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.
The Top Ten
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
the goodV 434 Comments
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
The GreatestV 347 Comments
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
THE GREAT ONE. Enough said. He holds every important record in hockey. Arguably the toughest sport to play
Go oilers that's his first team respect thatV 148 Comments
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.
BOLT! - yanzchenthebestV 200 Comments
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.
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!
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.
Of course, it has to be Michael Phelps for his amazing power, determination and skills.He has won an unbeatable 28 Olympic medals including 23 golds. His marvellous speed is breathtaking. He has won over 80 trophies in his career and no one could have dominated a sport like him. Let us bow to this great legend. Undoubtedly, he is the greatest athlete of all time.V 161 Comments
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
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.
All natural abilityV 172 Comments
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
bestV 272 Comments
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
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
Not only that but he was one of the greatest pitchers ever. No one ever credits babe for that. He was the best because, he could do both at just a high level, the most highest!
No one broke Ruth's home run record, to break it would be with the same number of at bats, so Aaron and Bonds with the help of many more games,162 game seasons, surpassed the record. Seems Ruth's record is really in tack Ruth played many years under a rule the fair/foul ball rule, if a ball was fair past the foul pole but curved foul there after it wasn't a homer, Ruth lost at least 50 homers because of this rule, and perhaps as many as 75 in total. So what's 714 and 50 it's 764 and that's the low number. Why doesn't baseball correct this wrong, they put the great black ball players of the past who never played in the major leagues into the hall of fame, it was only right. how about baseball going back in time and picking the MVP and the best Pitcher of the year for all those years past, also under the same rules of today, in some of those years, once you won the MVP you couldn't win it again until years later it was finally changed. Babe Ruth and others lost out of other MVP awards ...more
totsV 59 Comments
You guys always focus on US athletes, and recognizing yours. In reality The planet only recognizes those athletes who move the masses world wide and of course the sport that is king of all, cause everything else is just none existing. And by the way football is play with the feet, the whole planet knows it, why don't you?
simply the best footballer of all the time. pele who? - blind_bikerz
The most dominant athlete ever to emerge on the face of earth. The technical skills, the power, the lithe, the look and understandig of the game his often clinical perfect free-kicks. He was this dominant in the biggest sport worldwide with the fiercest competition. I have the utmost respect also for Michael Jordan also participating in a team sport. But Maradona is the BEST ever -He is as close to God as you can get.
Baseball, Basketball, American Football are not and never will be global sports. Comical really that these North American sports feature so prominently.V 9 Comments
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
This is a terrible list (in order at least). JIm Thorpe was the definition of a true "athlete" - that is to say he dominated across sports! Quite simply, none of those above him could succeed anywhere as much as he did in as many sports as he did.
On top of that, he - like guys like Babe Ruth, have to have it taken into account that if they had medical/strength/training advancements of those that came after them, he would've put up tremendously more impressive numbers ( just look at his build compared to football, track, or baseball players of today).
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
Best player of the best sport of all time. End of Conversation...V 147 Comments
I know golf isn't as physical as most other sports, but I play golf and know how easy it is to make a mistake. Tiger Woods is the best athlete because of all his accomplishments & is still young and will be achieving even more before he's done. Michael Jordan was great, but his name also gave him extra room with refs and getting away with stuff, not to mention the intimidation he struck into others that guarded him. Tiger has no refs, therefor no miss calls or extra slack from refs because of his star level. - PDP
Words can't describe what he has done for golf. Out of any athlete to ever live, none has ever had such a great impact on their sport as tiger has. He may not be known as the greatest athlete ever because golf is not the most athletic sport, but if you were looking at the best players of each respective sport and compared them to each other, Tiger would be on the top there.
Greatest athlete of all time. Very high mental capacity and focus to play golf at such a high level for 12 years. Averaged over a major a year for that time frame as well as 5 wins a season with playing a limited schedule of about 20 tournaments a year. Has won every accolade possible in golf. His performance at the 1997 Masters and 2000 US Open are ones that can never be followed up. GOAT
He convert the golf in a popular sport he do for golf what Jordan do for basketball. So anyone of them deserve 1st place in this list.V 48 Comments
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
Should be higher on This list. He is the most athletic person to ever step foot on this planet. Hear me out. I get mj is the greatest NBA player ever but do you people realize how physically dominate Lebron James is. He is a human wrecking ball. He's huge. He can out power anyone. Evan 7 foot centers. He can run the point guard position better then any point guard. He is the only player to ever be able to competitively play all 5 positions. The fact that he is out of the top 10 in my opinion is crazy. He should be top 5 with Jordan, Ali, bolt and phelps. He doesn't get enough credit. This man is the most physically dominate human that was ever created. That's a fact.
He's one of the athlete's world would ever see... he's more athletic than any other athlete who is on top in this list... he can play any position on the court and that is very difficult if you know the game of basketball... he's the best all rounder player in the game of Basketball... he can compete and play any sport he desires he's gifted with that body... people say there won't be another Michael Jordan... and also there won't be another Kobe Bryant... but there won't be another LeBron James because no one can play all the 5 positions in the game the way he does. Definitely should be in top 5
Greatest carabaoV 133 Comments
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.
Messi doesn't desreve to be out of the top 10
He has shown his superhuman capabilities time and time again.
Never failing to perform
Messi is the best.he had great skills. for me the ranking is 1 messi 2 jordan 3 mardona 4 pele 5 donald bradsmen 6 ronaldhino 7 ronaldoV 206 Comments
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.
The greatest basketball player of all time, books and videos are the proof of that. Nobody gets close to what Wilt was able to do on both sides of the court. Unbelievable physical specimen and arguably the best athlete that has ever walked on the face of the earth. The reason he is not #1 here is because he finished playing in 1973 and most of the people are not familiar with his accomplishments.
There's my boy #15. WAIT 15. HESES BEHIND BO JACKSON I MEAN SERIUSLY BO JACKSON COMPARE THE PHOTOS!V 36 Comments
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.
SICKV 103 Comments
THERE ARE ONLY TWO NFL QUARTERBACKS WHO HAVE WON 4 SUPER BOWLS JOE MONTANA IS ONE OF THEM
Montana was known as a limited athlete. Didn't have a riffle arm, no Tarkenton or Vick when running. If this about athleticism no. If this about winning, being the best at your craft, yes.
He is really good at football
The best quarterback that has ever been and will ever be should be at leat top 15 - lucassassV 23 Comments
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
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.
So biased to American sports, Don Bradman is statistically proven to be the best athlete of all time since 1800.V 102 Comments
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.
These really think a browns player is great yeah rightV 19 Comments
After the Super Bowl 51 comeback, Brady won his fifth SuperBowl (most all time) and became a 4 time SuperBowl MVP (most all time). After this historic win, he's the greatest of all time in all sports, not just football. I watch him play ever since he got drafted. After watching him win all five of his SuperBowls, he's the greatest athlete to ever walk the earth. He's gonna keep winning more titles, especially a 6th SuperBowl. The rest is pretty much self explanatory. Love him or hate him, he's the GOAT for real, there's no question about it anymore, you can't dream of a career like his. There won't ever be someone better than Tom Brady.
I know many people hate him, but what other athlete has accomplished so much over so long a period of time, in a sport that is designed to not let you stay on top with the Salary cap. There are some amazing athletes on the list above him, but None of these other athletes played in such a challenging and competitive system that makes racking up championships repeatedly so hard. I really think this guy deserves his due as the best athlete ever.
Five rings that's even greater than Joe Montana. He is the GOAT and there is no discussion to it. If there was the battle would be won without a doubt, considering his record of most games won, most touchdown passes. He should definitely be put in the top 10. Other then all that he is a good person, donating regularly, and supporting many charities. You couldn't ask for a better person.
Two Words... Deflate gateV 59 Comments
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
Jesse owens was hard working, talented and won medals at the time when there was racism. He is a role model to all
If ever there was an athlete worthy of the title athlete it was Jesse owen. At the Berlin Olympics in 1935, he not only ran for America, he ran for the whole free world against Nazi Germany - and beat them all. Hitler was so incenced he refused to congratulate him at the podium and stormed out of the games.V 9 Comments
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.
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.
Watching this guy was an event. I have yet to see a hockey player enhance this game like this man did. Today our kids play this game with superior skates/equipment than dreamed of at that time. Still watch his acceleration, his puck control.
He not only was the dominant player in every game he played, he was a class act and great role model for young players...his version of excessive celebration after scoring was to break into a smile and get back to work. There's more to being a great athlete than just the skill, there is personal integrity too.V 19 Comments
At the age of 24 he accomplished more than any one of that age... His speed endurance stamina statistics are all factors to him being the best athlete of all time in my humble opinion. Mark my words because in 15-20 years we will all remember how nadal rocked the world of tennis
RAFA doesn't have the strongest, fastest hit but the reason why he's winnin' tough matches is because of his incredibly fast and athletic legs. He even has time to overrun the backhand.! And it's because of his unbelievable great moving around the court! He's a fantastic athlete and he should be much better 30 on this stupid list
One of the most toughest athletes of all time in every aspect. He is one of the fittest athletes ever and has the mental toughnes of someone like Sachin Tendulkar or Michael Jordan. No matter what situation he is in, he always never gives up and usually comes out the other side well. He is as tough as an ox!
Never has a person accomplished what he sure has. He won the French Open TEN (! ) TIMES. That’s just incredibly. Truly I have no words left. Besides he always recovers. Whenever he is injured or has problems he never shows it. Furthermore he always and I mean always comes back stronger. He is inhumanly amazing. He never once in his career has thrown his racket or destroyed something. Never misbehaved. He’s the true and only star. Who invented the Banana-Forhand? It was him. His extraordinary and unique tennis did. Never will anyone ever play nearly as amazing and unique as him.V 35 Comments
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.
A legend and just think if he hadn't that knee injury his numbers would have been untouchable for many more years. He is the greatest receiver of all time without a doubt. I do feel that as far the greatest football play er of all time he is in the top 5 for sure.
I have a jerry rice football card, and let me tell you, it is stacked with amazing stats, and he is totally the #1 athlete without a doubt! G.O.A.T.V 16 Comments
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!V 2 Comments
Manny should be the greatest athlete of all time because he is the most well-rounded champion and person. He's a 10 time champion in 8 different weight divisions in his profession. He's always humble with his achievements. He's charismatic on both a professional and personal level. He's always entertaining and exciting. He always think of those whom are less fortunate in life and always uses his successes to directly help better those people and everyone around him. Other athletes maybe leaders, champions or icon of their respective team or sports, but Manny is a leader and icon for a nation and the less fortunate of the world. Manny is the "true" champion of the people. This is what differentiates Manny from the rest of all those other champions.
He deserve to be one of the greatest.. In fact boxing is not an easy sport compare with others... You must have passion for it and a desire to win not only for the money and fame but for the pride of your country... Imagine this... His heart and mind is so strong... That's what you call passion
Widely recognized as one of boxing greats and not only in sports but also in various achievements like politics, as a humanitarian and as a singer etc.
Passion and heart is the tool of every artist. Manny has proven his talent and skills in the sport worldwide and known as the best boxer that has ever lived. His achievements and accomplishments are just the lite basis of fact that he is on the top. He came from nothing into becoming someone that inspires the life of so many great artist this time. 😊 Best of luck hall of famer!V 46 Comments
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...
Greatest and one of the richest athletes to ever walk the earth.The undefeated 49-0, defensive king is number 1V 9 Comments
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.V 9 Comments
He changed sports culture forever. Absolute monster at Football, Baseball and Track. He was said to be even better at Basketball than anything else. He should be top 10
Yeah right. Babe Ruth was a better athlete than Deion Sanders. Ha! Deion not in the top 10 shows there is something seriously wrong with this list.
SHOULD DEFFINATLY BE HIGH. PLAYED 2 PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AND IN FOOTBALL CUT THE FIELD IN HALF FOR THE OFFENSE
31... Deion is commonly in the argument for the greatest athlete of all time, list is bogusV 11 Comments
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.
Unbeatable in his prime.V 1 Comment
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!
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.
He was amazingV 9 Comments
What? A good player? What is the record for most rebounds in a game 55. Who was the player who this Athlete play against when he set this record, Lets see that would be Bill Russell who was the player who set the record Wilt Chamberlin
Bill Russell is the greatest defender if all time his stats were world class but they would have been better if they counted blocks and steals back then. He should be rated this number he should be in top 25
ahem you mean eleven time champion needs to be recognized
whatV 4 Comments
Simply the best, and he still have more ten years to show his quality as soccer player! Keep counting his goals (already broke all Real Madrid's records).
He has got immense football skills and the ways he does dribbling is a magic. He is the most expensive player in the football world. The way he plays against the Brazilian players is phenomenon. He also holds record of scoring most number of goals for Manchester United and Real Madrid in one year. He is still young and has achieved great landmarks
The most complete Football player in world for the moment. He scores with both feet, head and also he know how to strike from free kicks and penalty spot. One of the best.
He is super tall and I mean, no other soccer player can go faster so I mean he should at least be the best soccer player. He even got transfered for the most money and has scored awesome goals. He is the core of Real Madrid and Portugal. He is the player that makes em' win.V 82 Comments
Undefeated in his entire college career, Olympic gold, coached his college team Penn State to national championship, then emerged from retirement 7 years later and made the national team championship to compete at worlds.
Cael should be way higher on the list. He's the only man to ever go undefeated in the most demanding and hardest sport out there. Most great ufc fighters have an amazing wrestling background for this reason.
If people can't realize what an amazing athlete Cael Sanderson is then they are truly blind. Cael is the best.
He started at the age of 5 and went undefeated until Olympic gold is the most physically demanding and decateted sports there is.V 6 Comments
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...
Should be in top 20V 11 Comments
48? Are you kidding me? Why so low? Serena has won more grand slams in the open era than any other tennis players in history. Might I say that she has 23 to Roger Federer's 19, yet for some reason he is in the top 10. She also was pregnant when she won her 23 slam! Amazing! Yes, the men's and women's game are really different but that should not at all take anything away from her accomplishments. She has been dominating the women's game ever since her first grand slam win in the late 90's. That's nearly 20 years! How many people can be known to not only compete but to dominate their sport like Serena has for that long. Most likely a very small list. Please give credit where it's due and recognize how great of an athlete she is.
You cannot compare apples to oranges. Serena is an enigma in sports today. I do not play sports of any kind, except for enjoying my local gym. I don't even play tennis! Pound for pound, Serena Williams out preforms any other modern athlete to date. Give her credit.
I believe when Serena Williams is on form no ladies singles player in the history of tennis could beat her, her immense power and her general domination, the only person who can stop serena is herself.
Dhe is a wamen you need to have respecc for her.V 12 Comments
He should be ranked much higher. Most people don't know about Dan Gable because wrestling is one of the most under-appreciated sports. The man's winning percentage is ridiculous! He lost 4 times and won 300 (or something similar to that). He was consistent. He showed up to win everyday. This guy should be top 3. Period.
1972 Olympics. One of the hardest brackets in history, and the man didn't let any of his 6 opponents score a single point. He should be top 3. Worked out for around 7 hours a day. The man had a never ending gas tank. The only reason he isn't number one is because wrestling is so under appreciated, especially in the U.S. even though it is the hardest sport in the world.
Very few people have ever had such a narrow focus as Dan Gable. Even todays greatest athletes have more going on in their lives than just their sport. Dan Gable didn't. he had very few friends and the only friends he did have were his team mates. The fact that he was so determined to be the best wrestler for non selfish reasons should rank him in the top five without a doubt.
DefinitelyV 10 Comments
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.
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-!
GOD BLESS GORDIE HOWE MANY TIMES OVER-!
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.
Better than MJV 4 Comments
He is a person who has played under extreme levels of expectations of a billion people of a cricket crazy nation and yet managed to maintain his excellent performances over a period of 22 years and is still going strong. His careers defines modern day cricket. He holds almost every record in the book.
This guy is nothing less than GOD... He has shown me how to live life... And wt is the meaning of passion, hardwork and consistency... I bet... No athlete can ever match his hunger to excel and performing at the same level... Fulfilling his responsibilities in the same manner he had started 22 years back when he began his international career at just age 16.. For all those guys who don't vote for him because you don't know much about him,... At whatever level you adore other athletes in this list... Do learn more about him and I bet, slowly you are gonna fall in love with a true gentleman or even the first look itself...
It is not how best athlete he is, the thing that is awesome about him is how long he remained the best athlete and obviously the best batsman. He is the best batsmen in the history of cricket. He has most number centuries in ODI and test cricket. He has most no of runs in both format of the game. It is his bad luck that cricket is not as famous as football or tennis otherwise he would have been rated as the greatest sportsman.
God of cricket at 41V 464 Comments
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 should be higher on the list cause he is amazing!V 13 Comments
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 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.
Zidane is the greatest soccer player ever!V 8 Comments
Best pound for pound boxer of all time. enough said.
Truly TBE. neither floyd, pacqiuo or even ali had anything on him
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...
How do you forget as he didn't defeat for eight consecutive years. He is the 1st in the world. But who are give this rank. It is so funny! Always Americans first' who say so. I think they select by their income not by their talent. Always forgery rank.
Just look at his longevity, he has been at the top of his profession - breaking all kinds of records until the end of his career - for nearly three decades. Who else lasted that long? Haile Geb is a top 10 athlete in the all time best list!V 15 Comments
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
JETER IS GOATV 2 Comments
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.
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.
An all-around gifted athlete! Special! And such flare! The fans adored him because he was always an entertainer. Willie Mays could do it all, sometimes with such grace and fluidity, and sometimes with unbridled power. And he sustained his excellence throughout his long career. Greatest athlete ever! - 5ToolPlayers
In my opinion, he's the best mlb player ever. Not babe Ruth. - AjklothV 1 Comment
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.
kobe may not be better than jordan but he is a beast! you have to admit!
The only reason he set any record is because he was able to skip college and go straight into the NBA, players, of the past, could not be drafted until their college teammates would have graduate (that's 4 years) if he had played college his body/skill like all athletes would have been going down. That's be real here
I hate the lakkkerss repeat repeat I'm a frekin spurs fan.V 41 Comments
He is just an entertainer and not an athlete. The one who put his name in this list must be totally dumb.
He's a wwe wrestler, they are fakers
He is the face that runs the place.
Even he is a entertainer HIS Physique is great. awesome weight lifter deserve to be in the listV 7 Comments
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.
I think he is the best skate border ever he does awesome tricks - tawilliams
He is a pretty good skater
Ye da sells avonV 2 Comments
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