The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports
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The Best Athletes of All Time

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.

  • 163 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 3118
    - 2572

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 4464
    - 2817

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3629
    - 2476


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 2130
    - 1928


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2410
    - 2004


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2544
    - 2150


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1668
    - 1004

    ranked low on reranks
    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 2135
    - 1688


    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1898
    - 1990

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1467
    - 1330


    Mannheim, Germany

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1594
    - 1360


    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 765
    - 619

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 803
    - 618

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 872
    - 606


    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 733
    - 535

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 832
    - 585


    Munich, Germany

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 1964
    - 1762

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Basel, Switzerland

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 734
    - 510

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ashington, United Kingdom

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 680
    - 510

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  20. 20
    + 678
    - 479

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 738
    - 567

    added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 1108
    - 1240

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1395
    - 1170


    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 2169
    - 1796


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 686
    - 563

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1573
    - 1581

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

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 896
    - 729


    Montreal, Canada

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 557
    - 480

    added by JonathanWeider
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 793
    - 528

    ranked low on reranks
    Kew, Australia

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 1102
    - 1035

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 889
    - 683


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 940
    - 782

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 869
    - 633


    Carlsbad, California, United States of America

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 831
    - 681


    Volgograd, Russia

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 945
    - 723


    Leimen, Germany

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 851
    - 751

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

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 878
    - 710


    Yorkville, New York City, New York

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 488
    - 425

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ishim, Tyumen Oblast, Russia

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 870
    - 547

    ranked low on reranks
    California, United States of America

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 920
    - 765

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 700
    - 440

    ranked low on reranks
    Sopron, Hungary

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 842
    - 668

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

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 2235
    - 1745


    Chinatown, California, United States of America

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 810
    - 563

    added by JonathanWeider
    Albury, Australia

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 842
    - 517

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Bad Reichenhall, Germany

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 528
    - 421

    added by JonathanWeider
    Trondheim, Norway

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 1778
    - 1508


    Rosario, Argentina

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 484
    - 372

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sebastian Vettel

  49. 49
    + 459
    - 426

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lesnoy, Russia

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 703
    - 258

    ranked low on reranks & added by nico
    Randy Savage (randall Mario Poffo)

1337 +

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