Top 5 Athletes Who Wear Contact Lenses While Playing

2022 is going to be a great year for sport; January kicks off with tennis superstar Novak Djokovic defending his crown at the Australian Open and ends with the first-ever Winter World Cup in December hosted by Qatar.

Some of the greatest athletes of all time, including football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and talented tennis player Novak Djokovic, have visual impairments, which means they use contact lenses to stay ahead of the game.

Glasses would be a downside and distract from performance, but contact lenses allow us to pursue what we love and achieve great things.

Lenstore, an online contact lens retailer, envisioned what some of the defining career moments of some of the world’s greatest athletes would have looked like without them.

The global contact lens market is expected to grow by 5% per year between 2019 and 2025. With the growing demand for lenses, visually impaired people do not need to retreat from daily life, activities and career dreams.

Cristino Ronaldo

Name synonymous with football, the legend that is Cristino Ronaldo does not need to be introduced.

He won several Premier League, Champions League and La Liga titles during his club career with Manchester United and Real Madrid, all while wearing his trusted lenses.

Over 20% of his goals were from heads, which wouldn’t have been possible if he had worn glasses.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is the British women’s heptathlon record holder after winning gold at the 2019 World Championships.

She wore contact lenses before she even started training for heptathlon, but they allowed her to compete in more difficult athletic events such as hurdles and high jump.

Johnson-Thompson said “Without contact lenses I wouldn’t overcome the first hurdle,” showing how important they have been to his career.

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Novak Djokovic

Currently ranked No. 1 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals and the record holder for the oldest tennis player to claim the title at 352 weeks, Djokovic owes his physical form, flexibility and eyesight to thanks.

Off the pitch he wears glasses but could not wear them in a physically demanding rally. Instead, the tennis player uses conventional daytime contact lenses for training and playing.

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David De Gea

Spanish professional footballer, playing for Premier League club Manchester United, David De Gea, wears glasses off the pitch and on them due to a condition called hyperopia.

The condition means he is farsighted and able to see things more clearly in the distance than close up. Widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, without contact lenses he may not have had so many successful saves.

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Lydie Ko

Lydia Ko, a Korean-born New Zealander, was the youngest person to win a professional golf tournament and the youngest person to win an LPGA tournament at the age of 18.

The former No.1-ranked professional golfer originally wore glasses to play, but had since switched to contact lenses after finding she could more accurately judge distances.

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Ko said: “… wear glasses, they are great when looking straight, but when looking left or right, side of glasses it is not the same, distance might look different. The contacts are right on your eyeballs. They move with your eyes.

Read: 2021 recap: Most memorable football moments of the year

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