2022 is going to be a big year for sports; January kicks off with tennis superstar Novak Djokovic defending his crown at the Australian Open and ending with the first-ever Winter World Cup in December hosted by Qatar.
Some of the all-time greatest athletes, including football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis talent Novak Djokovic, have vision impairments, meaning they rely on contact lenses to stay ahead of the game.
Glasses would be an inconvenience and distract from performance, but contact lenses allow us to pursue what we love and achieve great things.
Lenstore, an online contact lens retailer, has visualised what some of the world’s biggest athletes’ career-defining moments would have looked like without them.
The global contact lenses market is expected to grow 5% annually between 2019 to 2025. With the growing demand for contacts, those with vision impairments don’t need to hold back from daily life, activities, and career dreams.
A name synonymous with football, the legend that is Cristino Ronaldo doesn’t need an introduction.
He’s won multiple Premier Leagues, Champions Leagues and La Liga titles over his club career with Manchester United and Real Madrid all while wearing his trusted lenses.
Over 20% of his goals were headers, which wouldn’t have been possible if he’d been wearing glasses.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson is the women’s British record heptathlon holder after winning gold at the 2019 World Championships.
She’s been wearing contact lenses even before she started training for heptathlons but they allowed her to do more challenging athletic events such as the hurdles and high jump.
Johnson-Thompson stated “Without contact lenses I wouldn’t get over the first hurdle” showing just how important they’ve been to her career.
Currently ranked No.1 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the record holder as the longest-standing tennis player to lay claim to the title at 352 weeks, Djokovic has his fitness, flexibility and sight to thank.
Off the court, he wears glasses but wouldn’t be able to wear these during a physically demanding rally. Instead, the tennis player uses conventional daytime contact lenses for training and playing.
David De Gea
The Spanish professional footballer, playing for Premier League club Manchester United, David De Gea, wears glasses off the field and glasses on it because of a condition called hyperopia.
The condition means that 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.
Lydia Ko, a Korean-born New Zealand, was the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA Tour event at age 18.
Originally, the former No.1 ranked women’s professional golfer did wear glasses to play but had since switched to contact lenses after finding she can more accurately judge distances.
Ko stated “…wear glasses, they’re perfect when you’re looking straight out, but when you are looking left or right, to the side of the glasses, it’s not the same, the distance can look different. Contacts are right on your eyeballs. They move around with your eyes.”