Greatest Athletes of All Time

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Bobby Orr

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.

Without any questions Sugar Ray Robinson was the best sportler ever. By far.

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22 Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal

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!

Simply theee leegenddd!

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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.

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.

He was only good because he used stickum

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24 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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25 Manny Pacquiao Manny Pacquiao

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.

He's the most talented Filipino as a Boxer,Basketball Player,Singer,Actor and Host

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26 Jesse Owens Jesse Owens

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.

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27 Carl Lewis Carl Lewis

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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28 Maradona

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?

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.

simply the best footballer of all the time. pele who? - blind_bikerz

Pele was better

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29 Deion Sanders Deion Sanders Deion Luywnn Sanders, Sr. is a former American football and former American baseball player, who works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

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.


31... Deion is commonly in the argument for the greatest athlete of all time, list is bogus

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30 Cael Sanderson

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.

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31 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team.

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.

Wait one kicking minute, Ronaldo is the best footballer of all time, yet Pele is 20 spots higher! This list is a joke

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32 Bill Russell Bill Russell

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

Greatest winner and greatest teammate ever

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33 Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson

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 amazing

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34 Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong

Sorry, this guy cheated his way to the top and as such he should not be on ANY list.

Everyone in the sport of cycling has done some sort of drug to be better. It's part of the history of the sport. It is still going on and I personally think it always will. It was a domino effect, because once one guy does it and is now better, the next guy is gonna want to do it to be better. Lance is an extremely strong athlete, as well as a strong person. He has fought many things. He has fought accusations of using dope, and lied, but he also fought cancer. He might of lost his titles, but has not lost my respect for him.

Cyclists never let up as the rider covers 2, 200 miles over 21 days. No other sport requires so much endurance for such a long period of time. A marathon is exhausting, but it is over in 2 hours for the winner. Tennis players play six rounds in tournament, pretty tough, but not as exhausting as Tour ride.

He sucks he cheated

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35 Paavo Nurmi

Nurmi won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in the 12 events in which he competed at the Olympic Games from 1920 to 1928.

Nurmi is also considered the best Olympian of all time.

Best athlete in the Olympic Games ever! He could beat the competitors with just half the energy he had in he's body.

It was a long time ago, but you can't argue the fact that he won the 1500, 5000 and 10000 in the Olympics. Plus he won multiple gold metals throughout three Olympic appearances.

9 olympic gold and 3 olympic silver medals

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36 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.

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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37 Dan Gable

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.


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38 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.

39 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)

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.

He is the best athlete of all time

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40 Mike Tyson Mike Tyson


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.

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Wayne Gretzky is NOT One of the Greatest Athletes of All Time
What sport DIDN'T Jim Thorpe dominate?
Best athlete, not best player!
Ruth. Gretzky, Jordan
Greatest ATHLETES of All Time
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