10 Athletes Who Helped the Sesame Street Friends Grow Smarter, Stronger, and Kinder

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Since 1969, Sesame Street has been graced by the warm and friendly presence of monsters, animals, and humans alike.

Many of the street’s human visitors are accomplished athletes who have made the world a smarter, stronger, and kinder place in their own ways. Let’s take a walk (or a jog, sprint, or swim) down memory lane, revisiting ten athletes who have made their mark on and off Sesame Street.

1. David Beckham

Part of what makes David Beckham one of the most celebrated athletes in the world is that he never gives up. In that spirit, the soccer star dropped by Sesame Street back in 2008 to teach Elmo all about the wonderful things that can happen when you are persistent.

2. Venus Williams

Tennis champion Venus Williams visited Sesame Street in 2004 to play her favorite sport with Elmo, and was met by a very memorable lesson on the power of imagination.

3. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire

Big Bird may be tall, but he was practically average height the day these NBA superstars stopped by Sesame Street to teach Grover all about the word “compare.”

4. Albert Pujols

In 2014, the MLB’s Albert Pujols visited Sesame Street to spend some time with Grover. We don’t know about you, but we think this clip belongs in the Major Leagues!

5. Chloe Kim

Back in 2020, Big Bird sat down for a rad interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Kim all about her favorite sport, snowboarding.

6. Kobe Bryant

Ten years before his tragic death, one of the literal and figurative giants of basketball visited Sesame Street to teach Abby Cadabby all about the word “miniature.”

7. Misty Copeland

Stretching is an important part of warming up your body before any sport, and dancing is no exception. The former Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre taught Elmo all about how to stretch and warm up his body before partaking in movement.

8. Chad Pennington, Laveranues Coles, Ben Graham, and Coach Eric Mangini

It was a special day on Sesame Street in 2006 when three New York Jets and their coach visited to help Elmo train to be a future football star. Keep up the good work, Elmo!

9. Naomi Osaka

We don’t know about you, but we feel nothing but LOVE for this clip of tennis player Naomi Osaka teaching Gabrielle, Elmo, and Charlie the importance of protecting yourself from the sun.

10. David Villa

Pro-athlete David Villa and our furry friend Rosita share the same favorite sport: Soccer, or as they like to call it, fútbol. Regardless of what you call it, this clip is muy divertido!

Can’t get enough?
For more great clips, check out the Official Sesame Street Fan Channel.