Top 10 Greatest Olympians of All Time
By the end of the 2012 Olympics, he will have the most Olympic medals ever. Mark Spitz and Eric Heiden were fantastic athletes, but Phelps is in a league of his own.
Easily the best. 5 time Olympian, more gold medals, let alone medals, than anyone in history, countless records, and who can forget going 8 for 8?...need I say more?
He is the best athlete in the world. He is my role model, and hopefully someday I can be just as good as him! Truly an inspiration.
An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). He also won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals... read more
Okay, he's only competed in one Olympic Games. But sport is an entertainment, and he stunned audiences around the world like no other.
Sport is also about achievement, and to be the fastest moving human being that has ever lived... well, make your own mind up.
He is insanely talented.
Not even in the same league as the rest of the world.
The lightning strikes again!
Athletes can only be compared to other athletes of their time period. Training, diet, and modern facilities give athletes of modern times a considerable advantage. That being said in my opinion Jim Thorpe is the greatest athlete of all times!
Now contest! Read the history books and you know he was and still is by far the greatest athletes to ever live...
He was a bad ass
Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 - a remarkable achievement in itself, but even more so when you consider that the black athlete achieved his victories in the swastiker-clad heart of Nazi Germany.
Jesse Owens moved America a step closer to equality for all and showed the world the fallacy in Hitlers super race ideas that were gaining popularity. May we never forget.
Defied prejudice, racism, and a master race.
Better than Michael Phelps. Easy to win swimming golds, as there are way more events whereas in rowing you can usually only do one. A truly great athlete. For almost 20 years he completely dominated, not to mention fighting diabetes.
Five Gold medals in a power/strength/endurance event in five consecutive Olympics makes him the greatest Olympian ever, much more so than the sheer number of gold medals won by Phelps, as great as his own achievement may be.
Consistency, being a gold medalist for 20 years. A perfect career in a sport that you can't be a professional and can't have many sponsors. Respect.
For what he did in one Olympic 1984 - 4 Gold, and 4 Gold in 4 consecutive Olympics in the Long Jump, for his durability over 4 olympics, and 1980 he would have made the team but there was a boycott (so he was denied a 5th olympics) an
'The only person who could beat Michael in his day was Michael Johnson.' Johnson was virtually unbeatable.Going into the 1996 Olympic games Johnson had won 54 straight finals at 400m, and had remained unbeaten for seven years.
Nadia was so ahead of her time that it was ridiculous.
She was doing aerials, 2 of them on the beam alone with three flip flops. She dismounted beam with a double twist when her rivals did single twists. Aerials are still rated a D in today's much harder scoring system.
She even has an E rated release move on her UB routine named after her. E rated skills still have among the highest rating under today's scoring system).
She was doing 2 double backs in 1976 when the floor mat had no springs. Today's floor mats have a ton of springs, yet even in the Elite group, many of today's gymnasts had a hard time ending their floor with another double back. Comaneci did that in 1976... That's almost 40 years ago!
Mark Spitz won SEVEN gold medals at his Olympics. But check out his time comparing to Michael Phelps!
Comaneci was the Queen of all the Olympics. There is no King.
The greatest female athlete of all time! Exotic, exceptional, incomparable! What a girl can achieve at the age of 14. Not only did she prove to be the best in her field but also won a prestigious place for gymnastics in the international arena.
Muhammad Ali has become one of the most infamous Olympians ever, as much for what he did outside of the boxing ring as what he did with the gloves on.
He is the best because no one expected it and it isn't always about the number of medals. In some sports you can't win more than a couple of medals.
There were two things swimmer Mark Spitz wasn't short of: confidence and medals. Before the 1968 Olympics he boasted that he would win six gold medals - he took home only two
Should be way higher. Wins the marathon the first time he ever competed--after he already won the 5 and 10K
So much inspired
The third greater Olympian with a total of 15 medals, 7 of them gold.
How is a guy who won 5 gold medals in a single games competing at totally different distances not #1 let alone even on this list. Can you imagine Usain Bolt winning his events and then 1500, 5000 and 10000 m?!
American track and field athlete who won 8 gold medals at the Olympic Games and two gold medals at the Intercalated Games. This puts him among the most successful Olympians of all time.
He took part in three Olympic Games (1900-1908) winning the standing long jump, triple jump and high jump in the first two and the standing long and high jump in the last one.
Theagenes of Thasos was an ancient Greek Olympian, typically spelled Theogenes before the first century AD.
He became distinguished in every kind of athletic contest, and gained numerous victories at the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games. Often described as an extremely strong, muscular, and tall man, Theagenes went on to win two Olympic titles, in boxing in 480 because and pankration in 476 because. In addition, he won three times in the Pythian Games, nine times in the Nemean and ten times in the Isthmian. According to ancient sources, Theagenes competed for 22 years in every major combat competition of his time (boxing, pankration, wrestling), winning various titles all across the ancient world. Greek historian Pausanias claimed that he won an estimated 1,400 fights; about 1,200 more victories than Willie Pep, who, with 229 wins, is considered the most successful boxer of our day.
Milo of Croton was a 6th-century because wrestler from the Magna Graecian city of Croton, who enjoyed a brilliant wrestling career and won many victories in the most important athletic festivals of ancient Greece. Milo was a six-time Olympic victor. He won the boys' wrestling (probably in 540 because), and thereafter five men's wrestling titles between 536 and 520 BCE. He also won seven crowns at the Pythian Games at Delphi (one as a boy), ten at the Isthmian Games, and nine at the Nemean Games. Milo was a five-time Periodonikes, a "grand slam" sort of title bestowed on the winner of all four festivals in the same cycle. Milo's career at the highest level of competition must have spanned 24 years.