Subway spokesman, gold medalist, recreational pot smoker. This is one of the most famous Olympic athletes of all time, a Baltimore native who has dominated his sport his entire career. Michael Phelps
Before the fame...
Sports stars are constantly in the limelight. But sometimes it is enjoyable to take a walk down memory lane and get a look at the players before they became household names. Check out the childhood photos of today’s biggest sports stars, then click through to Bing to see who these kids are, all grown up.
So ruthless as a competitor is this man that he is nicknamed after a snake. He had all the endorsements, lost them due to a highly publicized court case, gradually got them back and is now winding down his career looking for one last legacy-defining championship. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the player Find: Rumors of him retiring?
He's one of the most explosive, electrifying athletes ever, but he hasn't been surrounded by much talent so far in his career. A former Oklahoma Sooner, he seems to have magical healing powers. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this running back Find: Watch highlights of him in action
This Oklahoma native is best known for what he does in the air, and he has an older brother who plays the same sport, just not as well. Does most of his work in Hollywood, where he uses his leaping ability to sell tickets and his understated acting style to sell Kias. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the power forward Find: More on his future with his current team
One of the more famous lefties ever, this controversial athlete is as well known for what he does off the playing surface as on it. He's one of the most popular figures in two different arenas: (1) professional football and (2) evangelical Christianity. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of the quarterback Find: One of his biggest fans defends him
Round mound of rebound
You first knew him as a basketball player; you now know him as a television personality. This basketball legend knows him as a friend. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the former forward Find: Watch him working out hard
This guy was a reality TV show before that was really a thing. He was romantically involved with the Material Girl and a reality TV show judge and was, pound for pound, one of the best rebounders ever. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of his many tattoos Find: Watch him talk about his latest exploits
Is he the home run king or isn't he? One of the best, yet least popular, baseball players of all time, this son of a ballplayer made his name in the Rust Belt before moving to the West Coast. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the former ballplayer Find: Watch him achieve a career moment
Room to grow
Sometimes people call him Superman, although it's been a while since he was perceived as a hero. One of the most physically gifted players in the NBA, the last offseason was all about him, and this one likely will be too. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See him flying through the air Find: More on his future with his current team
He wasn't that big, wasn't that fast, wasn't that strong. But only a handful of quarterbacks in NFL history could argue that they were better. He made one of the most famous plays of the 1980s and one of the most famous comebacks in NFL history. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of him in his glory days Find: Could he be the greatest quarterback ever?
If you were a kid in the 1990s and you knew the name of one professional baseball player, his was it. He had a video game bearing his name and kid ballplayers all over America trying to imitate his beautiful swing. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of the former baseball great Find: His daughter is beginning her own career
Small town legend
This prospect from a small town in Indiana became part of the defining sports rivalry of the 1980s and became a legend on the East Coast. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See him dunking Find: Here's a look back at his famous duel
Born in California, distilled in Kansas, aged in Boston. A perceived draft-day snub inspired a now-legendary career that was nearly cut short by a stabbing on the street. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this basketball great Find: His future with his current team
King of the pitch
You could say there have been a lot of bends in this soccer star's career, but the one that turned him from "really good sports player" to "international celebrity" was his marriage to one of the Spice Girls (See the band). Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Photos of him & his famous wife Find: More on his big career announcement
The Big Fundamental is 37 years old now and still quite possibly the best player at his position in his sport. An equally remarkable feat is his ability to keep his personal life almost completely off the radar. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this veteran player Find: More on his most recent honor
According to an ad campaign (by whom?), he has a long-lost twin brother who is just as good at selling insurance as he is at playing basketball. If "alley oops" thrown was a real statistic, he would be well on his way to becoming the all-time leader. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See him now Find: Is he moving to the Knicks?
Long dogged by questions about his toughness, this big German finally got over the hump and will go down among the best of his generation. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of the Mavericks player Find: Why might he take a pay cut?
Subway spokesman, gold medalist, recreational pot smoker. He is one of the most famous Olympic athletes of all time, a Baltimore native who has dominated his sport his entire career. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: See him all grown up Find: Is he making a comeback?
The insanity began in winter, when a little-known Harvard guy set the NBA on fire for weeks. Things have cooled since then, but this guy made his money anyway. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: How much did he sign for in his recent deal? Find: See him now
One of the first "glamour drivers" in NASCAR, this California native's name was synonymous with the sport in the 1990s. He has appeared in five movies (almost always as himself). Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See him all grown up Find: What was his less-than-flattering nickname?
She isn't the original "Russian covergirl who can also really play," but she's the best. Currently the No. 2 tennis player in the world, she makes it difficult to tell whether her endorsements are based on her appearance, her athletic achievements or both. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: Check out photos of the No. 2 player Find: What's her newest venture?
An unstoppable force of nature who dominated the college ranks before turning pro this year, this native Texan is best known for dunking. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this standout player Find: More on her move to a pro team
He is possibly the most criticized athlete of all time, a man who for two years could not do anything right, even though he never did anything wrong. He's got an unfair combination of speed, power and grace, and he may be the most physically gifted athlete since Bo Jackson. His only weakness appears to be his hairline, which is fading like the memory of a time when people said he couldn't win the big one. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See him now Find: When he won the big one
He plays the same position as his father and younger brother, seems to have an affinity for horses. Recognizable for his distinctive Southern drawl and dry sense of humor, he had a memorable turn on "Saturday Night Live." Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this elite quarterback Find: His plans for the Super Bowl
A man who captivated America with his inspiring success in an obscure sport. A man who became one of the biggest villains of the performance-enhancing drug era (we'll call that 2004-present). A man who sat with Oprah. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Photos of the former top athlete Find: Why he was hit with a lifetime ban
A Baltimore kid who has settled into one of the most Midwestern of all Midwestern cities, this tall, skinny sharpshooter has become one of the most well-liked professional athletes in America today. But he hasn't won a championship and recently griped about always coming in second. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this star hoops player Find: How he helped his new hometown
Nobody ever had a harder time walking away from the game than this three-time MVP, who was known to be virtually impossible to knock out of a game. That has been partially explained as the result of an addiction to pain medication in the 90s, something he overcame well enough to sell Wrangler jeans on television. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of this now-retired QB Find: Where he spent the majority of his career
This opinionated soccer player is married to former NFL player Jerramy Stevens, a relationship that made headlines in 2012. But she's best known for the Olympics, during which she led her team to the gold medal and became the subject of much Twitter chatter about her pleasing appearance. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of this double gold medalist Find: Where she's playing now
A gangly, overlooked prospect coming out of college, this California native has become one of the most-successful quarterbacks of all time. And he's done OK with women, too. He has a son with actress Bridget Moynahan, and he's married to a Brazilian supermodel (which one?), with whom he has two children. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the superstar QB Find: Watch him on the field
Bay area born
This Bay Area kid grew up to be one of the most effective point guards of all time. He made 10 NBA All-Star games and finally won a championship in 2011. Off the floor, his previous marriage was a topic of headlines, ending in a messy public divorce in 2007. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of the Knicks star Find: Whom he recently married
Life of the party
A two-time champion who made his name on fearlessness, durability and an uncanny knack for getting himself fouled, this Chicago native in 2010 convinced a couple of his friends (and competitive rivals) to join him in one of America's most glamorous cities. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of the NBA champion Find: Achieving a career moment
The central figure in the most famous divorce in sports history, this Nike spokesman might be the best ever to play his sport, though he is still chasing the hardware total that would prove it. Has a video game series named after him and is apparently fond of the restaurant chain Perkins. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of him in the hunt Find: How he's doing with that comeback
There was a moment -a brief one -when some people thought that this man might be better than LeBron James. Basketball fans know him as perhaps the NBA's best pure scorer. Hip hop fans know him as the basketball player who was married to La La. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Check out photos of him on the court Find: Is an NBA ring likely in his future?
This former American League MVP and Cy Young winner was briefly rumored to be dating supermodel Kate Upton, who also has been linked with Sean "Diddy" Combs. Has thrown two no-hitters and is a five-time All-Star, playing in one of America's roughest cities. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of him on the mound Find: Does he think he hurt his game?
A star is born
Somehow, this girl's hair became as big a story as her performance during the 2012 Olympic Games, which took some doing, considering she won a gold medal. If you missed her then, she's that girl on the Wheaties box with the 1,000-watt smile. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: Watch her at the Olympics Find: Is she planning a return trip?
Stepping into his own
He seems to have crawled out from underneath the shadow of the famous father with whom he shares a first name (who died tragically while still in his prime). Because of his thick Southern accent, he made an ideal spokesman for Wrangler. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: Watch some of his winningest moments Find: Where he's never won
Baby of the bunch
He lacks his brother's natural charisma and comedic timing, but it's all fair because his brother lacks his knack for coming up big in key moments. He was so confident in himself, actually, that he openly warned a certain NFL team not to draft him when he was coming out of college. Bing: Who is this cute kid now? Search: See him now Find: His older brother who plays the same position
Legend in the making
He was the star in possibly the best "air-drumming to Phil Collins" scene ever committed to film, which barely registers among the biggest moments in this man's life. For all he did - win championships, get convicted of rape, threaten to eat an opponent's children - he will always be remembered as the guy who bit off a piece of an opponent's ear. Bing: Who is this cute kid? Search: See photos of his trademark tattoo Find: His cameo appearances