Those who throw a ball across a field, hit a puck on an ice rink or run around a track for a living aren’t always considered to be the sharpest tools in the box. But sporting prowess and brainpower don’t need to be mutually exclusive terms. Here’s a look at 40 athletes whose mental muscles appear to be powerful, too.
Craig Breslow graduated from one of America’s prestigious universities, Yale, where he studied biophysics and biochemistry. The pitcher even successfully applied for NYU’s medical school before Major League Baseball came calling. Breslow hasn’t completely abandoned his previous ambitions, though. During the offseason, he helps in the fields of genome research and pediatric cancer awareness.
Marion Bartoli’s father was a physician before he became a tennis coach. And it seems as though his daughter has inherited both his intellect and his ability with a racket. Not only did the Frenchwoman win the women’s singles tournament at Wimbledon in 2013, but she also boasts an IQ of 175. That’s a full 15 points higher than one of the world’s most celebrated geniuses, Albert Einstein!
Before entering the NBA, Spaniard Pau Gasol had planned to study medicine at the University of Barcelona. It’s why he was able to converse about scoliosis with stunned doctors during a 2010 trip to a kids hospital. The basketball star could have had that same discussion in five different languages, too, including his self-taught French and Italian.
Dikembe Mutombo must rank as one of the most multilingual men ever to grace a basketball court. The former NBA star is fluent in no fewer than nine different languages. You may not know that Mutombo couldn’t speak a word of English when he first traveled from his native Congo to Georgetown University to study diplomacy and linguistics.