The Most Famous Disabled Athlete: Celebrating Exceptional Achievements

Choose the disabled athlete you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 24, 2024 07:04
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Join us as we dive into the world of extraordinary and inspiring athletes who've overcome incredible odds to achieve greatness in the sporting world. We've curated a list of the most famous disabled athletes who've made their mark in various sports, defying limitations and leaving a lasting impact. Now, it's your turn to weigh in on who you believe deserves the title of "Most Famous Disabled Athlete." Cast your vote for your favorite icon, or suggest someone we may have missed. Don't miss this chance to celebrate these remarkable athletes who've shattered barriers and redefined what it means to be a champion. Participate now and let the world know who truly stands tall on this pedestal of honor!

Who Is the Most Famous Disabled Athlete?

  1. 1
    Stephen Hawking
    NASA · Public domain
    He was a renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist who had ALS, a motor neuron disease, which left him wheelchair-bound and unable to speak without a voice synthesizer. He was an inspiration to many and made significant contributions to the fields of science and astronomy.
    Stephen Hawking in other rankings
  2. 2
    He was a South African sprint runner and a Paralympic gold medalist. He had a double amputation below the knee, yet he competed in both the Paralympic and Olympic games. However, he is also known for his infamous murder trial.
    Oscar Pistorius in other rankings
  3. 3
    She was an American author, political activist, and lecturer who was blind and deaf. Despite her disabilities, she learned to communicate and became an inspiration to many, advocating for people with disabilities and women's rights.
    Helen Keller in other rankings
  4. 4
    She is a Welsh former wheelchair racer who won 16 Paralympic medals and broke over 30 world records. She has also been a member of the House of Lords since 2010, where she advocates for disability rights.
    Tanni Grey-Thompson in other rankings
  5. 5
    She is an American professional surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack at the age of 13. Despite this setback, she continued to surf and became an inspiration to many, even having a movie made about her life.
    Bethany Hamilton in other rankings
  6. 6
    She is an American track and field athlete who is legally blind. She competed in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games and won several Paralympic medals.
    Marla Runyan in other rankings
  7. 7
    Jim Abbott
    Paul Morse · Public domain
    He is a former American baseball pitcher who was born without a right hand. Despite this, he played for ten seasons in the Major League and even threw a no-hitter game.
    Jim Abbott in other rankings
  8. 8
    She was an American sprinter who overcame polio and other illnesses to become a three-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field. She was the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics.
    Wilma Rudolph in other rankings
  9. 9
    Bebe Vio
    Scott335 · CC BY-SA 3.0
    She is an Italian fencer who lost her arms and legs due to meningitis when she was 11 years old. Despite this, she became a Paralympic gold medalist in fencing and an inspiration to many.
  10. 10
    Natalia Partyka
    Ailura · CC BY-SA 3.0 at
    She is a Polish table tennis player who was born without a right hand and forearm. She has won numerous Paralympic and able-bodied championships, becoming the first athlete to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic games.
    Natalia Partyka in other rankings

Missing your favorite disabled athlete?


Ranking factors for famous disabled athlete

  1. Achievements
    The athlete's accomplishments in their respective sport and at various levels, such as national, international, and Paralympic games.
  2. Impact
    The athlete's impact on the sport, society, and culture, including breaking down barriers and stereotypes around disability, and inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
  3. Media coverage
    The amount and quality of media coverage the athlete has received, including interviews, features, and documentaries.
  4. Endorsements
    The athlete's ability to attract endorsements from commercial sponsors, which can indicate their popularity and reach.
  5. Fan base
    The size and engagement level of the athlete's fan base, including their social media following and fan interactions.
  6. Personal story
    The athlete's personal journey and story, which may include overcoming adversity and inspiring others with disabilities to pursue their passions.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous disabled athlete. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or disabled athlete is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 208 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each disabled athlete once every 24 hours. The rank of each disabled athlete is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous disabled athlete

When it comes to sports, the world has seen some incredibly talented athletes who have overcome various disabilities to achieve greatness. From visually impaired runners to wheelchair-bound basketball players, disabled athletes have shown the world that nothing can hold them back from achieving their dreams. One of the most famous disabled athletes in recent times is Oscar Pistorius. Born without fibulas, Pistorius had both of his legs amputated below the knee as a baby. But that didn't stop him from becoming a world-class sprinter, competing in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. Pistorius also broke world records and won numerous medals throughout his career. Another athlete who has made waves in the world of sports is Tatyana McFadden. Born with spina bifida, McFadden is a wheelchair racer who has won an incredible 17 Paralympic medals, as well as numerous marathon titles. She has also competed in the able-bodied Chicago Marathon, finishing in the top 10. Other famous disabled athletes include swimmer Jessica Long, who was born with fibular hemimelia and has won 23 Paralympic medals, and blind footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won several championships with the Italian national team. These athletes and many others have inspired countless people around the world with their determination, resilience and sheer talent. They have shown that disability is not a barrier to success, and that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

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