7 Top Athletes Not Named Derek Jeter Who Are Retiring in 2014

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Not every athlete gets a yearlong retirement tour as New York Yankees star reliever Mariano Rivera got last year and longtime shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter has had this year. While most athletes also don't enjoy the career longevity those two had, many have given their fans plenty of thrills over the years and deserve some recognition as they move out of the sport they became famous playing and onto the next phase of life.

Here are seven athletes not named Derek Jeter who announced their retirements in 2014:

7 Top Athletes Not Named Derek Jeter Who Are Retiring in 2014
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7 Top Athletes Not Named Derek Jeter Who Are Retiring in 2014
China is not known for producing top-flight tennis players, but during her career, Li Na rose to the top of the game. She won two Grand Slam events, the Australian Open and the French Open. But at age 32, her injured knees could no longer carry her into elite competition.

Perhaps the best-known U.S.-born soccer player, Donovan received a lot of attention this year after not being chosen to the U.S. World Cup team after years of playing for his country. At age 32 and 14 years playing in the MLS, he announced this would be his final season of soccer. He holds the U.S. record with 57 international goals.

Koivu, 39, came from his native Finland to join the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995-1996 season. He became the team captain in 1999, the first time the honor had been bestowed on a European-born player. He joined the Anaheim Ducks in 2009, where he finished his carrer. Koivu scored 832 points in 18 NHL seasons, and won four Olympic medals as captain of Finland national team.

Zambrano's retirement announcement was more anti-climax than the news many others made when they decided to end their careers. Zambrano, 33, hadn't pitched in the big leagues for two years, but the three-time All-Star, who played most of his career for the Chicago Cubs, finally went public earlier this month with the idea that he would never pitch again.

In a sport that doesn't lend itself to longevity, Silva, 38, lasted for 20 years. The former champion of the PRIDE MMA promotion and long-time UFC fighter ends his career with a 35-12-1 record.

The three-time Olympic Gold medalist from Australia decided to end her swimming career at the age of 25, about the same time Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympic swimmer in history, decided to restart his.

A lot of fans around the NBA got to know Chauncey Billups. The basketball star, 37, was best known for his time with the Detroit Pistons even though he played for six other teams over his 17-year career that started with the Boston Celtics. He was named the 2004 NBA finals MVP after the Pistons won the championship and ended his career earlier this month as a member of the Pistons.

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