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
egillaxelssonMore comments about Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento)
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danajs24More comments about Jim Brown
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.
armustMore comments about Alexander Karelin
wideupMore comments about Jackie Robinson
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!
rmeadeeeMore comments about Eddy Merckx
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.
MJRydsFastMore 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
Even in a team game surrounded by world class athletes, Taylor was such a presence on the defensive side of the ball that offensive coordinators were forced to scheme their game plans to account for him.
Best LB ever the only player that comes close to him is Don Hutson who is not even on this list which is hard to believe because he is one the best football players to ever play the game. Lawrence Taylor is one of the best to play to. When he injured Joe Thisman the redskins franchise was over from that point on. The people that make this list Don Hutson in the top 10 Lawrence Taylor in the top 25.
This is greatest athlete not most popular or media friendly right? Herschel is one of the great athletes, not players but he is very athletic
He was a top notch football player, an olympic bobsleder who almost won an olympic medal, and he almost made another olympic team for track and field. Now he is a pro mma at nearly fifty beating guys half his age. Best ever
One of the greatest athletes ever. Football, bobsled, martial arts. Many of his records still stand.
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.
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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 Saturday, March 08, 2014