The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

738k votes 32k voters 474k views 1,973 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
  • 488 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 6,889
    - 6,972

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 10,729
    - 8,235

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 6,018
    - 6,854

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  4. 4
    + 8,749
    - 7,405


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 5,906
    - 6,531


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  6. 6
    + 3,091
    - 2,068

    ranked low on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  7. 7
    + 4,954
    - 5,605


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,309
    - 1,694


    Wiesbaden, Germany

    ;
  9. 9
    + 4,385
    - 5,350


    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,546
    - 4,804


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  11. 11
    + 2,894
    - 3,303

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,103
    - 1,076

    ranked low on reranks & added by Skojare
    Joesjö, Sweden

    ;
  13. 13
    + 852
    - 1,099

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,924
    - 2,494

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  15. 15
    + 716
    - 1,001

    added by JonathanWeider
    Utrecht, Netherlands

    ;
  16. 16
    + 728
    - 1,105

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Milan, Italy

    ;
  17. 17
    + 986
    - 1,374

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Potomac, Maryland, United States of America

    ;
  18. 18
    + 2,914
    - 3,149

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,008
    - 1,200

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Västervik, Sweden

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,717
    - 811

    ranked low on reranks
    Ostrava, Czech Republic

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2,093
    - 1,368

    ranked low on reranks
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,476
    - 886

    added by amsmaia

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,920
    - 1,352

    added by JonathanWeider
    Zagreb, Croatia

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,131
    - 1,121


    Split, Croatia, Yugoslavia

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,639
    - 993


    Novi Sad, Serbia

    ;
  26. 26
    + 5,016
    - 5,793

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  27. 27
    + 5,429
    - 4,920


    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,268
    - 1,557


    Onești, Romania

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,574
    - 764

    ranked low on reranks & added by bohater
    Carrara, Italy

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,965
    - 2,250


    Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  31. 31
    + 574
    - 874


    Travagliato, Italy

    ;
  32. 32
    + 3,401
    - 5,434

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,975
    - 4,187

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,332
    - 858

    ranked low on reranks & added by bohater
    Conegliano, Italy

    ;
  35. 35
    + 4,596
    - 6,232

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

    ;
  36. 36
    + 2,508
    - 2,869

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2,569
    - 3,396

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ;
  38. 38
    + 2,259
    - 2,688

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2,277
    - 2,571

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  40. 40
    + 2,356
    - 2,670
    Lidija Skobilowa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Athletes of All Time

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  41. 41
    + 380
    - 515


    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1,903
    - 2,298


    Hürth, Germany

    ;
  43. 43
    + 607
    - 986

    often listed
    Tielt-Winge, Belgium

    ;
  44. 44
    + 2,037
    - 2,530

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,569
    - 1,946

    added by JonathanWeider
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  46. 46
    + 2,819
    - 3,757

    added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  47. 47
    + 3,237
    - 3,704


    Munich, Germany

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2,406
    - 2,885


    Montreal, Canada

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2,438
    - 2,769


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ;
  50. 50
    + 468
    - 691

    often listed & added by enros
    Luhansk, Ukraine

    ;
1974 +

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