These Presidents Were Surprisingly Athletic

We expect our presidents to be great politicians but we certainly don’t expect them to be great athletes as well. But when you think about it, the sports that a president played can say a lot about their success in politics. People have theorized that a president who did well at a team sport like football and baseball tended to rely on staff members more, while those who played individual sports like golf or jogging were more inclined to make decisions on their own.

Whether or not sports have any connection to a president’s politics, we can be sure that they helped keep our commander in chiefs healthy throughout their years in the Oval Office.

Lincoln Was An Amateur Wrestler

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Katherine Young/Getty Images
Katherine Young/Getty Images

Yep, you read that right. Honest Abe turned to $10 fights as a young man in Illinois. In the early 1930s, he developed an impressive record as an amateur wrestler after a saloonkeeper bet him that he couldn’t beat the champion of a nearby town.

While Lincoln might have looked thin and wiry, he was a lot stronger than you’d think. His long arms allowed him to fend off other wrestlers and deliver blows from far away. Lincoln ended up winning his inaugural fight and showed his true tenacity when it came to leading the Union in the Civil War.