Leonard originally retired as a world champion after suffering a detached retina in 1982. He returned for one fight in 1984 against Kevin Howard and then retired again. Then in 1987, Leonard came back for a historic bout against middleweight champion Marvin Hagler. Leonard, a huge underdog, won a controversial split decision to regain the belt.
2 of 10Simon Bruty/SI
After turning pro at age 13 in 1990 and reaching the final of the first tournament she entered, Capriati became the brightest young star in tennis. But by 1994 the pressures of fame had worn her down, and off-court problems -- including arrests for marijuana possession and shoplifting -- effectively ended her career. She began a slow comeback in 1996 and after a few years rediscovered her game. Capriati stunned the tennis world by winning the both Australian Open and French Open titles in 2001 and ascending to No. 1 in the world rankings.
3 of 10John Iacono/SI
Galarraga discovered he had non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in spring training with Atlanta in 1999 and sat out the entire season to undergo treatment. The next year, at the age of 39, he returned to the Braves, hitting a game-winning home run in his first contest back and making the All-Star Game in front of the hometown Atlanta fans. He ended the season with a .302 average, 28 HRs and 100 RBIs.
4 of 10Hy Peskin/SI
When Hogan was at the zenith of his career, an auto accident nearly took his life. On Feb. 2, 1949, Hogan's car was hit by a Greyhound bus outside of El Paso, Texas, and he suffered a broken collarbone, a fractured pelvis, smashed ribs and a broken ankle. Virtually everyone thought Hogan's career was over, but the following year he came back to the links. In one of the most dramatic victories ever, Hogan won the 1950 U.S. Open, signifying he was back at the top of his game.
5 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
Lemieux had come back from Hodgkin's Disease in 1993-94 and back trouble in 1995, but his most remarkable feat was returning to the game in 2000 after a three-year layoff. Lemieux scored a goal in his first game back and quickly proved he was still one of the most dangerous scorers in the game. Although injuries did limit his play, Lemieux played at a high level for the next three seasons.
6 of 10John Iacono/SI
Foreman lost his championship belt to Muhammad Ali in 1974 and retired in 1977 a broken man. But in 1987 he returned to the ring with a new outgoing personality. Despite his girth and lack of speed, Foreman's power made him an instant success. After a few unsuccessful title fights, Foreman finally regained the belt in 1994 by knocking out Michael Moorer. At 45, Foreman became the oldest boxer ever to win the heavyweight championship.
7 of 10AP
The wildly popular Depression-era champion and 1938 Horse of the Year damaged a ligament in his left leg early in 1939 and was thought to be finished with racing. But Seabiscuit made a remarkable recovery and was able to race again by the beginning of 1940. By his third comeback race, he had returned to his winning ways; Seabiscuit equalled the track record as he won the Santa Anita Handicap.
8 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Jordan's father was murdered in August 1993, prompting him to retire from the game two days before the '93-'94 season began. Jordan turned to baseball and had a largely unsuccessful stint in the minor leagues. In March 1995, Jordan returned to the NBA. The next season, Jordan and the Bulls won the first of three more NBA titles.
9 of 10AP
At the height of his career, Ali was forced out of boxing in 1967 because he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. He wasn't allowed to fight for 2 1/2 years and the layoff was difficult for him to overcome. After losing fights to Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, Ali beat George Foreman in 1974 to recapture the heavyweight crown.
10 of 10Robert Laberge/Getty Images
In 1996, just as he was entering the prime of his career, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain. He was given a 50 percent chance of survival. After a grueling rehab, Armstrong returned to cycling and began an unprecedented period of dominance with his 1999 Tour De France victory. He has served as an inspiration for millions.
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