Greatest Athletes of All Time

This 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.

The Top Ten

1 Michael Jordan Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

There may be a very few human beings that could keep up athletically with MJ (Bo Jackson, Carl Lewis etc. )... There are a very few human beings that might keep up with MJ's skill, coordination, and grace (Kobe Bryant, Zinedine, Roger Federer)... There are even fewer who might be able to match his mental game and competitiveness (Tiger woods, Larry Bird)... But there is no one- NO ONE-who has ever possessed all of these qualities on the level that MJ did. The Greatest Athlete that ever lived... Without a shadow of a doubt... Its Michael Jordan.

MJ is the best! There will never be another Michael Jordan. He is without doubt the greatest athlete of all time!

Mj reinvented basketball. If it wasn't for MJ, many moves, dunks, and styles wouldn't exist

Jordan is 5th in total points is second in points for the playoffs is second in points per game for the finals is 1 of 5 players in nba history to score 32,000 the others are Lebron, kobe Bryant, karl Malone and Kareem abdul jabbar have ever done the in only player in NBA history to win 6 championships 6 finals mvp's and 11 scoring titles that's a remarkable feat 1 of 5 players to win back dunk contests 1 of 3 players in history to average 35 points in a season the others are James Harden and Wilt chamberlain

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2 Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (January 17th 1942 - June 3rd 2016) was an American former professional boxer . He was generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport.

He's got more endurance, speed, accuracy, determination, and most importantly heart then any other athlete ever to walk the planet. Defiantly the best all around athlete. PERIOD.

If we were to show another species the strength, courage, love and intelligence that Man has, Muhammad Ali would be Mankind's Representative.

His passion, dedication, confidence, attitude... No doubt The Greatest... He should have been number 1... The Man had it all.. His fellows respected him. What more do you want

Jordan and Ali are definitely close, but I put Ali first. He came up from a lot of low moments in life, which shows character, which is as important, or maybe MORE important for athletics than physiological traits.

Other than that Ali had literally everything except abnormal punching power. Physical speed, reaction speed, timing, precision, footwork, feeling of distance, endurance, durability, chin, brains, attitude and courage.

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3 Wayne Gretzky Wayne Gretzky Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999.

The "Great One" changed the face of hockey as he brings a new era of speed, skill, and scoring touch into the game. Entered the NHL erasing almost all scoring records he quickly built the Oilers Dynasty with amazing haste. Along with his hockey sensation Gretzky is recognized for his charity work and a strong connection with the game of Hockey.

No player in the history of sports has ever come close to dominating their sport like The Great One

Amazing stats an dlongvity

Most dominant player in team sports for sure

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4 Babe Ruth Babe Ruth George Herman Ruth Jr., better known as Babe Ruth, was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935.

Okay Babe Ruth was probably the greatest power hitter of all time, but to call this man the greatest athlete of all time is absurd. Baseball is my favorite sport, but I have no illusions that dunking a basketball requires a far greater amount of athleticism than hitting a homerun. Does anyone seriously think Babe Ruth could run faster or jump higher than pretty much anybody in the NBA? Of course not because that'd be stupid. Babe Ruth changed the way the game of baseball was played, and it's not hard to argue that he is the greatest baseball player of all time, but baseball is a different kind of sport. It's less based on athleticism than most sports. That's not saying it's inferior; I love baseball more than any sport on the planet, but come on people. You need to be more athletic to play basketball or soccer than you do baseball. Not saying there aren't athletic baseball players. Willie Mays is easily one of the greatest athletes of all time. But look at Babe Ruth. The greatest ...more - beckyperl

I love it I play baseball

Obviously greatest athlete of all time
He was also much better than average runner & defensive player

Let's be real, people. Until this guy is voted to the top spot then this list should be considered a joke! He was out-homering ENTIRE teams in an era when the ball was more dead than alive! And yes, he could pitch as well. His head to head record against Walter Johnson was 11-1! Are you serious?! And, wrap your brain around this if you can. He did all this while partying like it was 1999 EVERY NIGHT! RUN THAT UP YOUR FLAGPOLE AND SALUTE IT! Enough said.

The thing is consistency also needs to be considered. He may have close to the most homers ever but he also has one of the largest figures for strikeouts too. Also he was only really amazing at batting. He was a good pitcher yes but there's a reason he's known for batting only - Monarc6

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5 Michael Phelps Michael Phelps Michael Fred Phelps II is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals in three Olympiads.

Michael Phelps is the greatest athlete of all time, as he didn't just win a gold medal in the hardest sport, he did it 8 times over. No other athlete can match his determination, mental preparedness, or physical ability.

39 World Records. 22 Olympic Medals, 18 of them Gold, with 11 of the Gold coming from individual events. He dominated a sport like nobody has ever dominated any sport. 16 years of being the uncontested greatest in the world. He could keep going, but he already has everything locked down.

There is no comparison, because nobody has ever won anything to the degree he has outside of Jordan, and he competed in a team sport.

Undoubtedly the most amazing swimmer the world has ever seen! He dominates every corner of the sport while clearly showing the world what truly makes an athlete!

Wish I could swim as good as him or even half as good I suck at swimming - BreakFastBeast2005

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6 Usain Bolt Usain Bolt Usain St. Leo Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter. Regarded as the fastest person ever timed, he is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time measurements became mandatory in 1977. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4×100 metres ...read more.

Another cool name. And fastest man EVER

I'd suggest that anyone not familiar with track records, especially the 100M, take a look a at what this man has accomplished ( the first to break the 9.7 barrier and a month later the 9.6 barrier) and you'll see why I already place him as the greatest athlete of the century and perhaps all-time. They say he's capable of breaking his current record of 9.58, and if he does look for it to be the eventual longest lasting track and field record ever. I'm headed for bed after reaching #16, but I know one athlete that's not going to be listed, and he may be, as many have argued, the greatest athlete ever; Mikhail Baryshnikov. The same hang-time as M.J. - 0.9. I would list my top three as Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, and Jim Brown when you consider how great they were compared to the rest of their competition in their prime. In lesser followed sports, there's no doubt that "Lightning" Bolt is #1.

Usain Bolt is the best 200m runner ever hands down, so good he can even dominate the glamour 100m event as well. Loads more gold coming in London 2012.

He is fast like a lightning bolt!

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7 Jim Thorpe Jim Thorpe James Francis "Jim" Thorpe was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States.

Please, enough of this MJ worship! Greatest Basketball player is an acceptable choice, but this guy has never shown to be proficient at any other sport! He was a minor league baseball flop, still has a laughable handicap in golf and has never been known for lightening speed. Unlike this one sport star, Jim Thorpe, with little expert training or equipment, was voted into the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with the Track & Field Hall of Fame! Thorpe also had no business playing Major League Baseball at first, but learned on the fly and finished with a respectable .252 batting average in 7 part-time seasons. Jim Thorpe was successful in three sports to Jordan's one, doing this as an impoverished ward of the government and enduring untold racial bigotry. No athlete came so far with so little! He's Jim Brown, Jesse Owens and Bo Jackson rolled into one. Hand's down the Greatest Athlete Of All Time!

The greatest athlete ever to come from Lawrence KS (Haskell Indian Jr. college) which is saying something since other mentionables include Wilt Chamberlain, Gayle Sayers, Jim Ryun, Danny Manning, Paul Pierce, John Riggins and others. Local legends of the man still recount tails of him drop kicking balls through the goalpost from the 20 yard line (opposing) into the wind. Winning every event he entered in a track meet after he forgot his shoes. Not to mention being good at anything he tried.

Don't get me wrong, Gretzky, Jordan, Ali, and Phelps are all great at their chosen sport, and each of them could claim the top spot on a list of greatest hockey players, basketball players, greatest boxers, and greatest swimmers of all time. However, if this is a list of all time greatest athletes then Jim Thorpe undeniably takes 1st place. This guy played football, baseball, basketball, competed and won in worldclass athletics competitions, and won two Olympic gold medals in what are arguably the toughest sports contested at the Olympics, the pentathlon and decathlon. To this day we still say the olympic gold medal winner of the men's decathalon is the greatest athlete of the time. The same way we say that the Olympic gold medal winner of the men's 100m race, Ussain Bolt, is the fastest man on earth of the time. No disrespect to the Gretzky's, Jordan's, and Bolt's of the world, but their records will be broken as they broke the records of their predecessors. Thorpe, on the other ...more

I don't know who the greatest athlete of all time is, but I think of those we know about, Jim Thorpe was the greatest athlete of them all. He won the gold medal in the 1912 Olympics in both the decathalon and pentathalon. An All-American football player in college, he was one of the greatest football players ever in college as well as the pros. There was no pro football right after college so he couldn't play until he was 27 years old and played until his early 40's. In the acclaimed Thorpe biography by Robert W. Wheeler, a camera man and photographer were on hand to watch Thorpe punt before a football game. They had heard that he could punt further than anyone, so they measured the field, which checked out ok. Out comes Thorpe. He just loved to punt. I'm going from memory, but I think they said he punted 5 times. He stood in the endzone and 2 times the ball landed in the other endzone, in the air! Two times the ball bounced for the first time at about 75-80 yards and once at about 90 ...more - lb5100

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8 Bo Jackson Bo Jackson Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson is a former baseball and American football player. He is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football, and one of few to do so in two major sports.

Bo knows... And he's the greatest athlete ever. Ever argue at the bar over this one? The only thing anyone will ever say to shoot down Bo Jackson is the fact that his career was too short. But length of service is only one thing. His two sport versatility easily compensates for this.

Bo hit 141 hr in 2300 games, which is close to on pace with the likes of Mike Schmidt. That was before the pre 1996 hr derby style baseball too. Imagine a healthy Bo Jackson slugging 50 homers a season and hitting 500 home runs in his career. Would there be any doubt then who was the greatest ever to step on the field? That's not even counting his ridiculous range in the OF.

Oh, and that's just baseball. Hey MJ fans, you want to see athletic dominance? Watch a Bo Jackson football highlight reel. Then tell me he wasn't the best athlete ever. Had he focused on football, and stayed healthy, he'd own Emmit Smith, and Barry Sanders. Every scout agreed that he was THE BEST ever. Speed, power, ...more

Who ever is voting on here must have never watched Bo. The question is who was the best athlete, NOT "who was the best at their sport? ". Bo was with out question the best athlete that God has blessed us with. It was a great honor to watch this man perform. It would have been great if we could have watched his career play out. I think we all could agree it would have been pretty cool to see an athlete to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in two sports. No question he would have. His numbers continued to go up every season in the MLB and to play part time in the NFL and almost carry 1000 yards when the leader had 1400 for the season. He also has the highest per carry average in the NFL with 5.4. With out a doubt greatest speed and power combo. Baseball 5 tool player. His arm was amazing, his bat continued to increase with average and power, covered the outfield very well and of course his speed was outstanding.

OH MY GOSH! What is this dude not doing at least at number 5?! Not many can say that they're an outstanding football and baseball player, at professional l level, be amazing (at times) at both, be able to break a bat on your knee, oh and do almost the impossible by running almost completely vertical on the fence, and act like its completely normal! The thing is, I believe he would be #1 no competition if it weren't for that devastating knee injury, that basically just happened cause he was a combine of a unbelievably strong, big, and with a speed that makes you go "what the heck just happened? " Don't even get me started on his arm, getting a ball from the warning track and throwing it- accurate and fast- to home to get an amazing out, with no bounces from the ball! MJ, an outstanding athlete, yes, but did he excel at two sports, a big fat no. For me, an athlete myself, I try to be the best I can be in my sport, and yet struggle to do that in other sports, and sometimes even in my ...more

Not only did he play in two professional sports, but he was a superstar in both. On the baseball diamond, Bo had a career batting average of.250 and hit 141 home runs in just under 694 career games. In 1989 he was selected to the American League All-Star team and went on to win the game's MVP award. And that doesn't count Bo's "hobby" sport. Bo the football player won the Sugar Bowl MVP award, the Liberty Bowl MVP award and then the Heisman Trophy. Then, when he decided to play pro football, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry for his short career and was named to the Pro Bowl team. At one time, Bo was in commercials with Jordan and Gretzky and if it weren't for his career ending hip injury, he would still be regarded as deserving of that type of company.

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9 Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as "Pelé", is a retired Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He is one of the best players in football, hence why he's nicknamed the "king of football".

All-time soccer leading scorer in history with over 1,000 goals in his career, and champion in two world cups with his native country Brazil making him the best soccer player in history over Argentinian astro player Diego Armando Maradona.

Pele is and still the best soccer player in the world he made #10 what it is now, anybody that wears that # in the soccer field knows the weigh of that # 10 you have to be the best, that means pele.

Pele has scored 1152 goals in 1220 games that I legendary compared to anybody else on this list he should be number one he is a pure hero to the world and especially Brazilians - egillaxelsson

I was looking at some of the ones higher then pele and I almost dropped dead. Some I can believe like gretzky and jordan and ali and ruth but woods and federer

Pele should be number one! He was better than Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps and all of those idiots especially Michael Phelps.

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10 Roger Federer Roger Federer Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 3 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player. He has held the world No. 1 spot ...read more.

To be consistent throughout his career is just astounding. And let's not forget the fact that he was the number one player for 237 weeks consecutively. The fact that he was dethroned after that did not stop him from getting back the top rank as he regained the position from Rafael Nadal and collected a total record of 285 weeks overall.

Roger Federer is Not only one of the best sportsman, but also the most respectful of all... Genuine, humble, passionate, dedicated, consistent and humane...

Federrer is Simply The Best. Both character & as a Tennis Player. He has the techniques to play tennis. He is my favourite. Djorkovic and Nadal are behind him

Roger Federer should be higher on this list because he never gets upset if he thinks the chairman made a mistake he just keeps playing like it never happened and I think he is more sincere then any of the other tennis players but most of all he is the greatest tennis player of all time and you can't argue that.

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The Newcomers

? Marcus Smart Marcus Smart Marcus Osmond Smart is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association.
? Baker Mayfield Baker Mayfield

Hell No! Should'nt even be on the list.

Love yo aaa...

The Contenders

11 Joe Montana Joe Montana Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired American football quarterback.

definitely

Godd at football

I LOVE this guy!

Don't forget a 3 time superboel MVP. the only person to do that

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12 Leo Messi

I think Messi should be the world's best athlete for the moment. He has a blend of all footballers rated above him and his best is yet to come. His speed, ball control, and ability to trick and score are 1 of the best seen so far. Plus, his modest and non-arrogant attitude puts him at his best.

He's fast, skilled, and at the top of his sport.

He is so good the best sports player ever

Respecting player

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13 LeBron James LeBron James LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.

What people are clearly forgetting when voting is that this list is about the greatest ATHLETES ever, not players in their sports ever. MJ, Ali, Thorpe, Phelps, Bo and Bolt are decent choices but LeBron is the greatest athlete ever. MJ was fast and could leap, but he wasn't nearly as strong as LeBron. Ali's athleticism was limited to a ring so he couldn't truly show us what he was capable of. Thorpe lived in a time before modern practices where athletes were a fraction of what they are today. At the time, Thorpe may have been the greatest athlete ever, but he isn't anymore. Phelps is the greatest swimmer but he doesn't have the strength or speed on land that LeBron does. Usain is clearly the fastest dude. No one on this list can touch that but he doesn't show us any other ability (i.e. jumping, upper-body strength, agility) because of his sport. Finally, Bo, the biggest threat that LeBron has, in my opinion. Bo was stronger, and more talented at other sports (which isn't inherently an ...more

By far the greatest ever!

The best Athlete who ever lived so far. Simple fact.

He is 6'9, has the body of an NFL linebacker, runs like a track star, and jumps as high as anyone in the NBA. I wouldn't be surprised if he could compete in any sport at a professional level. - rmoore26

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14 Bruce Lee Bruce Lee Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do.

WHEN YOU SAY WHO IS THE GREATEST ATHLETE OF ALL TIME IT IS BRUCE LEE. WHO ELSE DO KNOW THAT CAN DO 50 ONE ARM PULL UPS IN A ROW WITHOUT STOPING. CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHY MICHAEL JORDAN IS NUMBER 1 WHEN ALL HE IS MOST POPULAR FOR IS DUNKS. KNOW THINK ABOUT IT HE DOESN'T HAVE THE MOST RINGS, THE MOST POINTS AND OTHER MOST EITHER I'M NOT SAYING WHETHER HE IS THE BEST OR NOT I'M JUST SAYING HE MIGHT BE THE BEST ATHLETE IN BASKETBALL BUT NOT EVER. BRUCE LEE NOT ONLY IS BEST ATHLETE BUT THE SMARTEST TO, HIS IQ WHICH IS 200 IS THE HIGHEST OUT OF ALL OF THESE GUYS ON THIS LIST. I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE BRUCE LEE IS NUMBER 16 ON THIS LIST, THIS LIST IS A JOKE. WHO ELSE CAN SEND SOMEONE FAR BACK FROM A ONE INCH PUNCH. Their IS A LOT MORE TO BE SAID BUT MJ REALLY IS AT THE TOP BECAUSE THE NBA IS THE MOST POPULAR SPORT OF THEM ALL, JUST LOOK AT THE VIDEO GAME SELLING FOR NBA. MJ COULD BARELY DUNK FROM THE ENTIRE FREE THROW LINE AND IS YOU GO YOUTUBE AND SEE SERGE IBAKA HE IS THE ON NBA PLAYER WHO ...more

135 Lbs, and he can kick a 300 lb heavy bag to the ceiling. He has a national China championship in Boxing, and knows multiple martial arts (Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, etc etc etc.) he started and mastered fundamentals for Jiu Jitsu, and made his own, called Jeet Kune Do. Chuck Norris admitted Bruce was physically superior and far more skilled as well, note that Chuck Norris has a Black belt in Judo, a 3rd degree black belt in Jiu Jitsu, 5th in Karate, 8th in Tae Kwon Do, 9th in Tang so Do, and 10th in Chun Kuk Do. Chuck also is a 6-time karate world champion, and was also in the military acquiring 5 medals. Most people that weigh 135 can barely move a 300 pound heavy bag (strength). Bruce Lee does the Dragon Flag with ease (strength), one finger pushups (strength), plays ping pong with nunchucks at a pro level (awareness, and concentration), and can do 50 one arm pullups like its no big deal (strength, and endurance) and can kill a man with a punch from only a inch away. Bruce Lee when ...more

Bruce lee is superhumanly fast, he's also extremely strong and powerful. He was one of the most committed and determined athletes to ever live. He is easily the most influential martial art master of all time.

He is the greatest athlete that has ever lived fast and furious, strong both mentally and physically. Now you better add him in the list or I will kill you all.

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15 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and the Portugal national team.

Most hardworking athlete ever

Simply a true athlete

The GOAT!

He is the greatest footballer alive! He showed us that you just gotta believe even when your team is losing. He told us: look to the future never the past. Don’t think about the past; death to family occurred in the past but in the future you have opportunity to opportunity NEVER GIVE UP.

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16 Bobby Orr Bobby Orr Robert Gordon Orr is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

Greatest player of all time because he changed the the way the game was played-- no more 1-0 / 2-1 games

Beyond merely changing the game of hockey, Bobby Orr could keep control of the puck and make the other 9 players on the ice look like idiotic little kids. no one had seen that before, or since, not even in Gretzky. His +/- record of +124 wont be broken in the next 50 years, possibly ever. He simply dominated every game, end to end, that he ever played, and often on only one good knee. no one could touch him. The maradona of hockey in my opinion.

LITERALLY guys why put him at the bottom

Watching Bobby Orr on an end-to-end rush was a sight to behold. He even won the scoring title one year, as a defenseman! I can't think of any comparable feat in any sport. Bobby Orr revolutionized the game of hockey. He had the artistry of Roger Federer and the grit and toughness of Rafael Nadal. As a Montreal Canadiens fan, I've seen a lot of great players, going back to Rocket Richard. None could compare with Bobby Orr.

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17 Jesse Owens Jesse Owens

I don't know who but someone did the math and figured out that if jesse owens was given the same technology as usain bolt, he could've broken 9.2

He beat the nazis and he was in the track. I really don't know how to rank he's great though.

he beat the nazis in Munich 8 yrs befor D-Day

In 1936 Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in Germany a country ruled by the face of EVIL (Hitler) who thought the Aryan race was superior. Jesse owens overcame all the obstacles facing him and brought home the gold

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18 Donald Bradman Donald Bradman Sir Donald George Bradman often referred to as "The Don", was an Australian international cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman's career Test batting average of 99.94 has been cited as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport.

Bradman owns! Statistically he stands so far above everyone else that it is impossible for him not to be the number 1. List is biased against sports not popular in America... Also took a year off cricket once and won the South Australian open squash tournament.

It is crazy how biased these results are to American sports. Don Bradman is the only athlete ever to be statisically twice as good as as the rest of his time! And even decades later the next best averages are around 40% lower. And for your info Americans, India alone makes cricket a higher played sport than your American basketball, baseball and nfl. Not too mention the other 100's of millions in the other commonwealth countries. Bottom line is if you did your research you would find it hard to argue against bradman, whose hand-eye coordination is so far ahead of ANYONE else ever to have lived, including federer. And if you were going to argue against bradman, it could only be with bruce lee, as as a purely physical specimen no one can match him. He would have kicked ali's arse in a boxing match blindfolded, and you know it

The greatest sportsman of all time. Why is he not ranked number 1. Batting average of 99 is extraordinary almost double that of the nearest batsman. DONALD BRADMAN IS THE GREATEST OF All TIME.

Sir Donald Bradman the greatest cricketer of all time in the toughest sport of all time in one of the toughest periods on earth of all time. Batting Average of 99.94.06 from being perfect that's why he is the greatest to be that close to being perfect is an amazing feat.

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19 Wilt Chamberlain Wilt Chamberlain Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain was an American basketball player . He was born on August 21, 1936 in Philadelphia and died on October 12, 1999 in Los Angeles due to heart failure . ...read more.

He should be at least top 3. He was tall, fast, strong, he had it all! - dankchu

He's wilt chamberlain the greatest nba player ever

The only big man to lead the NBA in assists. His rebounding and shot blocking I know they didn't record shot blocking for most of his career. He also blocked shots that remained in play instead of in the stands so the other team kept control of the ball. Rebounding was not only great but his ability to block other players so his teammates could get rebounds is almost never talked about. His scoring is talked about but not that during his 50 points a game season. If he scored only 27 points in one game (what's King James average last season that makes him so great? ) he would have to score 73 points to just get to his average! I know we do not compare centers with other positions or the era in which he played, but who has done it better please be specific with numbers. I know he didn't win many titles but he did when given teammates who could actually effect a game. Any body remember 1972 when Wilt and the Laker won 33 games in a row? Or 68 games for the season I know the Bulls won 69 ...more

The NBA was a different game at the time, but Wilt's numbers are still staggering. You know most of them but you may not be aware of his endurance as evidenced by his record career average of 45.8 minutes per game (and you thought I was going to use the number 20,000). Also, don't forget that Chamberlain ran track and recorded a sub 11 second 100-yard dash in high school.

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20 Tiger Woods Tiger Woods Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time.

Of all the nice pictures of Woods, why show this? You didn't show other athletes at their low point. We are all human and fragile at one time or another.
SHAME ON YOU!

What a nice picture - BreakFastBeast2005

goat

GOAT

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21 Tom Brady Tom Brady Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr., is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. Brady is known for being the only quarterback in history to win 6 Super Bowls, and is often considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Brady is also frequently ...read more.

After 53 we can agree he is the best

Should at least be ahead of joe Montana

Lol he has 6, if someone gets more than 6 shoot me. Its him or MJ lol

GOAT

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22 Gordie Howe Gordie Howe

He played in the NHL until he was 51, he dominated every aspect of the game. One of the greatest athletes of all time.

Should be in the Top 10 simply for his longevity. Had tons of records as well.

GOD BLESS GORDIE HOWE MANY TIMES OVER-!

23 Jerry Rice Jerry Rice Jerry Lee Rice is a former American football wide receiver who played 20 seasons in the National Football League, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers.

He should be higher then bo Jackson he is the best football player ever

Literally greatest Wide Receiver of all time way too many receiving records

First of all JERRY RICE IS THE GREATEST ATHLETE OF ALL TIME! Case closed. His records, someday may be eclipsed. No man showed more determination than Jerry, todays wide receivers catch the ball and fall down or try to get out of bounds(smart sometimes)Jerry would break free and score more touchdowns than any other player in the history of the game. 3 super bowl rings (super bowl MVP)more all purpose yards than any other man. A true SPORTS LEGEND JERRY RICE.

The best wide receiver to ever live. They took all of jerry rices records one time, and compared them to every person who has ever played in the nfl. And there was only 7 men in all of history, who even had half.

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24 Jim Brown Jim Brown James Nathaniel Brown is a former professional American football player and actor. He was a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League from 1957 through 1965.

obivously a top ten all time caliber running back (may have been best ever except he stopped playing at age 30), but was also offered to pitch for the yankees, one of the greatest lacrosse players ever (in hall of fame), good track athlete (5th in national decathalon), and could have won a national championship for syracuse if there had been no rule for not allowing 3 african american players to start for a team (Brown didn't go out his senior year because he may not have started over 2 other players) - danajs24

104.3 yards per game. 0 NFL games missed. 5.22 yards per carry. Led the NFL in rushing 8 of his 9 seasons, and the season he didn't finish first he played most of the season with a broken arm. Enough said. Greatest NFL player of all time and was so dominant in lacrosse that they made a rule after him (Having a crease around the goal). Former NFL players have been on record saying at age 50 he could still win the MVP in the NFL.

Not only was he one of the greatest football players of all-time, but he was perhaps the greatest lacrosse player of all-time too. And he could play basketball and baseball well enough to attract the pro scouts.

Not only the greatest runningback of all-time in the NFL, but the man was the greatest lacrosse player to. And he was excellent in basketball and baseball and could have made the pros in those sports.

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25 John Cena John Cena John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. (/ˈsiːnə/; born April 23, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, rapper, actor, and reality television show host signed to WWE, where he is assigned to the SmackDown brand. ...read more.

I can't see him

AGREE

He is ever the best I wrestling world and sport world

He is just an entertainer and not an athlete. The one who put his name in this list must be totally dumb.

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26 Serena Williams Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player. The Women's Tennis Association ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002.

Serena made a big impact to the world of sports for female and blacks fighting for equal pay and funding for diversity and female empowerment. She boycotted Indian Wells for 14 years to make a point to stand up for racism and the only athlete in the world who has done this.

No athlete has ever dominated their sport the way Serena has dominated women's tennis,

SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE

yes

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27 Mike Tyson Mike Tyson Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old.

QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST DYNAMIC ATHLETE AND CERTAINLY THE MOST DYNAMIC BOXER OF ALL TIME. HE MADE BOXING INTERESTING WHEN IT REALLY WASN'T. IT'S A TRAGEDY THAT HIS LIFE AND CAREER SPIRALED SO BADLY OUT OF CONTROL.

Best most ruthless fighter and athlete ever
To live. Most talented fighter eats you children
Loved by few hated by many respected by all

No boxer in the history of the sport could ever beat a young, hungry and dedicated Mike Tyson.

Everybody Vote For The BADDEST Man On Planet and he is the one and only...…..IRON MIKE TYSON!

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28 Daley Thompson

Two times won the event that names you the greatest athlete in the world... Broke the record at the time. Should be in top ten or so.

Broke world record 4 times and was in 4 Olympics winning twice and also 4th in a sport that most people constantly pick up injuries. Inspirational.

Should be about 10 places above Carl Lewis (and he wasn't exactly bad)

Certainly a very accomplished "all round athlete" who deserves a higher position than this in my humble opinion.

29 Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

Guys lets be serious he should be a lot higher on this list. He is like the greatest regular season quarterback ever. He understands his surroundings and has amazing leadership. The dude was a prodigy since he was like 5. He has a superbowl ring and like a billion accolades. The guy racks up stats at record breaking pace and if you had to average all the greatest quarterbacks stats PER YEAR they don't come close to Manning's. Makes everyone around him better and with a sucky or good defense manages to win. Sure the lack of more postseason success hurts his chances at being deemed better but seriously he has achieved everything a pro QB can. He will break or come seriously close to every QB record in a lot shorter time than it took the original record holders to get there. Brady broke his record of 49 TDs by 1 but look at it like this. Manning got 49 TDs in 496 attempts while it took Brady 578 attempts for that 50. Plus Manning spread the ball around and as athletic Wayne and Harrison ...more - yougnr1116

He's the best best pocket passer their is and he always makes good decisions on the field.

The most passing golds in football is the reason for cool back the best quarterback in the whole entire ward in the NFL so fall

He brook all the passing and touchdown records for the Colts and holds the single season touchdown and passing yard record

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30 Michael Johnson Michael Johnson

Clearly the greatest all around athlete of all time. Because if someone else can run the 200 in 19.3 seconds or the 400 in 43 seconds, then that person is the best, but there is no person!

Watched him win the Olympics and shatter the world record in the 200 - one of the most jaw dropping performances I've ever seen!

Johnson is no doubt, the greatest track and field athlete in 1990's. He won 8 gold medals at the world championships, 4 at the olympics.

What was Wilt Chamberlin's record in the 100 in the 1960 (11 seconds). He was 7 feet 2 inches and not a track athlete come on people, get real!

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31 Derek Jeter Derek Jeter Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American former professional baseball shortstop, current businessman and baseball executive who is the chief executive officer and part owner of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.

He's. A really good mlb player that plays shortstop for the Yankees and he's a good person on and off the field

This guy is the complete package. Playing on the biggest stage (NYC) in sports and one of the best performers in clutch situations!

Great player hits to all fields and has had 14 all star appearances

A name that will live forever.

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32 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant is an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and is the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history.

Kobe is meh favorite player I seen MANY games with him evan the orlando magic one where he got MVP boi I love him I would die for him the BLACK MAMBA

I have loved Kobe ever since I was 2 years old. I saw Kobe when he made 81 points, I saw Kobe each time he got the MVP award in both the NBA and All-Star games. I've seen everything Kobe has accomplished if I wasn't born at the time I would see it on YouTube. Only Jesus could beat Kobe at basketball. I don't care if he can be a ball hogger sometimes, I don't care if he disses people, and I don't care if he's 21 on this list! Kobe did not go to the NBA for fame or anything like that! What he went to the NBA for was to express his love of basketball not for popularity! When he retires it will be the saddest day of my life besides the death of friends or family. Like I said I don't care if Kobe is not #1 in this list. He will always be #1 to me.

MORE LIKE THE GREATEST OF ALL TIMES

kobe may not be better than jordan but he is a beast! you have to admit!

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33 Carl Lewis Carl Lewis Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis is an American former track and field athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. His career spanned from 1979 to 1996, when he last won an Olympic event.

Carl was the most exciting track athlete of all time. Track athletes are purest form of athleticism. His shear presence turned the competition into rubber and for 12 years he was basically the only player in the Long Jump (Minus 1 jump from Powell - who too turned to rubber at the Olympics). Speaking of Olympics. The Olympics are the biggest stage in the history of the world for athletic demonstration. Carl was the best of all times and proved it 4 straight times. His 1991 Tokyo world record win was spine chilling considering he was 'over-the-hill' by that time in sprinting. And did I mention that he was obviously a clean athlete when the rest of the sport was doping like mad. Carl, like Michael Jordan was just a step above all other greats in his sport. Remember too, the 100m sprint is the most competitive sporting event in the world. Carl was the best at this event for 8 years, and happened to make time to be even better at other events. Michael Jordan was the scoring leader for 10 ...more

Four golds in a row in long jump, where no one else has ever won two. Win streak over a decade long. Jumped over 29 feet three times in one meet(the same number of times the rest of the world has done it since the Creation). More jumps over 28 feet than all other humans combined. Had a jump over 30 feet(! ) in 1983 that, but for an official's error, would have broken Beamon's unbreakable record by a foot! Only person to repeat as 100m Olympic champion. Nine gold medals ( but for two relay blunders by others, it would be 11! ). Universally acknowledged as the fastest man EVER with a running start, even to this day. Instrumental in turning the Olympics from a money loser to the most sought after and desired event in world. Ability so far above all others in world that he was able to force IOC to allow its athletes to become professionals and so lengthen their careers and so aggrandizes the Olympics and all former amateur sports.

To measure the best athlete in the world the criteria must include speed and leap.

Lewis was the best in the world at both of these basic skills for over 10 years. No one is a better athlete.

You have seen him winning the long jump and sprints but his athleticism, focus and flawless mechanics would have granted medals also on triple jump or hurdles if he had tried them. Nobody has ever jumped around 29 feet or run sub 10 100 m with his ease. He won't make this list because he's unfairly hated by people. And, yes, he was a clean athlete. This guy is a serious candidate to the best pound for pound athlete of all time. It was a privilege to watch him in his own time.

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34 Larry Bird Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Bird is a 3x champ, 1x ROTY, 1x Finals MVP, 3x 3PT Contest winner, all with the Boston Celtics. (1979-1992)

The goat

Could look in the opposite direction, shoot the ball and be nothing but net. Now that's amazing.

Bird was as competitive as Jordan, the best shooter in the league and played for a World Champion. In today's NBA he would be a 6-9 Seth Curry, and nobody could stop that.

Man, this guy, could shoot the ball from one side of the court, and could make it nothing but net on the other hoop.

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35 Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.

Jackie Robinson-hands down! He was a hall of fame baseball player, won the rookie-of-the-year award despite the unbelievable pressure of being the first black player. Amazingly, though, baseball was only his fourth-best sport. He was also an All-American track star who set the long jump record at UCLA and was national champ in that event, he led the PCC in scoring for the basketball team and won an MVP, and was an all-american halfback. He was also a junior tennis star and excelled at table tennis! Come on! No contest!

Big boi

The great Jackie Robinson what else can i say.He set the stand for american to be americans no matter if your black,white,green or purple.His number 42 is retire through out baseball.He was not only a great baseball player he was a great man - wideup

A great man on and off the field. When you just look at his achievements in baseball, what he endured so he could pave the way for other talented baseball players that were being ignored due to the color of their skin. He is a man you can truly look up to so I don't understand why he isn't already in the top 5.

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36 Floyd Mayweather Jr. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. is an American former professional boxer and current boxing promoter. ...read more.

He should've been above Manny Pacquiao

I don't think he is the greatest athlete to ever live. That title belongs to, MJ or Bo jackson, but it is blasphemous to have Pacquiao any wear above Floyd. He is 44-0 no boxer can math that. People saying he is scared to fight are dumb. Why would he be scared to fight a fight where he can gain crazy amounts of money whether he wins or loses?

Floyd mayweather is undefeated boxer. But manny pacquiao is the greatest, stronger, fighter ever. Floyd to scared "pacman" punch.

Never gets enough credit for his HARD WORK and DEDICATION. One of if not the MOST hated athletes of ALL TIME and STILL proves his dominance and athleticism in the ring time after time. He clearly belongs somewhere in the top 10 at least...

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37 Magic Johnson Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons.

One of the best basketball players of all time

He is on here twice.

Best passer and play maker of all time he could also score play any position on the floor and rebound not to mention his steller defense

Rediculous that he's that low.

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38 Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.

Come on the guy is 42, he works so hard, just cause he got too old doesn't mean he's ranked 153rd in the list. Come on

Number 4 on the field number 1 all time! No one will last as long and play to that level!

I'd like to see what you're doing at 42 years old

he has all the records a superbowl ring, he's just plainly the greatest. - jwileson

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39 Haile Gebrselassie

Hands down. One of the greatest (if not the greatest) athletes the world has ever seen.

Never lost a 10.000m race, beat several world records, beat the 2h04m barrier at the marathon. Considering he came from a very poor country and made it to the top of the world, he has to be the best athlete ever!

Haile Gebreselassie is the ever great man, no doubt at all, he deserves it, Best record holder, brilliantly determined man= Hile Gebresilassie, I don't why they put here...

he is much greater than usain bolt I don't agree him being ranked at 47

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40 Michael Vick Michael Vick Michael Dwayne Vick (born June 26, 1980) is a former American football quarterback who played 13 seasons in the National Football League, primarily with the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Virginia Tech and was selected by the Falcons as the first overall pick ...read more.

Not as accomplished as others, but it is amazing to watch the man play. Even when surrounded by the best athletes in all of sports, Vick still seems to be in a different class from his competitors. Inhuman speed, quickness and acceleration with a cannon of an arm; Vick has the physical potential to be the greatest player to ever step on the field.

Come on, arguably the most athletic quarterback to play. His 2 years in prison ruined his career. He is so elusive, has great agility, has a CANNON throwing arm. He is a freak of nature. So underrated - RPD6478

All of you hating Vick the happened 9 years ago get over and quit and also if you say he sucks you should never talk about football again he ran a 4.25 40 and can throw a football 70 yards so shut up

He is horrible he has no throwing skills the only thing he could do is run away from defenders

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41 Barry Sanders Barry Sanders Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

Bernie Sanders is the greatest base ball player in the NHL

Its simply put no one has broken his record of 1,000+yrd consecutive seasons and he has the most yards per carry for a carrier(5.4). He held the NCAA single season rush record with only one year starting, he never even started 'till his senior season. He's run one of the fastest 40yrd dashes in NFL History (4.2") plus he his only 5,9 and his team sucked for every single season he played.

Theres one difference between Barry n the other guys on this team, n that is he never had a good team to prove his skills. His O-Line SUCKED but he still managed to get great runs. The fact that there were defenders in the backfield as soon as the ball was snaped, but he put up 5 yards a carry is amazing. THE BEST EVER!

Barry Sanders is all around athletic he can jump, run, he can pretty much do anything probably even fly...

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42 Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed "Zizou", is a retired French footballer and current manager of Real Madrid.

I cannot believe Zidane is not higher than Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
Having said that, I still haven't seen Cruyff here, which says a lot.
And more generally, how come there are so few football (soccer) players when it is the most practiced (and popular) sport on the planet?

Zidane is the greatest soccer player ever!

Zidane is the best soccer player of all time. Why is Christiano Ronaldo higher than him. Zidane should be above pele. He has the most skill

Zidane is the legend of football and he would be remained as a unique iconic player of all the time and no one could replace him.
Zidane is better than any other player in the world he was the most effective player of football ground.

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43 Tony Hawk Tony Hawk Anthony Frank "Tony" Hawk, is an American professional skateboarder, actor and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. Hawk is well known for completing the first documented 900 and for his licensed video game titles, published by Activision.

Most Influential and progressive skate boarded of all time. He elevated the sport into the main stream all the while Becoming a household name and media icon.

Ye da sells avon

I think he is the best skate border ever he does awesome tricks - tawilliams

He is a pretty good skater

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44 Drew Brees Drew Brees Drew Christopher Brees is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. He is the only player to have back to back to back 5,000 yards in three seasons straight. Brees also has the all time best completion percentage with 66.95%.

10 straight 30+ touchdown 4000+ yard seasons. He is a Superbowl champion a 9 time probowler and has 5 times as many 5000 yard seasons as anybody else. Lethal ability to read defences and pinpoint accuracy, he always performs well at the end of games and had the saints had a defense in the past 4 years he could probably have 3 Superbowl rings

Wow you can't throw

Very good QB

He’s not that good, he only has 4000 yard seasons, and over 30 touchdowns per game. The saints isn’t a team that makes people go, “WOO WOO! ” But that’s what Drew make me do. (Also, when I said he wasn’t good, that was a joke.) - PokemonRPGbro

45 Serguei Bubka

He should be in the top 3. His record is he broke them all, been out of pole vaulting for 12 years and his record will not be broken in our lifetime.7 world championships. Sure Armstrong should be somewhere, but Bubka is unbeaten.

Best ever, set a margin with other competitors unseen in ANY and ALL sports. - AlphaX

No one ever dominated a sport like Bubka did. And he did it in the most athletic of all sports. Pole vault requires the ultimate combination of speed, strength and agility.

When comparing how much better he was than the rest to people of other sports, he is just about the best ever.

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46 Chris Hoy

The first briton to win three olympic golds at one games in 100 years, his collection include 4 olympic golds and one silver, world championships 10 golds, 5 silvers and 5 bronzes, 2 commonwealth golds and 2 commonwealth bronzes, if thats not brilliant then what is? - Chimpchomp

47 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Championships - UCLA (4 years! ) - Lakers - all-time most points in NBA - duration - a really smart guy - college grad

Really he is all time greats

The man who changed basketball

He is the bast player ever

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48 Ian Thorpe

I can't imagine anyone else with so much fluidity in his body and the High points he reached in his career. I am a Big fan.

In his prime sat along side tiger and fed with ease. What he did for swimming was amazing. The greatest freestyler ever

Impeccable freestyle technique. No swimmer has been able to achieve so much in both middle distance and sprint events in one stroke.

49 David Rudisha

His grace, his finishing power is simply unrivalled!

He is the reigning world record holder 800m race. he deseve the title.

50 Dwayne the Rock Johnson Dwayne the Rock Johnson Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American and Canadian actor, producer and semi-retired professional wrestler, signed with WWE.

I like his show the titan games

Why is john higher?

He looks like a dolphin

One of the best wwe wrestlers of all time

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