Top 20 Diabetic Sportspeople

Top 20 Diabetic Sportspeople

sportspeople with diabetes
The Diabetic Athlete

The interplay between insulin therapy, diet, and exercise is extremely important to sportspeople with diabetes. The goal is to match the type, amount, and timing of insulin to food intake and activity level.

Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is critical to ensuring that appropriate amounts of insulin are provided and metabolic complications are avoided.

Blood sugar levels have a direct impact on strength, speed, stamina, flexibility and healing capabilities – all essential components of success in sport and fitness activities.

Different forms of exercise can have very different effects on blood sugar, particularly when adrenal hormones start to kick in.

Around-the-clock control is necessary for maintaining appropriate hydration and energy stores for athletic performance.

Why You Need A Health Coach Now More Than Ever

Living with diabetes is an elite group of professional sportspeople, unstopped by their medical condition.

They are excelling against top competitors while managing a disease that demands constant attention and intensive management.

Circumstances change often in the world of sports, where winning is the end goal, not glucose control.

But fortunately for athletes with diabetes, technological advancements of the past few decades are allowing them to level the playing field to a point where they can focus more on succeeding in their sport while simultaneously triumphing over their disease.

The following is a list of notable ,inspiring sportspeople who have Diabetes!

1.Team Novo Nordisk-Phil Southerland

Team Novo Nordisk-Phil Southerland

Not Dead Yet

Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. The team’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.

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2.Steve Redgrave

Steve Redgrave


Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.

He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds.

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3.Danny McGrain


Danny McGrain Signed 12×8 Photo Genuine Celtic Autograph Memorabilia + COA

Daniel Fergus “Danny” McGrain is a Scottish former professional footballer who played for Celtic and Hamilton Accies in defence.

McGrain was also a Scotland international, winning 62 caps for his country and taking part in two World Cups.

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4.Mari Ruddy

My Sweet Life Successful Women with Diabetes

Mari Ruddy, Director of TeamWILD, has lived with type 1 diabetes for 30 years and is a two time breast cancer survivor.

She founded TeamWILD in 2008 after searching high and low for resources for women with diabetes who wanted to exercise safely and with expert guidance.

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5.Ginger Vieira


Your Diabetes Science Experiment: Live your live with diabetes, instead of letting diabetes live your life.

Ginger Vieira has lived with type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease since 1999.

The author of Your Diabetes Science Experiment, Ginger also works as a cognitive health coach and diabetes expert at

During 2009 and 2010, she set 15 records in drug-tested powerlifting with record lifts of 190 lb bench press, 265 lb squat, and a 308 lb deadlift.

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6.Gary Hall

Gary Wayne Hall, an American former competition swimmer

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter # 321 Gary Hall Jr. (SP) SHORT PRINT Olympic Swimming Champion Trading Card

Gary Wayne Hall, an American former competition swimmer who represented the United States at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics and won ten Olympic medals (five gold, three silver, two bronze).

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7.Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was an American World No. 1 professional tennis player.

He won three Grand Slam titles, ranking him among the best tennis players from the United States.

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8.Chris Dudley


ncqc0716-b DUDLEY’S Basketball Mave Cave Den Beer Bar LED Neon Sign Wall Clock

Christen Guilford “Chris” Dudley (born February 22, 1965) is a retired American basketball player and politician.

He played for 16 years and 886 games in the NBA for five different teams.

He was known primarily for his defensive skill as a rebounder and shot blocker.

In 2010, he was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon.

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9.Sean Busby



Sean, an OmniPod ambassador and the founder of Riding On Insulin, began his seven-continent mission in 2008, just four years after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while training for the 2010 Olympics.

From Antarctica in 2008 to Africa in 2014, Sean explored remote corners of the globe while proving that Type 1 diabetes can’t stop people from reaching the highest peaks in life.

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10.Billie Jean King

Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports

Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player.

King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles, and 11 mixed doubles titles. King won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships.

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11. Zippora Karz

Zippora Karz
The Sugarless Plum: A Ballerina’s Triumph Over Diabetes

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances.

Miss Karz danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999.

She was promoted to a soloist ballerina in the company—in 1993, six years after her diagnosis.

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12.Mallory Zorman


Bauer Nexus 3000 Ice Hockey skates – (R)Width

In the summer of 2001 Mallory Zorman, type 1 female speed skater  was hospitalized and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) 2000 kilometers away from her home.

She was only six at the time so she didn’t know enough about diabetes to know that it would be a tough, life-altering disease.

Two years prior to being diagnosed, She followed in the footsteps of her older brother and began speed skating.

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13.Sam Fuld


2014 Topps Update Baseball Card # US-229 Sam Fuld – Oakland Athletics

Samuel Babson “Sam” Fuld (born November 20, 1981) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball.

Despite being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, Fuld began his baseball career by twice batting .600 in high school, during which time Baseball America ranked him 19th in the country.

He played college baseball at Stanford. There, he was a two-time All-American, set the school record for career runs scored, and established the College World Series record for career hits.

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14.Alun Davies

The Greatest Welsh Tries Ever

Alan Davies (born 22 August 1948 in Ynysybwl) is a rugby union coach.

He has spent 20 years playing rugby, a stalwart of Neath RFC before taking on the role as the Welsh Rugby Union’s player welfare manager.

He was coach of the Wales national rugby union team, from 1991 to 1995, winning 18 of their 35 matches. Davies also coached Bristol RFC.

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15.David Weingard

David- Weingard

Triathlon – It HURTS: Inspiring stories on the path to becoming an Ironman

David is the founder and CEO of Fit4D, a company whose mission is to improve the lives of people with diabetes, and chronic conditions, worldwide.

David was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, at the age of 36, while training for a survival race.

A veteran of numerous running and triathlons races (including Ironman triathlons consisting of a 2.4M swim, 112M bike and 26.2M run),

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16. Ryan Reed


Cool Stock Car Racing Facts (Cool Sports Facts)

Ryan Reed (born August 12, 1993) is an American professional stock car racing driver.

Reed began racing at age 4, and in 2009, won the Legends Division championship at Irwindale Speedway.

In 2010, he entered the Super Late Model Division, and became the track’s youngest Super Late Model winner, and won Rookie of the Year.

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17.James “Buster” Douglas

James “Buster” Douglas

JamesBusterDouglas (born April 7, 1960) is an American former professional boxer.

He is best known for his stunning upset of Mike Tyson on February 11, 1990 in Tokyo to win the undisputed world heavyweight title.

The son of professional boxer William “Dynamite” Douglas, Douglas grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in the predominantly black Linden-area neighborhood of Windsor Terrace.

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18.Scott Dunton

Scott- Dunton

The Unstoppable Surfer: The Workout Program That Uses Cross Fit Training and Improved Nutrition to Boost Your Surfing Potential

Scott Dunton is a world-class professional surfer.

Dunton began surfing at the age of 5 and started competing when he was 15 years old in local contests in central California.

He has surfed the California coastline as well as Hawai, Florida, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

He plays water polo and is a whitewater rafter, water skier and wake boarder. He also likes to go kayaking with his dog, Kai.

Professional surfer Scott Dunton was hit by a major setback at the age of 16 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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19.Scott Verplank

Scott- Verplank

Creating the Ultimate Golfer: Realize the Secrets and Tricks Used by the Best Professional Golfers and Coaches to Improve Your Conditioning, Nutrition, and Mental Toughness

Scott Rachal Verplank (born July 9, 1964) is an American professional golfer, who has played on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.

Verplank was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.

Verplank was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 9 after lapsing into a coma.

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20.Wasim Akram

Wasim- Akram

Cornered Tigers: History of Pakistan’s Test Cricket from Abdul Kardar to Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram ( born 3 June 1966) is a former Pakistani cricketer.

He is acknowledged as one of the greatest bowlers of all time.

A left-arm fast bowler who could bowl with significant pace who represented the Pakistan national cricket team in Test cricket and One Day International (ODI) matches.

Akram is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of game.

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In the past 2 years over 300 individuals in Ireland have fundraised over €70,000 by participating in fundraising events across the globe for diabetes.
For more information on these fundraising activities refer to Diabetes Ireland Website!
If you have any information,questions, or feedback you would like to include in this post.
Please email or leave your comments below.

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March 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm

I’m surprised that diabetes surferers can be top sportsmen and women.
In a way I’m ignorant to diabetes and thought it mostly affect old people.
But seeing people I admire like Arthur Ashe or Billie Jean King could perform at such high levels then I’m now sure diabetes should not hold anyone back.
Thanks for a very informative post


    March 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Hi Roamy,

    These diabetic sportspeople encourage not just diabetics like myself but everyone to exercise regularly and frequently to keep them healthy and prevent many medical conditions.

    They inspire children and young people with diabetes and give them the knowledge to manage their diabetes whilst exercising.

    These sportspeople act as a role model to millions of diabetics to not let diabetes get in the way of following their dreams!

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