The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

596k votes 29k voters 450k views 1,812 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Open to all amateur or professional athletes in any sport

The greatest athletes of all time: a list of the most dominant, iconic athletes to ever play sports. This list gathers sports stars from across every professional league, as well as amateur athletes who may have never competed professionally, in one overall list. Though it may be challenging to compare performance in a variety of different competitive arenas requiring different skill sets, this list nevertheless attempts to distinguish the top, highest-performing and most successful athletes ever to play. The sports stars that rise to the top can be considered to be the best athletes of all time.

Aspects to consider in picking a best athlete of all time would include, obviously, that player's raw talent and born ability. Some individuals seem to prodigally gifted in their sport of choice, and it's hard to discount the importance of this kind of natural talent. However, it's also important to evaluate hard work, discipline and a commitment to the game. Some athletes may not have the natural, genetic ability to dunk a basketball or hit a home run, but nonetheless have trained to the point of reaching these goals all the same. (They may not be the greatest athlete of all time at all sports, but they have mastered their activity.)

Finally, it can be a challenge to compare an athlete who competed in a solo competition with a member of a well known sports organization or club. How do you look at the achievements of, say, a boxer like Muhammad Ali alongside an athlete like Michael Jordan, who had to not only perform to his own best abilities but work as a cohesive unit along with other members of his team? These are the questions that must be answered when compiling a list of the world's greatest all-time athletes.

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List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo:  YouTube
  • 312 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 6,368
    - 6,597

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 9,722
    - 7,198

    the people's #1
    New York City, New York, United States of America

    ;
  3. 3
    + 8,063
    - 6,543


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  4. 4
    + 4,614
    - 4,933


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 5,442
    - 5,761


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,296
    - 4,116


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  7. 7
    + 5,527
    - 6,007


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2,359
    - 1,674

    ranked low on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,902
    - 4,628

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,587
    - 4,869


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1,198
    - 746

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Zagreb, Yugoslavia

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,295
    - 5,356

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Towson, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  13. 13
    + 4,926
    - 4,535


    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,542
    - 2,147

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,169
    - 4,493

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,586
    - 1,051

    ranked low on reranks
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  17. 17
    + 2,761
    - 3,419

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,073
    - 654

    ranked low on reranks
    Novi Sad, Serbia

    ;
  19. 19
    + 963
    - 572

    ranked low on reranks & added by amsmaia
    São Paulo, Brazil

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,675
    - 2,603

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

    ;
  21. 21
    + 960
    - 666


    Split, Croatia, Croatia

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,060
    - 434

    ranked low on reranks
    Ostrava

    ;
  23. 23
    + 2,281
    - 2,116


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,341
    - 1,922

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  25. 25
    + 531
    - 321

    added by Skojare
    Joesjö, Sweden

    ;
  26. 26
    + 549
    - 425


    Örnsköldsvik, Sweden

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,819
    - 1,879

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,223
    - 1,172


    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  29. 29
    + 363
    - 167

    added by LeeBob
    Roosevelt, New York, United States of America

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2,583
    - 2,571

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2,138
    - 2,232

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2,132
    - 1,960


    New York City, USA, New York

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,991
    - 1,996
    Lidija Skobilowa is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Athletes of All Time

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  34. 34
    + 992
    - 1,005

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ishim, Tyumen Oblast, Russia

    ;
  35. 35
    + 518
    - 340

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

    ;
  36. 36
    + 976
    - 698

    added by geyyy
    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  37. 37
    + 723
    - 615

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  38. 38
    + 983
    - 841


    Onești, Romania

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2,256
    - 2,262


    Montreal, Canada

    ;
  40. 40
    + 560
    - 446


    Russia

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2,561
    - 2,769


    Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  42. 42
    + 3,584
    - 3,625


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  43. 43
    + 476
    - 314

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Klein Luckow, Germany

    ;
  44. 44
    + 2,337
    - 2,825

    added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  45. 45
    + 3,797
    - 4,597


    USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

    ;
  46. 46
    + 2,240
    - 2,669

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,637
    - 1,657

    added by JonathanWeider
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

    ;
  48. 48
    + 246
    - 149

    ranked low on reranks & added by enros
    Luhansk, Ukraine

    ;
  49. 49
    + 703
    - 673

    added by JonathanWeider
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,903
    - 1,899

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
1813 +

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