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18th Nov 2015

Athletes who transcend their sports – who are your larger than life heroes?

Nooruddean Choudry

Jonah Lomu’s sad passing has brought to focus just how much he was loved and revered around the world.

Rugby fans are mourning the death of arguably the greatest exponent of their sport. He was someone whose sparkling career was far too brief but massively significant.

In many ways, he transcended the sport. This can be seen by the sheer number of people who have no real interest in rugby but are acutely aware of his superhuman prowess.

His dignified air and warm personality off the field also endeared him to millions around the world, who couldn’t tell you the difference between a scrum-half and a winger.

Like Muhammad Ali, or Michael Jordan, or Nadia Comaneci, the legendary All-Black somehow managed to be bigger than the sport he perfected. He entered the public consciousness in a way that his peers never could.

We’d like to hear from you about who you think transcended sport in a similar way – and why.

Perhaps you’re a particular fan of Sachin Tendulkar’s genius batting and statesmanlike aura, or you have no interest in motor racing but Ayrton Senna is still your all-time hero.

Let us know who deserves to be named in the same breath as these giants, and what makes them stand out from the rest.