It is almost expected of Hollywood’s stars to go under the knife and have cosmetic surgery, but it is also common for today’s athletes to get work done. These athletes spend an enormous part of their life in the public eye whether it is on the field of play, in an interview, photoshoot or even on social media. Many of them are vain creatures, and therefore opt for cosmetic surgery to improve their looks. Some athletes have been very open about their plastic surgery, whilst some will keep their lips sealed, that is if they are able to after their Botox injections.
In many cases professional athletes go under the knife not to improve their looks, but instead to repair them. The physical nature of sports means that athletes often sustain nasty facial injuries or other injuries that require surgery, and this is particularly common in sports such as hockey, rugby and boxing. You see many athletes in these professions with missing teeth, misaligned noses and cauliflower ear, and these can all be corrected with surgery.
Finally, some athletes will have surgery to improve their performance. The most notable example of this is female athletes having breast reduction surgery. Whilst this may disappoint some fans, many female athletes cite back pain and interference with their game and this can be changed with reduction surgery.
Cosmetic surgery seems to be more and more common in today’s day and age, and particularly in Hollywood. It is also in the sporting world where cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly more common, and many athletes now go under the knife either to improve their looks, repair a ghastly injury or perhaps improve their performance.
Here are 15 athletes who have had plastic surgery.
15 Rebecca Adlington
After years of taunting, four-time Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington underwent plastic surgery to reduce the size of her nose and have a bump removed. The swimmer states she hated her looks and was victim to plenty of abuse on Twitter, and she also broke down on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here when she compared herself to beauty queen and fellow contestant Amy Willerton. The 25-year-old waited until she retired from swimming as she only got two weeks off a year, and she now claims she is much happier. The cruel nature of the taunts, despite succeeding for her country (winning two gold medals), shows the undesirable side of fame and makes it clear why many celebrities and athletes go under the knife.
14 Wes Welker
Like millions of men around the world, wide receiver Wes Welker was suffering from hair loss from a young age and felt self conscious about it. He opted for hair restoration surgery, which involves transplanting follicles to an area of the scalp where the hair is thinning. This will gradually see some growth, and now Welker has a thick head of hair which he takes great pride in. Walker has been open and happy to discuss the procedure, claiming “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, if you want to have hair, have hair.”
13 Nick Diaz
MMA fighter Nick Diaz was cut-prone above his eyes, and this began to have an impact on his career as referees stopped his 2007 title bout after fears that the bleeding would affect his vision. Diaz would have scar revision surgery which involves removing old scar tissue and grinding down bones in the brow, and this worked wonders for Diaz and he would win his next five fights. A few other cut-prone fighters have followed suit and this sparked plenty of debate in the MMA world.
12 Sasa Curcic
Sasa Curcic enjoyed a successful 10 year career as a midfielder for Crystal Palace, Bolton and Aston Villa, but there was always one aspect of his life he was unhappy with – his nose. He would have surgery to reduce the size, and he would claim that was because he was having difficulty breathing. His wife suspected otherwise, and stated “I think it was more to do with vanity because he was always telling me he’d like to have a nose like mine.” Curcic also got into trouble with Villa after failing to tell them he was having the surgery, and he was unable to play until it had fully healed. The Villa secretary-director would later reveal that in addition to this, Curcic also dyed his hair and had his teeth capped. Busted.
11 Mark Lamb
Losing your teeth in the NHL is considered to be a badge of courage and make you tougher, and it is common sight to see teeth fly across the ice due to the physical nature of the sport. Former NHL player, and current head coach of the Swift Current Broncos, Mark Lamb knows all about this, and is someone who has “spent a lot of time in the dentist’s chair.” Over his 20 year career he had three sets of dental implants put in, and he recalled how painful the injury was as when the implants moved it fractured the bone in his gum which resulted in further surgery. Most players now wear mouth guards, but even these will do little to protect your dentures from a flying puck or errant stick.
10 Didier Drogba
In 2011, Chelsea forward Didier Drogba was involved in a nasty collision with Norwich keeper John Ruddy, leaving him unconscious and having to be stretchered off receiving oxygen and with a neck brace. Fortunately it was not as bad as first feared, but the Ivorian would require cosmetic dentistry treatment to repair his teeth which were damaged in the crunching collision. Chelsea would win the cup double that season, and Drogba was able to pose for photos with a full set of teeth thanks to the surgery.
9 Colin White
Ice hockey is a sport famous for nasty injuries, and this is something that former New Jersey Devils player Colin White knows all about. During a team practice, the puck deflected off White’s stick and hit him on the nose and near his right eye. White stated that “my nose was on the other side of my face,” and he had to have plastic surgery to reset his nose. He missed around 10 days of action after the surgery as his eye was swollen shut, and in his return he still had some blurred vision.
8 Rich “Ace” Franklin
Former UFC Middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin had a bad day at the office back on October 14th, 2006 at the main event of UFC 64, and he would be left beaten and bloody and without his title. In his fight against Anderson Silva, Franklin would suffer one of the worst nose fractures in all of sports when he got caught by Silva’s Muay Thai knees in the 1st round. He would have to undergo rhinoplasty to fix his nose, but this was not enough to deter him from getting back in the octagon. He worked his way back up to a rematch against Silva, but it would be defeat again for Franklin who was knocked out in the 2nd round.
7 Wayne Rooney
Man United’s Wayne Rooney is one of the greatest footballers of his generation, but he also had a very noticeable receding hairline from a very young age. This drew a lot of negative attention to the United skipper, who decided that he would have a hair transplant to improve his looks. This is not the type of procedure that you can hide, so Rooney embraced it and took to Twitter to announce to the world “Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25, why not? I’m delighted with the result.” After some initial teasing, the attitude towards hair transplants for men has changed and Rooney’s endorsement has played a large role in this.
6 Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson is a monster of a man and has worked tirelessly to achieve his physique, but even he has gone under the knife to improve his looks. Back in 2005, The Rock felt that his chest was in fact too big, and had liposuction done to reduce the size. Seeing as he is constantly in the public eye (and constantly with his shirt off), Johnson knew that there was no hiding the procedure and has been open about it. Correctly, Johnson stated that celebrities who undergo cosmetic surgery and then claim it never happened are “raising the bar for unattainable perfection.”
5 Evander Holyfield
Some of the entries on this list, and other procedures celebrities have, may seem a bit silly, but you certainly can’t say this about Evander Holyfield. You never know what is going to happen when you get into a ring with Mike Tyson, and Holyfield found this out the hard way after Tyson took a bite out of his ear back in 1997. The images of Holyfield’s ear were rather gruesome after the fight, but if you were to see him today then you would have no idea that his ear was once a chew toy for Mike Tyson and this is thanks to reconstructive surgery. This would have involved grafting back the missing cartilage, and if the piece Tyson charmingly spat on the canvas was too damaged then they will have used cartilage from another area.
4 Simona Halep
At the start of her tennis career, Simona Halep found that she was getting a lot of attention and had a growing male fan base. This may have had something to do with her 34DD breasts, but the Romanian pro found that these were in fact holding her back and causing back pain. She underwent breast reduction surgery to reduce her bust size to 34C (despite petitions hoping she would reconsider). The surgery clearly worked wonders for her as she became faster and more mobile on the court. She skyrocketed through the rankings, moving up over 450 places and currently sits 3rd. Halep also stated that it was not just tennis where her chest size held her back, and claimed “I would have gone for surgery even if I hadn’t been a sportswoman.”
3 Sammy Sosa
Former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa looks vastly different to his playing days, and this is because he has undergone a cosmetic treatment known as skin bleaching. The result is Sosa having a completely different complexion which has been described as “downright vampiric”, and many have compared it to Michael Jackson’s odd change in complexion over the years. He applies a cream before going to bed at night which whitens his skin, but he appears to have gone slightly overboard and could do with some time in the sunlight instead of the limelight.
2 Rene Higuita
Former Columbian goalkeeper Rene Higuita went under the knife to improve his looks, and would even have the procedure done on live television. It was by no means a minor procedure either, as he would have nose surgery, a silicon chin implant, skin peel, eyelid skin cutaway, liposuction and abdominal muscle enhancement. Higuita reasoned that “I am tired of being ugly Rene, I want to be handsome Rene.” Handsome Rene was unveiled a month after the surgery, and he would claim “bodily, I’m perfect”.
1 Bruce Jenner
The 1976 Olympic Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner has undergone quite a transformation over the years, and he is now more famous for his multiple procedures instead of his Olympic triumph. It all started over 25 years ago, when Jenner had a nose job and partial facelift which did not turn out as planned. He then had further surgery to correct this, but much like tattoos, some people keep coming back for more. Jenner has confirmed that he has been looking to transition from a man to a woman, and over the years this has seen Jenner begin cross dressing, having surgery to flatten his Adam’s apple, have breast implants and finally confirm his transition to Diane Sawyer by telling her “I am a woman.” Bruce has not gone undergone gender reassignment surgery as of yet.