By Andrew Fisher @AndrewFisherRS on June 3, 2014
Retiring is the hardest thing many athletes have to do. While they may want to continue playing, often times their body is not able. But here are 15 athletes who went out the right way -- on top:
The Bus left the NFL as a champion after the Steelers beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
Jones, co-founder of the Masters, won the golf grand slam in 1930 and walked away from the sport after the 1930 US Amateur Championship.
The last great heavyweight boxer retired as the undisputed world champion in 2003, one year after he basically ended the career of Mike Tyson.
The Yankee great hung up his cleats after winning the 1951 World Series, his ninth overall championship as a player.
Hasek, considered one of the best goalies of all time, retired in 2008 after winning his second Stanley Cup.
Before there was Michael Phelps, there was Mark Spitz. The US swimmer retired in 1972 after winning seven gold medals at the Munich games.
Jordan makes the list, despite the fact that he retired for the final time as a non-champion. But when you retire twice after winning the NBA Finals, you get a little leeway. Jordan did it in 1993 and 1998.
After winning three golds and a sliver amidst PED allegations during the 1988 Summer Olympics, Flo Jo decided to call it a career. She never failed a drug test.
The Admiral is one of the most underrated centers of all time. People seem to forget how great he was. He finally proved he was one of the best by winning titles in 1999 and 2003, and after his second title, he walked away on top.
Strahan could have continued his NFL career for several more years, but he decided to walk away from the NFL after the Giants pulled one of the all-time great upsets in Super Bowl XLII.
Arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, Sampras called it quits after beating long-time rival Andre Agassi in the 2002 US Open Finals.
Marciano is the only champion to hold the heavyweight title while going untied and undefeated throughout an entire career (49-0).
Love him or hate him, Lewis left the NFL on the highest of highs. After tearing his triceps midway through the 2012 season, Lewis returned for the Ravens playoff run and led them to a Super Bowl victory.
Russell won an astounding 11 championships during his career. He retired after the 11th and final one in 1969 when the Celtics beat the Lakers in game seven of the Finals.
When you think of players going out on top, John Elway is likely the first guy who comes to mind. After losing three Super Bowls in the 1980s, the Broncos QB capped his career by winning two straight in 1998 and 1999 to go out on top.
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