Charts & Graphs

Athletic Rulers

The sports of kings and presidents.

Henry VIII, jousting

King of England (1509–1547)

Suffered two serious accidents while jousting, the second so serious that Anne Boleyn attributed her miscarriage to it.

Mary Stuart, golf

Queen of Scots (1542–1587)

Reportedly played golf days after the death of her husband Lord Darnley, indicating her indifference to his murder.

Andrew Jackson, dueling

President of the United States (1829–1837)

Fought in thirteen duels during his life, the first at the age of twenty-one. He killed only one man.

Woodrow Wilson, golf

President of the United States (1913–1921)

Played a round per day, except for Sunday, during much of his presidency. On April 2, 1917, after a morning of golf, Wilson asked Congress for a Declaration of War against Germany.

Idi Amin, boxing

Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular (1971–1979)

Named the Ugandan light-heavyweight boxing champion from 1951 to 1960.

Fidel Castro, baseball

President of Cuba (1976–2008)

Scouted by the Washington Senators as a relief pitcher in the 1940s but was never signed.

Vladimir Putin, judo

President of Russia (1999–2008, 2012–)

Earned the Master of Sports in judo in 1975 and co-authored the book Judo with Vladimir Putin.

Dick Cheney, quail hunting

Vice President of the United States (2001–2009)

Accidentally shot fellow hunter Harry Whittington in the face, neck, and torso, causing a mild heart attack.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding

Governor of California (2003–2011)

Won Mr. Olympia at the age of twenty-three; was in charge of a state whose economy is the eighth largest in the world.

Sarah Palin, hunting

Governor of Alaska (2006–2009)

Provided cash incentives to citizens for aerial hunting to control predators; is an NRA supporter; keeps her freezer stocked with wild game.