You might know their stats, but did you also know they were adopted?
Scott Hamilton – Olympic Figure Skater
Hamilton was adopted as an infant by two professors. He has an older sister and a younger brother, who is also adopted.
Despite a childhood brain tumor that halted his growth, recurring bouts of cancer and financial setbacks that temporarily stopped his Olympic training, Hamilton went on to win four consecutive U.S. championships, four consecutive World Championships, an Olympic gold medal and numerous awards for his philanthropic efforts.
Daunte Culpepper – Pro Football
Culpepper was placed into foster care with a family of 15 older siblings as an infant. When Culpepper’s birth mother was released from prison, she petitioned to gain custody of the then-five-year-old, but Culpepper asked to remain with his foster mother, Emma.
His birth mother understood, terminated her parental rights and Culpepper’s foster mother adopted him. Of his birth mother, Culpepper is grateful, saying, “She loved me that much, to take me back to Emma.”
In addition to his successful NFL career, Culpepper works closely with the African American Adoption Agency to help foster children of color find permanent adoptive parents as he did.
Peter & Kitty Carruthers – Olympic Figure Skaters
Olympic pairs figure skating silver medalists, Peter and Kitty Carruthers were both adopted as infants. Peter was adopted in 1960, Kitty two years later. Although not biologically related, the siblings and their parents remained extremely close and that family bond showed on the ice.
Kitty later went on to adopt two boys herself with her husband.
Babe Ruth – Pro Baseball
When he was seven years old, Babe Ruth was living in St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys’ orphanage. He developed his talent for baseball with his mentor and father-figure, Brother Matthias. When he was 19, Ruth was spotted by a talent scout, who legally adopted him so that he could join the Baltimore Orioles.
Babe Ruth later went on to adopt two children of his own and generously donated to St. Mary’s and Brother Matthias for the rest of his life.
Greg Louganis – Olympic Diver
At eight months old, Olympic champion, author and LGBT activist Greg Louganis was placed for adoption by his teenaged birth parents. His adoptive parents encouraged Louganis to pursue various athletics throughout his early childhood and adolescence that his young birth parents likely wouldn’t have been able to provide him with, leading to his legendary career as a diver.
Colin Kaepernick – Pro Football
Born to a single teenage birth mother, Kaepernick was placed in a transracial adoption as an infant. Kaepernick is the youngest of four children. He began playing football at the age of eight and continued his football training throughout his adolescence while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and also excelling in baseball and basketball.
Simone Biles – Olympic Gymnast
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and her sister were adopted by their maternal grandparents as young children and acknowledge them as their parents, having been raised by them. Biles’ parents have been extremely supportive of her athletic career; seen cheering her on throughout the 2016 Olympics.
When a gymnastic commentator referred to Biles’ biological grandparents, saying they “are NOT her parents,” Biles replied, “My parents are my parents and that’s it.”