Time magazine had several sports figures on this year’s list of the Most Influential people. Most notably, this year's countdown featured: Tim Tebow of the New York Jets and Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks.
Tebow became one of the biggest stars in sports, leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs with his magic, including a big overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also helped spread his Christian beliefs and didn’t mind being an outspoken person of it, winning the hearts of many.
Lin became a true underdog story, being a star at Harvard. However, he went undrafted and got cut twice before heading to New York. After almost getting cut, he put on big performances and is now the starting point guard of the team. He is also one of the few Asian players to ever play in the league.
Lin wrote about the Tebow part for the magazine, saying the following:
“Watching Tim Tebow play football, you can observe many things about his character. You see his fierce competitiveness, his strong work ethic and how he is a leader that his teammates trust and respect.
“But it is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart. He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out. . . . As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.”
Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, wrote the piece for Lin:
“Jeremy Lin’s story is a great lesson for kids everywhere because it debunks and defangs so many of the prejudices and stereotypes that unfairly hold children back. He’s dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn’t hack it in the NBA — and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court.
“Jeremy cares only about one thing — winning. And I don’t care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy’s story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds.”
Four other athletes also made the list, including tennis player Novak Djokovic; golfer Yani Tseng; soccer player Lionel Messi; and South African runner Oscar Pistorius.
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