The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

425,833 votes 22,935 voters 386,478 views 1,556 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.

For more sports news and athlete trade rumors, vote on this list of sports news sites.


List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 275 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 5293
    - 5024

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 7532
    - 4976

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 5966
    - 4480


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  4. 4
    + 3634
    - 2812


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 3936
    - 3599


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4288
    - 4121


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  7. 7
    + 4201
    - 4074


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2982
    - 2756


    Mannheim, Germany

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  9. 9
    + 3558
    - 2977


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  10. 10
    + 3930
    - 3084

    ranked low on reranks
    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

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  11. 11
    + 2424
    - 2621

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

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  12. 12
    + 842
    - 517


    Hürth, Germany

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  13. 13
    + 2052
    - 1927

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

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  14. 14
    + 3148
    - 3507

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

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  15. 15
    + 2248
    - 1859


    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

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  16. 16
    + 2176
    - 1737


    Munich, Germany

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  17. 17
    + 3167
    - 2905


    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

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  18. 18
    + 1959
    - 1489


    Parry Sound, Canada

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  19. 19
    + 1778
    - 1339


    Yorkville, New York City, New York

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  20. 20
    + 1978
    - 1587


    Montreal, Canada

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  21. 21
    + 1873
    - 1650

    added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  22. 22
    + 512
    - 277

    added by geyyy
    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  23. 23
    + 3037
    - 2576


    San Mateo, California, United States of America

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  24. 24
    + 1766
    - 1644

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

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  25. 25
    + 1774
    - 1586

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

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  26. 26
    + 2011
    - 1763

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

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  27. 27
    + 732
    - 520

    added by Arminius
    Gelsenkirchen, Germany

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  28. 28
    + 1313
    - 1092

    added by JonathanWeider
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States of America

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1575
    - 1375

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1623
    - 1477

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  31. 31
    + 1822
    - 1469

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ashington, United Kingdom

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  32. 32
    + 2656
    - 2349


    Rosario, Argentina

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1478
    - 1368

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

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  34. 34
    + 1204
    - 826

    ranked low on reranks
    USA, Spavinaw, Oklahoma

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  35. 35
    + 1489
    - 1429

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

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  36. 36
    + 1603
    - 1235

    ranked low on reranks
    USA, Carlsbad, California

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  37. 37
    + 1869
    - 1970

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

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  38. 38
    + 3165
    - 3158


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

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  39. 39
    + 1337
    - 1301

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

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  40. 40
    + 1388
    - 1137

    ranked low on reranks & added by averagej123
    Nyagan, Russia

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  41. 41
    + 410
    - 299

    ranked low on reranks & added by Polar Bear
    Trondheim, Norway

    ;
  42. 42
    + 753
    - 905

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

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  43. 43
    + 1243
    - 1207


    Volgograd, Russia

    ;
  44. 44
    + 842
    - 808


    Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    ;
  45. 45
    + 625
    - 493


    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1102
    - 1521

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

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  47. 47
    + 2224
    - 2451


    Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland

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  48. 48
    + 287
    - 183

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

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  49. 49
    + 1635
    - 1738

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New York City, USA, New York

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  50. 50
    + 1604
    - 1690


    Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

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1557 +

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