would reinvent himself and he was introduced to bodybuilding. Not only did he transform his body and decrease his pain, but he increased his self-confidence. Choon Tan is an inspiration, whose goal it is to let people know that they too can change their lives, no matter what their situation may be. Choon competes in “The Men’s Physique” competition for the UKBFF Federation. He poses a lot in competitions, but he is planning to actually enter competitive bodybuilding as a pro.
1. Gymnast – Simone Biles – ( 4’8″ )
Simone Biles is the shortest U.S. athlete in gymnastics. She recently competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and came home with lots of gold. She is the all around vault and floor gold medalist. She displays incredible strength, skill and technique in her sport. Naturally, gymnastics are best suited for height challenged individuals. The smaller and lighter you are, the easier it is to rotate the body, you achieve greater jumps, flips and more. She can jump so high that it seems to double her actual height.
The great shortest athletes 2017 above are all under six feet tall, who are World Series champions, Super Bowl winners, Olympic gold medalists, etc. Despite their height, they all have proven that people of all sizes can be successful professional athletes. These athletes are among the best athletes of all time. For some of the athletes, their height works in their favor for their playing ability. But for others, being the diminutive player on a team often means that you are already starting at a disadvantage before you begin to play. However, while these short athletes are faced with adversity and many told that they would never make it, they all worked harder and pushed further to achieve their goals.