Top 10 Athletes Who Died Too Soon

May all these athletes who left us too soon rest in peace.
The Top Ten
1 Ayrton Senna Ayrton Senna da Silva (21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver who won three Formula One world championships for McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991 and is regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He was killed in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix for Williams.

The Brazilian driver was considered the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time. Sadly, he died tragically after a horrible accident during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, seen on live TV by millions of viewers. He was 34 years old.

2 Marc-Vivien Foé

This Cameroonian football/soccer player died after collapsing on the pitch during a 2003 Confederations Cup game. Sadly, he couldn't be brought back to life. He was 28 years old.

3 Kelvin Kiptum

This Kenyan long-distance runner currently holds the world record in the marathon, which he achieved in October 2023. Sadly, he died in February 2024 just when he had the opportunity to make an even bigger impact at the 2024 Olympics. A road accident took his life as well as his coach's. He was only 24 years old.

4 Lou Gehrig Henry Louis Gehrig, nicknamed "the Iron Horse", was an American baseball first baseman who played his entire professional career in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees, from 1923 until 1939. Gehrig was renowned for his prowess as a hitter and for his durability, which earned him his nickname "the Iron Horse." He was an All-Star seven consecutive times, a Triple Crown winner once, an American... read more

Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Sadly, he contracted ALS, which forced him to retire in 1939 at age 36. He died two years later.

5 Camille Muffat

This French swimmer, who won the Olympic gold medal in 2012, was killed in a helicopter accident in Argentina in 2015 while she was shooting a reality TV show alongside French boxer Alexis Vastine and French sailor Florence Arthaud, who also died in the crash. Camille Muffat had retired from sports in 2014. She was only 25 years old.

6 Drazen Petrovic

The Yugoslavian-Croatian basketball player, who played in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers and the New Jersey Nets (now known as the Brooklyn Nets), was killed in a car accident in 1993 at age 28.

7 Darrent Williams

This American football player died in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day 2007 after he finished his second season with the Denver Broncos. He was only 24 years old.

8 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant (1978 - 2020) was an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. He Retired in 2016. He died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California at age 41.

The greatest basketball player (alongside Michael Jordan) was 1 of the victims of a helicopter crash on January 26th 2020. This was truly a horrible way to start the 2020's. What adds to that was his daughter Gianna Bryant was also a victim of the crash. R.I.P. to them.

9 Emiliano Sala

This Argentinian football/soccer player died in a plane crash in January 2019 at age 28 while he was transferring from FC Nantes to Cardiff City.

10 Davide Astori

This Italian soccer player died from a heart attack in March 2018 at only 31 years old.

The Contenders
11 Florence Griffith Joyner
12 Gary Speed
13 Arturo Gatti
14 Edwin Valero

A Venezuelan professional boxer who competed from 2002 to 2010. He committed suicide after being arrested for killing his wife. Rest in Peace (1981-2010).

15 Pernell Whitaker

He was an American professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2001 and subsequently worked as a boxing trainer. He was a four-weight world champion, winning titles at lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight, the undisputed lightweight title, and the lineal lightweight and welterweight titles. He was run over by a vehicle. Rest in Peace (1964-2019).

16 Tori Bowie

This American track and field athlete died in 2023 from complications related to childbirth. She was 32 years old.

17 Len Bias Leonard Kevin "Len" Bias was a first-team All-American college basketball forward at the University of Maryland.

What a tragic destiny for this once promising young basketball player. In 1986, he was selected by the Boston Celtics. Two days later, he died of cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose. He could have been a great player, but he threw it all away. He was only 22 years old. Rest in Peace (1963-1986).

18 Wilma Rudolph
19 Andrés Escobar

In 1994, the Colombia national team played the FIFA World Cup and got knocked out of the group stage, with Andrés Escobar scoring an own-goal that sealed Colombia's fate. Upon his return to Colombia on July 2nd 1994, Escobar was fatally shot, presumably as retaliation for his own-goal. He was 27 years old.

20 Dale Earnhardt Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr., known professionally as Dale Earnhardt, was an American professional stock car racing driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR.
21 Roberto Clemente Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was a Puerto Rican professional baseball right fielder who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
22 Ken Block
23 Antoine Hubert

He was the 2018 GP3 Series champion as well as a member of the Renault Sport Academy. He was killed in an accident during the feature race of the 2019 Spa-Francorchamps Formula 2 round at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Rest in Peace (1996-2019).

24 Jessi Combs
25 Bruce Lee Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973) was a Hong Kong and American martial artist, martial arts instructor, actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). Lee is considered by critics, media,... read more
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