New York stars Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin led the list of sportsmen who were named among Time’s most influential people Wednesday.
In its annual "Time 100," the magazine includes a tribute to the 24-year-old Jets quarterback from the Knicks point guard.
Lin lauded Tebow for his competitiveness, work ethic and leadership qualities on the field, while also paying tribute to the former Heisman Trophy winner’s work off the field.
"He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out," Lin wrote
"As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that."
The 23-year-old Lin, who is sidelined with a knee injury, burst on to the scene to lead the Knicks back into playoff contention earlier this season. His tribute was penned by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who like Lin is a Harvard graduate.
"Often it’s the bling, the glam, the individual that gets celebrated — not the team and working together to advance a goal bigger than oneself. Jeremy cares only about one thing — winning," Duncan wrote on the undrafted Lin, who became the first Asian-American to play in the NBA.
"And I don’t care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy’s story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds."
The world’s best soccer player, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, also appeared on the list, with former US star Mia Hamm praising the Argentine for his unique talents.
"A month ago, in the midst of his scoring a record five Champions League goals in one game, Lionel Messi chipped the ball over the keeper from inside 12 (yards). I don’t think people realize how hard that is to do," Hamm wrote.
"It would be impossible for me. I would probably end up with my foot stuck in the turf, and the ball would end up who knows where."
Other sports figures on the "Time 100" include tennis star Novak Djokovic, who has won four of the past five grand slam events, South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius, and women’s golfer Yani Tseng, who at age 23 has already captured five major championships.