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The 10 most recognisable and famous Australian athletes: Who tops the list?


famous australian athletes

Here are 10 of the most famous Australian athletes that every sports fan should know about.

Australia currently has a wealth of sports stars, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage.

We’ve gone through the most well paid Australian athletes of 2023, so now it’s time to assess the most famed and recognised.

Here are 10 of the most celebrated and influential Australian athletes who hold a special place in the hearts of sports lovers Down Under and beyond.

The top 10 most famous Australian Athletes

The Australians on this list captivate audiences and fellow athletes with how they play. They feature due to their standing within their sport and for being widely acknowledged as role models, ambassadors, or promoting Australia in their specific codes.

Australia's highest paid athletes, famous australian athletes
How many of the top 10 highest earners of 2023 double up and join this list?

10. Ben Simmons, Basketball

Basketballer Ben Simmons burst onto the scene as the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2018. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been smooth sailing since then.

Now playing for the Brooklyn Nets, the Melbourne-born point guard has some exceptional tools and outstanding size, but hasn’t been able to build on his first few seasons in the league. A mixture of injuries and questionable work ethic have seen him spend more time in street clothes than kit the last couple of seasons.

Regardless, he remains one of the most recognisable Australian athletes in the world.

famous australian athletes, ben simmons
Ben Simmons hasn’t done much playing the last few seasons. Can that change in 2023-24?

9. Cameron Smith, Golf

Cameron Smith has etched his name in golfing history with his impressive achievements – yet he still flies under the radar as an Australian athlete.

His remarkable skill and composure on the course have resulted in an impressive 12 PGA Tour victories and prestigious titles. However, what makes us truly admire Smith is his down-to-earth personality and sportsmanship.

Often mistaken as the brother of Steve Smith (which he’s not), he shares the same unwavering dedication to his craft and strong work ethic that the Australian cricketer is also known for.

famous australian athletes, cam smith
The moment Cameron Smith won the 2022 Open Championship.

8. Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing

Stephanie Gilmore is an iconic figure in the world of surfing who has redefined the sport with her incredible career.

As a seven-time World Surfing Champion, she’s consistently displayed unparalleled skill, style, and grace on the waves.

Gilmore was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales. She is known for her infectious passion for the ocean and her pioneering role in promoting gender equality in surfing. Additionally, her charisma, humility, and remarkable surfing talent have endeared her to fans worldwide, making her an inspirational Australian and beloved figure in the sport.

Steph Gilmore, famous australian athletes,
Steph Gilmore reached a record EIGHTH world title in 2022

7. Christian Petracca, AFL

If you follow Australian Rules Football, you’ll know how good Christian Petracca is. The dynamic midfield athlete has enjoyed widespread admiration in recent years for his exceptional achievements on the field.

With his remarkable athleticism, explosive bursts, and precise ball-handling skills, he’s become a pivotal player for the Melbourne Demons. But beyond his sporting prowess, Petracca’s humility, dedication to his team, and strong work ethic make him one of the AFL’s most popular athletes with fans.

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Dees star Christian Petracca | Most famous Australian athletes

And his strong social media presence (check out more here) means he has more cut through than some of the game’s other huge stars.

6. Nick Kyrgios, Tennis

Few Australian sportsmen and women have captivated and polarised Australia’s public as much as Nick Kyrgios has over the years.

A man blessed with incredible talent and unapologetic authenticity, Kyrgios is known for his powerful serve, flair on the court, and fearless attitude – which have helped him achieve plenty of success on the ATP Tour.

But his refreshing honesty, charitable endeavours, and willingness to challenge the status quo in tennis endear him to many while irritating others. One thing is for sure: Kyrgios has done plenty to put the country of Australia on the map globally with the way he has played.

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Nick Kyrgios | Most recognisable Australian athletes

5. Pat Cummins, Cricket

It is not an overstretch of the imagination to say that Pat Cummins is a legend of the modern era of cricket.

Thanks to his excellent bowling records, impressive match-winning performances, and notable achievements as captain of the Australian cricket team, he is destined to become one of the game’s all-time greatest players.

However, it says much about the man – born in New South Wales – that he is arguably best known for his humble demeanour, unwavering work ethic, and laidback nature.

What is scary is that at just 30 years old, the best years of this Australian international cricketer are ahead of him.

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Australian captain Pat Cummins | Most recognisable Australian athletes

4. Cate Campbell, Swimming

Cate Campbell is an incredible swimmer who has been a dominant force in the pool since she secured two bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, aged 16. Since then, the Malawian-born Aussie has won an Olympic gold medal or silver medal at three more Olympics and was awarded the prestigious OAM, yet she is still very humble and down-to-earth.

She is still going strong, aged 31, and is destined for the Australian Hall of Fame; who would bet against her winning gold for Australia in Paris 2024?

Cate Campbell produces an heroic final leg to secure gold for Austrlia in the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay at Tokyo

3. Patty Mills, Basketball

Patty Mills has been ripping up trees in the NBA and with the Australian National Team, The Boomers, for over a decade.

Having won one world championship with the San Antonio Spurs, he now plays his trade with the Atlanta Hawks – where he continues to deliver clutch plays.

Mills, a proud indigenous Australian athlete from Canberra, was the flag bearer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Cate Campbell. His leadership on and off the court and his dedication to social causes have earned him immense love and respect from basketball fanatics in Australia and worldwide.

Patty Mills, famous australian athletes
Patty Mills | Australia’s most recognisable athletes

2. Daniel Ricciardo, F1

With eight Grand Prix victories and an impressive 32 podium finishes, Daniel Ricciardo is a successful Formula 1 driver who has enjoyed an outstanding career on the racetrack.

He’s proven his talent and determination for Red Bull, Renault, McLaren, and now the Scuderia AlphaTauri racing team through a captivating driving style. But what truly endears him to Australian F1 Supporters is his infectious smile, charismatic personality, and approachable nature.

Ricciardo’s ability to bring joy and positivity to the high-pressure role of being a Formula One driver makes him a beloved Australian sportsman in motorsport.

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Dan Ricciardo | Most recognisable Australian athletes

1. Sam Kerr, Football

Boasting a prolific goal-scoring record and incredible athleticism, Sam Kerr has become a global icon of women’s football.

Sam has achieved notable success on the pitch – including taking Australia to the semi-finals of the Fifa World Cup and winning eight trophies with Chelsea.

She is known for her skill, speed, and tenacity on the field. While off it, her dedication to inspiring the next generation of female athletes makes her a sports hero and a role model to millions of aspiring soccer players worldwide.

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Sam Kerr with Chelsea | Famous Australian athletes


So there you have it, our top group of famous Australian athletes.

Many came through the Australian Institute of Sport, and all are undoubtedly destined for Australia’s Sporting Hall of Fame. Do you agree with our choices?

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