At an impressive 6 foot 5 inches, Lisa Deshaun Leslie made the world sit up and take notice as the first woman in history to dunk in a WNBA game. Though she is not the tallest woman in sports, there is no doubt about her prowess on the court.
She played in multiple World Championships and in medal-winning Olympic teams and was voted Sportswoman of the Year in 2001, when her team, the Los Angeles Sparks, won the WNBA Championship. In the past few years, Leslie has focused on modeling and acting.
Randy Johnson – 6’8″
“The Big Unit” seems like a nickname that is hard to live up to, but Randy Johnson at 6ft 8in is more than equal to the task. Johnson played major league baseball for an astounding 22 seasons on six different teams, but mostly for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
He is famous for being the fifth most successful left-handed baseball player of all time and for having the second-most career strikeouts (4,875) in MLB history. “The Big Unit” definitely made a big impact on professional baseball.
Usain Bolt – 6’5″
Usain Bolt, known as the fastest man in the world, has dominated the field of running for the last three Olympic Games. At 6 foot 5 inches, he towers over the competition while he outruns them. Bolt used dedication, good genes and his signature stride to break every speed record known to man and is an 11-time World Championship winner.
His three consecutive Olympic victories in Beijing, London, and Rio have inspired his home country of Jamaica and the entire world. These days, Bolt is trying his luck in a new sport, soccer.
Yvetta Hlavacova – 6’4.5″
In 2006, long-distance Croatian swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova swam across the English Channel with an incredible time of 7 hours and 25 minutes. This was a new world record and an incredible feat for the towering 6 foot 4.5 inches tall athlete. Her long legs and big hands were definitely an advantage in her ability to cross the channel so quickly.
It is hard to believe, but before the record, Hlavacova was having trouble finding a swim club that would take her on. Afterward, she was immediately recognized as a rising talent.
Suleiman Ali Nashnush – 8ft
Suleiman Ali Nashnush towers above the competition and is clearly the tallest athlete ever to play a sport. Although his height peaked at 8ft, he was “only” 7 feet 10in during his basketball career. After he retired, he continued to grow and became one of only 17 people in recorded history to reach 8 feet.
Nashnush was also an actor; he had a small part in the Fellini film Satyricon. Nashnush’s great height was part of an abnormal growth disorder and was corrected by a successful operation.