Twenty Three World Class Athletes

Twenty Three athletes who set World Records or became World Champions

See over 100 other elite vegan athletes here

Dustin Watten, vegan volleyball player

Dustin Watten is a member of the US national volleyball team. He is now an established member of the team and has travelled with them to high-level competition, helping them towards team successes. Dustin has been vegan since 2012 and as well as playing for his nation he has played in the Brazilian national league …

Denis Mikhaylove, vegan ultradistance runner

Denis was born in Russia and moved to New York, USA in 2006.  He moved to New York to develop a career in finance but by 2010 he had given it up to pursue one in health and fitness. Things progressed quickly and in 2011 he took four top five finishes in distances ranging from …

Weia Reinboud, vegan track and field athlete

World record setter, Weia Reinbound, attempts a high jump

Weia is a veterans athletics multiple world record holder and vegan. She started competing in masters athletics in 1995 aged 45, following decades of not training at all. By 1999 she was competing in Gateshead, UK, where she came second to an athlete who set a world records for the womens age 45 age category. …

David Meyer, vegan martial artist

David Meyer has competed for years at the top of the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Over the years he has won numerous international titles at the top level.  David is recognised as a pioneer of the sport as one of the first non-Brazilians to achieve black belt.  One of the most impressive things …

Tia Blanco, vegan surfer

Tia Blanco has been a successful surfer for many years and has achieved international recognition very early in life.  She is a member of the American surfing team and has won several surfing tournaments.   In 2014 she won the NSSA Southwest Women’s U18 season and the Surfing Prime America Womens U18 season.   Tia went …

Laura Kline, vegan duathlon competitor

Laura Kline is a multisport athlete from Pasadena, USA, best known for her success in Duathlon.  Duathlon is an endurance event which starts with a run, changes to cycling, then returns to running. She participated in hockey, softball, basketball and boxing while at high school and college, then at age 26 started competing in the …

Andy Lally, vegan racing driver

Andy Lally is a world class racing driver who has achieved historic all-time milestones. He won the Rolex 24 hour at Daytona in 2001, 2009, 2011, 2012 (more here) and 2016 (more here).  Andy holds the record for the most podium finishes in this race since the Grand Am era started in 2000.  Five time …

Neil Robertson, vegan snooker player

Neil is a former World Champion player who has topped the international snooker rankings.  He is also one of the best known and highest achieving players in snooker. The Australian left hander turner professional in the 2006/7 season.  He was already known in Australia, having become the youngest player to make a century break in …

Scott Jurek, vegan ultramarathon runner

Few athletes have made an impression on their sport like Colorado-based Scott Jurek has made on the demanding sport of ultra marathon running. Scott has led the sport with some amazing performances including multiple wins and course records. Ultramarathon running starts at the distances beyond the standard marathon of 26.2 miles (42km), while Scott has …

Yolanda Presswood, vegan powerlifter

Yolanda Presswood is a powerlifter who has achieved great things very quickly. Originally competitive in the bikini and fitness categories of bodybuilding, Yolanda started competing in Crossfit in November 2014 and then moved to powerlifting in October 2016, with her first competition in December of that year. World record breaker in squat, deadlift and competition …

Patrik Baboumian, vegan strongman

Patrik was born in Iran and lives in Germany. In 1999 aged 20 he won the German Junior Bodybuilding title. He broke the world log lift record for under 105kg, with a 165kg lift, as well as the German heavyweight log lift record . His heaviest log lift is 200kg. In 2011 he won Germany’s …

Unsal Arik, vegan boxer

Unsal is a Turkish boxer who currently lives in Germany and fights at Super Welterweight.  Since he gave up meat he has become the IBF European Champion, WBU World Champion and GBU World Champion.  Later he turned vegan and since then has won the UBF European title twice, WBC Asia title and the BDB International …

Borja Perez Batet, vegan runner

Borja Ignacio Perez Batet is a multisport athlete from Spain who competes internationally.  He’s competed in the European and World Duathlon Championships, taking the 30-34 age group World title in 2016. World and European Duathlon Championships duathlon competitor World Age Group Duathlon Champion, 2016 San Silvestre Vellcana Amateur winner Borja has also run 10k in …

Elena Congost, vegan runner

Elena competes in track and field, representing Spain in the Paralympics in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.  Born with a degenerative visual condition, she qualifies for the T12/B2 categories. Elena is known for her remarkable versatility as she has competed in long jump, 100 metres  and marathon.  Among her best Paralympic results are silver in …

Sofia Jokl, vegan Ju-Jitsu expert

Sofia Jokl is an experienced competitor in Japanese Ju-Jitsu, competing in the Duo-System at European and World level. The Duo system involves pairs of competitors demonstrating self defence against attacks randomly called by a referee.  Speed, realism, control and power are among the qualities judged. It is known as a spectacular form of Ju-Jitsu with …

Rob Bigwood, vegan armwrestler

    Rob took up arm-wrestling in 2000. It was after a tournament in 2002 that he first starting feeling uncomfortable about eating meat and moving towards a vegan diet. Like many people, Rob had been led to believe that meat was an important part of building strength. “I was concerned at first but didn’t …

Alexander Dargatz, vegan bodybuilder

Alex shot to fame in December 2005 when he won the World Champion Fitness title with WFF (World Fitness Federation). Five years before this he had become vegan in response to the cruelty of the animal food industries. Although the motivation was “ethical, ecological, spiritual and healthy reasons (in that order)” Alex soon found that …

Harvey Lewis, ultramarathon runner

Few people have made an impact on their sport as emphatically as Harvey Lewis. The American has twice won the Badwater Ultramarathon, considered the toughest footrace in the world. The 135 mile race takes in extreme temperatures and massive height gain and losses. Harvey won in both 2014 and 2021. His 2010 win at Sulphur …

Lewis Hamilton, vegan racing driver

Lewis Hamilton is established as the leading Formula One driver of his generation and one of the all-time greats. He’s taken numerous wins and Championships. By 2020 he was a six-time World Champion (the second most of all time) with 88 individual race victories.  His career total points score of 3563 (as of August 2020) …

Austin Aries, vegan wrestler

Austin Aries in the ring

Austin Aries is an American Pro Wrestler who has competed with the nation’s best and won numerous World Titles.  He’s known for a range of spectacular signatures moves. Austin made his debut in 2000 and by 2004 was competing in the Ring of Honor (ROH) following success in the Midwestern States.  On Boxing Day 2004 …

Meagan Duhamel, vegan figure skater

Canadian Meagan Duhamel has skated singly and in pairs, although she is best known for skating in pairs. Soon after working with partner Eric Radford she achieved fame when she and Eric were the first pair to perform a side-by-side triple lutz in competition. She is the 2011 Four Continents Silver medallist,  2011 Canadian national …

Ryan Stills, vegan powerlifter

Ryan has been a world class powerlifter for several years, making his mark at the highest level against the strongest opponents. He’s competed in raw divisions with IPF and USAPL in the 120 kg category. This includes four category wins at the IPF Masters’ World Championships. Over 2016 to 2021 he won his category eight …

Michaela Copenhaver, vegan rower

Michaela Copenhaver is an American rower competing in the Lightweight division. She started rowing in 2003 and continued at University where she competed at two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships and one Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championship. In her senior year she set a Sprints course record and won an IRA silver medal as …

Harri Nieminem, vegan Thai Boxer

Muay Thai champion, Harri Nieminem, stands in front of the camera, towel in hand

Former World Champion Harri travelled to Thailand to win the 1997 Thai Boxing title at 60kg. He beat the US champion in the semi and the Thai champion in the final. Harri was 22 when he started eating vegan in 1994. A year before this he cut out red meat, and was inspired by straight-edge …

Fiona Oakes, vegan marathon runner

Fiona Oakes has made great achievements in her running, which seem all the more impressive given her incredibly full lifestyle.  This means that training competes with a number of other demands on her time and energy. Fiona has worked as a retained firefighter, a job which meant she was often on call and needed to …

Mike Freemont, vegan runner

Some athletes cause pause for thought and some are amazing examples of what can be done. Mike Freemont is one who has pushed the boundaries of what is believed possible. He retains world records and a level of astounding fitness level. At age 99 (in 2021) he still runs regularly. He retains a sharp mind …

James Southwood, vegan fighter

James Southwood is an expert instructor and champion fighter in Savate. Savate (pronounced “Suh-vat”) is a dynamic sport that combines movements from English boxing and French kicking. He is a multiple Great British Champion, 2008 World Bronze Medallist, European Silver Medallist (twice), 2016 World Vice-Champion, and 2014 World Champion. James is a senior instructor at …

Alex Morgan, vegan soccer player

Alex is established as one of the most successful players of her generation in women’s soccer – with success at national and international level. She started playing for the California Golden Bears while at University before being drafted as the overall number one in 2011. This took her to Western New York Flash. Played at …

Pat Reeves, vegan powerlifter

Pat Reeves with Trophy

Pat was diagnosed with a serious genetic cancer in 1977 when she was 32.  The devastating news which led to her adopting a wholefood vegan diet. As a result her health has made an excellent recovery and the ‘terminal’ cancer has gone into remission.  Meanwhile Pat but continues to live a full and incredible life. …

Ruth Heidrich, vegan endurance athlete

Ruth Heidrich is a prolific runner who has maintained an astonishing level of fitness into her senior years. A survivor of an aggressive breast cancer, Ruth turned vegan in 1982 aged 47 in response to the diagnosis. She has won over 900 medals for running of all distances, up to and including ironman triathlon.  This …