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SMS Hall of Fame 1st International Class

The So Much Sports Hall of Fame was created to further honor the absolute best of the best of their sports. As we know, individual sports hall of fames have different tiers of athletes. This Hall of Fame, though, is combined, but only for that top elite tier. However, simply being an United States based website with voters who follow American Sports, it is next to impossible for almost any of the superb international athletes from less notable sports into the So Much Sports Hall of Fame. That is why we now have opened the International Wing and have created a separate process to focus on these international stars who just otherwise would get overlooked and not properly recognized. International stars can still get inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame through the regular process, as Pele did, but this new additional wing will give proper representation to all the greatest athletes in history from all around the world.

And below, is our first induction class to the international win of the So Much Sports Hall of Fame.

Jahangir KhanJahangir Khan, Squash (Pakistan)

From 1981 to 1986, Jahangir Khan was unbeaten in 555 consecutive contests; the longest winning streak by any athlete in any top-level professional sport. At just the age of 17, Khan because the youngest player to win a World Open Championship in squash. He repeated the feat five straight years and won a sixth title in 1988. He was also the runner up three times in his career. Khan won the British Open Championship 10 straight times from 1982 to 1993. He was the runner up in that event in 1981. Khan was the first player to win a World Open Championship without dropping a single game. He also won the second longest squash match in history: 2 hours, 46 minutes.

Aleksandr KarelinAleksandr Karelin, Greco-Roman Wrestling (Soviet Union/Russia)

Especially in such a physical sport like wrestling it’s so impossible to think a man could dominate for over a decade. That is what Aleksandr Karelin did, though. Over his career as a heavyweight, Karelin went a remarkable 887-2, including a 13-year undefeated run in international competition. In six of those years he did not give up a single point. Karelin won gold in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and took silver in the 2000 games. He won nine straight World Championships from 1989 to 1999 and 12 straight European Championships from 1988 to 2000.

Paavo NurmiPaavo Nurmi, Track & Field (Finland)

One of the great ‘Flying Finn’s’ on Finland’s epic long-distance Track & Field team of the 1920s. Paavo Nurmi was the best of them, though. He set 22 World Records and three Olympic Records as a runner of Cross country, the 10,000m, 5,000m, 2 mile, 3,000m, Mile, 1,500m and 800m events. Nurmi won nine gold medals over three Olympic games from 1920, 1924, and 1928. He also had four silver medals. In his career he won 201 of his 214 events and was on the podium 211 times. He was never beaten in his 23 cross country events or 17 10,000m events.

Daley ThompsonDaley Thompson, Track & Field (Great Britain)

The event to claim the greatest athlete in the world is the Decathlon. The number of events and range of ability needed from strength, power, speed, and endurance needed is so great. Winning the Decathlon once is hard to do. Daley Thompson won the event in two different Olympics, one at the World Championships and twice at the European Championships. He first won Olympic Gold at the 1980 Olympics where he was the top finisher in the 100m, long jump and 400m. He was second in the high jump and 110 m hurdles. He bested that performance with a World Record points total in the 1984 Olympic games. He was the top finisher in the 100m, long jump and 400m and second in the 110m hurdles and pole vault. He won the 1983 World Championships and 1982 and 1986 European Championships.

Diego MaradonaDiego Maradona, Football (Argentina)

While he’s also known for being very outspoken and charismatic, Diego Maradona above all is known for be one of the very best ever to step onto a football pitch. The Argentinian was a classic No. 10 target striker with strong legs and a low center of gravity that helped him battle through traffic and withstand physical pressure while running with the ball. Maradona’s professional career spanned from 1976 to 1997 and in which he played in 491 club games and scored 259 career goals. He had 22 goals in 36 games for Barcelona in Spain and 81 goals in 188 games with Napoli. But Maradona stepped up even more on the international stage. In 91 games with the Argentinian National Team, Maradona scored 34 goals. In 1986 Maradona was awards the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball as he led his country to the World Cup championship. She also has the most assists that year and was given the Silver Shoe. He was a 1985 Serie A Footballer of the Year and in 2000 was named the co-FIFA Player of the Century along with Pele.

Larisa LatyninaLarisa Latynina, Gymnastics (Soviet Union/Ukraine)

Until a swimmer named Michael Phelps came along, nobody had more medals in the Olympics than Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. Her success spanned three Olympic games in which she totaled 18 medals, nine of which were gold, five being silver and four bronze. In 1956 she won four golds, leading the Soviets to a team win as well as winning the All-Around, Vault and Floor exercise. She also had a silver in the uneven bars and bronze in the team apparatus. Four years later she again led the Soviets to a gold as a team while winning the floor exercise, and all-around. She got a silver in the uneven bars and balance beam that year with a bronze in the vault. Four years after that, she again led the Soviets to a third-straight team gold with a third-straight gold in the floor exercise. She had silvers in the All-Around and vault and bronze medals in the uneven bars and balance beam. At the World Championships she won another 14 medals, claiming nine golds over here career. She won seven golds and 14 total medals at the European Championships. Between the three high-profile international events Latynina has 25 gold medals, 15 silvers and six bronze.

Sir Don BradmanSr Don Bradman, Cricket (Australia)

Widely regarded as the best cricketer in history, Don Bradman still owns records for the highest international batting average of 99.94 (number of runs divided by number of outs), blowing away the second-best international batting average of 73.75. His Highest First Class batting average is 95.14, which also blows away the second-best mark of 57.84. Bradman also owns First-Class records with six Triple Centuries and 37 Double Centuries. At the international level he is tied for the most triple centuries with two and is fifth wit 405 Wicket Partnerships. He scored 500 or more runs seven times in an international series. He had 59 international matches he had 6,996 runs and 29 Centuries (100 or more runs in an inning). In his First-Class career in 234 matches he has 28,067 runs and 117 centuries.

Sir Alex FergusonSir Alex Ferguson, Football Manager (Great Britain)

Nobody has ever been better managing a football club than Sir Alex Ferguson, who paced the sidelines of Manchester United from 1986 until his retirement in 2013. With the Red Devils, Ferguson went 895-338-267 (58.7%). For his career, which also included stints with East Stirlingshire, St. Mirren, Aberdeen and the Scottish National Team, Ferguson was 1,253-490-412 (58.1%). He won the Premier League 13 times with Manchester United, five FA Cups, four League Cups, 10 FA Charity Shields, two UEFA Championship Leagues, 1 UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup. He was the Manager of the Year in the Premier League 11 times and once the UEFA Manager of the Year. He was the League Manager Association’s Manager of the Year four times and their Manager of the Decade for the 1990s. With Aberdeen he won three Scottish Premier Divisions and four Scottish Cups. He won the Scottish First Division with St. Mirren.

Bob PaisleyBob Paisley, Football Manager (Great Britain)

Bob Pailey made Liverpool the British power it is with six Football League First Division Championships from 1975 to 1983. His team was also the runner up twice in that span. In 535 career matches as Liverpool’s manager, Paisley led them to a 308-96-131 record (57.6%). He won three League Cups, six FA Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup. He was the Football Manager of the Year six times.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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