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Last Updated : Jul 21, 2019 08:08 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

In Pics | Cricket World Cups, WWE titles, Ballon d'Ors to public office: Sportsmen who excelled at politics

George Weah and Imran Khan both excelled at their respective sports before going on to lead their countries. Here's a list of international sportsmen who excelled in the political sphere

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Manny Pacquiao | One of the most successful professional boxers of all-time, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao remains the only boxer to win titles in eight different weight divisions. Pacquiao first ran for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives in May 2007 but was defeated. He secured a congressional seat in 2010 by a landslide victory and served for two terms. In 2016, Pacquiao ran for senator and won over 16 million votes earning himself a six-year term. Pacquiao till date continues his boxing career having not yet retired from the ring. (Image: Reuters)
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Manny Pacquiao | One of the most successful professional boxers of all-time, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao remains the only boxer to win titles in eight different weight divisions. Pacquiao first ran for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives in May 2007 but was defeated. He secured a congressional seat in 2010 by a landslide victory and served for two terms. In 2016, Pacquiao ran for senator and won over 16 million votes earning himself a six-year term. Pacquiao till date continues his boxing career having not yet retired from the ring. (Image: Reuters)

Jessie Ventura | Inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, Jessie “The Body” Ventura spent a decade in professional wrestling. A Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, Ventura also worked as a bodyguard for The Rolling Stones before making his name as a professional wrestler. After retiring from the ring, Ventura worked as a ringside commentator. In 1991 he was encouraged by his high school teacher to run for Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, which he won. He held office until 1995. In 1998, Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota where representing the Reform Party, he beat the Republican and Democratic opponents and was sworn into office in 1999. (Image: Reuters)
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Jessie Ventura | Inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, Jessie “The Body” Ventura spent a decade in professional wrestling. A Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, Ventura also worked as a bodyguard for The Rolling Stones before making his name as a professional wrestler. After retiring from the ring, Ventura worked as a ringside commentator. In 1991 he was encouraged by his high school teacher to run for Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, which he won. He held office until 1995. In 1998, Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota where representing the Reform Party, he beat the Republican and Democratic opponents and was sworn into office in 1999. (Image: Reuters)

Mashrafe Mortaza | The Bangladesh captain became the first active cricketer to become a Member of Parliament in 2018. Although Mortaza had never been involved in politics prior to his cricketing career, he contested the 2018 Bangladeshi general elections and won around 96 percent of the votes in his constituency. He got 274,418 votes as against his nearest opponent who received just 8,006 votes. Mortaza continues to serve his constituency while also captaining the national cricket team. (Image: Reuters)
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Mashrafe Mortaza | The Bangladesh captain became the first active cricketer to become a Member of Parliament in 2018. Although Mortaza had never been involved in politics prior to his cricketing career, he contested the 2018 Bangladeshi general elections and won around 96 percent of the votes in his constituency. He got 274,418 votes as against his nearest opponent who received just 8,006 votes. Mortaza continues to serve his constituency while also captaining the national cricket team. (Image: Reuters)

Arnold Schwarzenegger | Before making a splash on the television screens with roles in movies such as ‘Terminator, Predator, etc. the Austrian-born American earned his stripes as perhaps the greatest bodybuilder of all time. He was first awarded the title of Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and won four more titles later. He also went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest a total of seven times, including six in a row. As a Republican, Schwarzenegger was first elected as Governor of California in the 2003 recall election and won re-election in 2006 serving a full term in office. (Image: Reuters)
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Arnold Schwarzenegger | Before making a splash on the television screens with roles in movies such as ‘Terminator, Predator, etc. the Austrian-born American earned his stripes as perhaps the greatest bodybuilder of all time. He was first awarded the title of Mr. Universe at the age of 20 and won four more titles later. He also went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest a total of seven times, including six in a row. As a Republican, Schwarzenegger was first elected as Governor of California in the 2003 recall election and won re-election in 2006 serving a full term in office. (Image: Reuters)

Imran Khan | In 1992, Imran Khan was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team who were on the brink of being knocked out of the World Cup. The all-rounder sparked an incredible turnaround leading from the front as his team went on to be crowned world champions. After retiring from the sport in the same year, he formed his own political party which focused on anti-corruption policies. While his party failed to win a seat during the 1997 general elections, Khan was sworn in as a Member of Parliament in 2002. In 2018, Khan became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan with his party securing majority seats in the elections. (Image: Reuters)
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Imran Khan | In 1992, Imran Khan was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team who were on the brink of being knocked out of the World Cup. The all-rounder sparked an incredible turnaround leading from the front as his team went on to be crowned world champions. After retiring from the sport in the same year, he formed his own political party which focused on anti-corruption policies. While his party failed to win a seat during the 1997 general elections, Khan was sworn in as a Member of Parliament in 2002. In 2018, Khan became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan with his party securing majority seats in the elections. (Image: Reuters)

George Weah | The only African to be voted World’s Player of the Year, Weah holds a special place among football’s all-time greats being the first and to date only player to win the African, European and FIFA World Footballer of the Year titles in one season (1995). Weah was first signed by Monaco before going on to play for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. He retired from professional football in 2003 and first ran for President in 2005 where he lost with the political elite criticizing his lack of proper education. Weah obtained a high school diploma in 2006, aged 40, and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2011 followed by a master’s degree in public administration from a US university. In 2014 he became the first Liberian international athlete to represent a county in the Legislature after a landslide victory and was inaugurated as President of Liberia in 2018. (Image: Reuters)
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George Weah | The only African to be voted World’s Player of the Year, Weah holds a special place among football’s all-time greats being the first and to date only player to win the African, European and FIFA World Footballer of the Year titles in one season (1995). Weah was first signed by Monaco before going on to play for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. He retired from professional football in 2003 and first ran for President in 2005 where he lost with the political elite criticizing his lack of proper education. Weah obtained a high school diploma in 2006, aged 40, and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2011 followed by a master’s degree in public administration from a US university. In 2014 he became the first Liberian international athlete to represent a county in the Legislature after a landslide victory and was inaugurated as President of Liberia in 2018. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Jul 21, 2019 08:08 am
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