Vegetarians And Vegans Athletes: The most common stereotype about vegans is “this diet is not for physical activity.” Many studies contradict each other; opinions of different people differ. At the moment, we can say for sure that not only nutrition, but a much larger number of factors affect the human condition.
Last Updated: January 3, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
We will only provide living proof that outstanding athletic performance, directly linked to strength, nutrition and overall health, has been achieved by vegetarians and vegans around the world.
Our list includes only people who have achieved high results in sports, while their diet is accurately recorded during the achievement of these results, for the clarification of which all sources of information have been checked. So, we have several groups in different sports, the country, key records and awards are indicated.
Reflect and be inspired!
Vegetarians And Vegans Athletes
Triathlon, athletics, running
Lewis Carl (Carl Lewis) born in 1961, USA. Olympic champion, athlete; world champion. Vegan since 1990; having changed his previous diet to vegan, he received three Olympic gold medals for the long jump and relay race. Has the title of “Athlete of the Century” from the International Olympic Committee. Bears the proud title of “World Athlete of the Century” from the IAAF. Winner of the Prince of Asturias Prize. Lewis always says that such outstanding results were only possible thanks to a vegan diet.
Moses Edwin (Edwin Moses), 1955, USA. Vegetarian. Two-time Olympic champion in 400m hurdles. For ten years, from 1977 to 1987, he participated in 122 races and did not lose any of them! Edwin is a humanist who promotes the ideas of peace and goodness, awarded in 2009 by the University of Massachusetts an honorary doctorate. Thus, his contribution to the maintenance of the Olympic Games and the promotion of sports was noted with the aim of positive changes in society.
Voigt Emil (Emil Voigt), 1883-1973, Great Britain. Vegetarian. Emil is the last Olympic champion, who also set a world record in the 5-mile race in 1908. He has won many races in Europe and Australia. He always said that the type of vegetarian diet was chosen by him for ethical reasons. He was a member of the Vegetarian Cyclists’ Club.
Oaks Fiona (Fiona Oakes), born 1968 Great Britain. Vegan. Fiona has three world records under her belt. The athlete became a vegan at the age of 6, and at 17, having lost her kneecap, she did not stop, but began to train even harder in sports. Fiona’s love for animals is one of the first places in her life, she supports many foundations around the world and loves Russia very much. Oaks has also been a patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society since 2008, which opposes the use of animals in zoos and circuses.
Brazier Brendan (Brendan Brazier), 1975 y. Canada. Brendan is a two-time ultramarathon winner in Canada. A committed vegan since 1999, author of books on healthy nutrition, creator of the herbal brand Vega.
Biscay Hillary (Hillary Biscay), 1978 b., USA. Participant as many as 60 (!) Ironman races. Hillary, being a vegan, became the champion of the world competition Ultraman World-2013. By switching to a vegetable diet, she became significantly faster and stronger, Biscay said.
Boxing and other martial arts
Gakkenschmidt Georg nicknamed “Russian lion”, Russia-Estonia, 1877-1968. One of the first professional wrestlers. Vegetarian. World champion in freestyle wrestling. Set several records in weightlifting. Gackenschmidt was attentive to nutrition. Estonian sources confirm that Georg was a vegetarian.
Jofre Eder (Éder Jofre), born in 1936, Brazil. Boxer vegetarian. Twice world champion in bantamweight and featherweight. Eder is inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. This is one of the most famous boxers in the entire history of boxing, according to Ring Magazine. And according to the International Boxing Research Organization, the best boxer in the world. The choice of food did not stand before Jofre: he had the opportunity, as a young man, to visit one day a slaughterhouse. Since then, I have become a vegetarian, staying on this diet forever.
Thompson Lenroy (Lenroy Thompson), b. 1988, USA. Boxer. Vegan. Many times he became the champion of the USA in the field of amateur boxing in the heavyweight (!) Weight category. He is the captain of the national team. Vegan since 2012. After switching to this type of diet, he won a number of titles and realized that this is the right diet, and is now promoting veganism in his hometown of Uniondale near New York. Lenroy is a well-known advocate for raising awareness of breast cancer in women, which is why Thompson often appears in pink clothes, drawing attention to this burning issue.
Danzig Mac (Mac Danzig), born in 1980, USA. Mixed martial arts. He became a vegan in 2006 and a year later became the winner of The Ultimate Fighter. Often talks about being a vegan pioneer in martial arts. He is an animal advocate, worked in a shelter for stray dogs and cats.
Foreman Claire (Claire Foreman), Australia. 2015 Australian Thai Boxing Champion. She became a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but quickly realized how important it is for health and sports. Moved vegan in 2015
Kowalski Walter (Walter “Killer” Kowalski), 1926-2008, Poland-Canada. Wrestler, multiple champion. Vegan. He opened his own wrestling school, where he trained many students – famous fighters. Walter became a vegetarian in the 60s. and was for a long time the only vegetarian in wrestling. At one time he even ate raw. Walter has promoted vegetarianism through various societies and on TV, discussing nutrition as a sport.
Basketball, football, hockey
Robinson Neil (Neil Robinson), 1957, Great Britain. The first professional soccer player to be vegan. Neil became a vegetarian at 13 and a vegan at 23. Player of the Year 1985–86. He played in the second league in England.
Earl Robbie (Robbie Earle), 1965, Jamaica – UK. He played 33 matches for the Jamaica national team, scoring all the goals for the national team in the 1998 World Cup. According to the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain, he is a vegetarian.
In addition to individual footballers, there is a well-known vegan football club Forest Green Rovers in the UK.
Zigomanis Michael (Michael “Mike” Zigomanis), 1981, Macedonia-Canada. Hockey player playing in the NHL and AHL. Since 2011 he has become a vegan. In 2013 he was awarded the “Player of the Year” award in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Walton Bill (Bill Walton), 1952, USA. Basketball player. Vegetarian since adolescence. Twice NBA Champion.
Williams Ricky (Ricky Williams), 1977 g., USA. American football player, played in the NFL and CFL. Awarded with the Heisman Trophy. For a long time, he followed a strict vegan diet, only occasionally allowing himself a serving of yogurt.
Miller Bode (Bode Miller), 1977 g., USA. Alpine skier. Olympic and multiple world champion. From an early age, a vegetarian, the most successful American skier. The oldest medalist of the Olympic Games in the field of alpine skiing.
Duhamel Megan (Meagan Duhamel), 1985 g., Canada. Pair skating figure skater. Vegan since 2008. After a change of diet – twice world champion. Megan is the winner of the world championship of the Four Continents and the gold medalist of the Grand Prix Final. Megan says vegan nutrition helps with training and recovery from strenuous exercise.
Teter Hannah (Hannah Teter), 1987 year of birth, USA. Snowboarder, 2006 champion. Six-time World Cup winner. After watching the movie Earthlings, she became a vegetarian and says that this food takes her as an athlete to another level. Hannah donated more than one hundred thousand dollars earned to charity. International Representative of the Global Ambassador, and also a participant in the Special Olympics for People with Disabilities.
Voevoda Alexey , 1980 r., Russia. Bobsledder, two-time Olympic champion, also world champion in 2011. He is engaged in armwrestling. Vegetarian since 2010. Sometimes she practices a raw food diet for 3 months. Says avoiding meat products helped improve athletic performance.
Williams Venus and Serena (Venus Williams, Serena Williams), 1980, 1981 r., USA. Tennis legends. Since 2011, Venus has switched to veganism to reduce the body’s responses to an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome. Serena followed her example, wanting to support her sister. They are now Olympic doubles champions for 2012. Serena was also awarded gold in singles, and Venus was awarded silver the following year, 2016. Also Serena – the first racket of the world (WTA ranking) from 2013 to 2016; this is a record figure in history.
Deinan Lizzie , b. 1988, UK. Track cyclist, world champion and silver medalist in the one hundred and forty kilometers road group race during the 2012 Olympics. Vegetarian since 10 years old.
Weissmuller Johnny (Johnny Weissmuller), 1904-1984, Hungary-USA. Swimmer, five-time Olympic champion. I switched to vegetarian food on the recommendation of my vegetarian doctor, John Kellogg. After that he broke his own swimming record. He is known as the actor who played Tarzan in the films of the 1940s.
Torres Nava Ricardo (Ricardo Torres Nava), 1954 Mexico. The conqueror of Everest and six more peaks of the world. “Sportsman of the Year 1989” and “Sportsman of the Century” from the Government of Mexico. In an interview in 1999, Torres himself talked about vegetarianism in his life.
Gelmanov Rustam , born in 1987, Kazakhstan – Russia. Rock climber. Bouldering World Cup Winner. The first among Russian athletes to conquer the Action Directe 9A track. Vegetarian since 2005.
Babumyan Patrick (Patrik Baboumian), 1979 p., The Armenia-Germany. Former bodybuilder, now a strength athlete. Vegetarian since 2005, vegan since 2011. Holder of the status “The Strongest Man in Germany”. The author of the world record in lifting longlift in weight up to 105 kg. The face of PETA’s advertising campaigns for the protection of animal rights.
Olga Yaremenko , b. 1988, Russia. International master of sports in kettlebell lifting, multiple world champion. Vegetarian since 23 years old, as instructed by her coach. “My health problems were resolved, recovery processes after training accelerated, lightness appeared in my body. Athletic performance is increasing. I set my records as a vegetarian. ”
Kumble Anil (Anil Kumble), 1970, India. Cricketer. Now Anil is the head coach of the national team. And earlier – the captain of the national team and the main player. Vegetarian from birth. Says that vegetarianism saves many lives. That a vegetarian cannot be surpassed in stamina, and a vegetarian meal contains all the vitamins and proteins we need, but without the toxins found in meat.
So is it possible – a vegan and an athlete? Definitely yes. And above is an incomplete list of people who have confirmed that veganism and sports are a good mix. And this fact is useful for everyone to know. The number of professional athletes who choose plant-based foods for various reasons is growing every year.