Greatest Athletes of All TimeThis is not a list of the greatest players of all time, although many of the athletes on the list may have been great players. This is a list of the greatest athletes which begs the question, what makes someone a great athlete. For the purpose of this list, athletic greatness is defined as possessing a variety of attributes that contribute to athletic prowess. These include speed, quickness, endurance, power and hand-eye coordination. That is why this list does not include specialized athletes such as marathon runners or bicyclists. While it is clear that Lance Armstrong is a master in his field, he has not proven that he could compete in other sports where more is required than pumping his thighs for hours on end.
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The Top Ten
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ahem you mean eleven time champion needs to be recognized
The six time champion needs to be recognized!
Willie should be in the top ten. He could control a baseball game all by himself. Hit, field, throw, run, hit for power. A 5 tool player with no comparison.
Wow there is no question Willie should be top 5. Greatest I would say.
Read the latest biography of Willie Mays and see what the world thought of him. Better than Babe Ruth. There were no black players in Ruths era. Perfect physical specimen who also was a great person to all races. Played in poor hitters parks and still hit prolific home runs. Willie and Michael tied for first.
Not my very favorite but he's definitely the ballsiest mofo out there. #tougherthana2dollarsteak the dude is INSANE he has redefined "YOLO" more times than I can count. And why isn't Brett Favre on this list?!? He's the BEST OF ALL TIME!
He should be in the top 10 for sure. The kid won the AMA motocross outdoor national championship, AMA super cross championship and the ESPN X games all in one year. He won a outdoor event then hopped on a plane and won the gold in X-games freestyle.
Could look in the opposite direction, shoot the ball and be nothing but net. Now that's amazing.
the mile king and holder of solid three world records. very difficult to replace this king
Fell in 1996, worked hard for a second place in 2000 and in 2004 had his Olympic dream. This just in Olympics.
He is the best athlete of all time no one can remplace him he must be number one on this list hicham est grandMore comments about Hicham El Guerrouj
armustMore comments about Alexander Karelin
Nobody can repeat his performance! I think he is the best that will ever be, he knew how to do things no one else could! It's gonna take some real talent to exceed his ability's!
I haven't seen any F1 drivers in this list, not to make NASCAR less, but I think that F1 races are way more complex, where is Ayrton Senna, Schumi or Alain Prost? , come on this list is total crap
Doesn't anyone watch NASCAR? Come on- it's more than just a redneck sport. It takes guts to be in a high horsepowered vehicle for 3-4 ' hours. By the way- it's 100% REAL!
wideupMore comments about Jackie Robinson
This guy opened the doors to the world of athleticism for millions of kids in the Arab world and Africa a real source of inspiration and a fantastic runner
12 world records in total. Only person ever to retain the 1500m at the Olympics, this after running 7 races in 9 days. His 800m times whilst preparing for the 1500m would still have him in contention for a medal 30 years on! So good Aouita switched events to avoid him!
Only man to successfully defend the 1500m at the Olympics and multiple world record holder.
He came into the league among Lebron James Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh and he pulled himself away from the shadows and was the first among them to win a NBA ring, also winning finals MVP. He has the closest high flyer style to Michael Jordan and now even Lebron realized that Wade can do it better and joined him in Miami, so he can finally win a ring, but he will never do it on his own like Wade did. Above all this, at this point he is the best clutch player in the league, that's why when the game is on the line the ball goes to Wade not James.
He has incredible speed, agility, strength, balance, hand eye coordination, touch and was never intimidated by pressure, opponents or odds, he played through injury and carried an otherwise terrible team to the playoffs for so many years, and the heat wouldn't even come close to a championship in 06 had it no been for him.
best team player, very unselfish. Best looking too!
rmeadeeeMore comments about Eddy Merckx
RC is truly a great athlete and would excel in many disciplines that are fitness and finesse oriented but I feel the sport itself, despite it's documented difficulty, hinders his ranking. I just put in for Jeff Ward, RC's original mentor, who's a FOUR sport success and two sport Hall of Famer.
The goat. The best of all time.
No other athlete has ever accomplished in their sport what RC did in motocross. His win/loss ratio in unamtched, and his ten years of sheer dominance are unprecedented. The most competitive athlete of all-time.
Statistically the best athlete of all time. Who else has won every single championship they've ever competed in? NOBODY in my knowledge! I know he didn't win every supercross championship, but he did win every single outdoor championship that he entered.More comments about Ricky Carmichael
He played in more games consecutively than any of us can count. now tell me thats not athletic
This is guy is my hero in almsot every way. Way to go, you had an awesome career even without the highest-paying teams. You rock!
Best snowboarder ever and top 10 skateboarder
That's right, Detroit red wings!
Steve is a humble and most dedicated player EVER!
What sport is more physical and skillful than hockey and who's a better hockey player or captain than Steve Yzerman. (It's been proven that a hockey hit can be up to five times harder than the hardest football hit.
Greatest golfer of all time, he won 18 majors, and at the age of 70, he is still competing at a high level.
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What sport DIDN'T Jim Thorpe dominate?
candymannROMAN SEBRLE IS THE WORLDS GREATEST ATHLETE
visitorBest athlete, not best player!
visitorRuth. Gretzky, Jordan
visitorGreatest ATHLETES of All Time
Updated Wednesday, December 04, 2013