The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

423,418 votes 22,809 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
  • 274 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 5257
    - 5001

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 7502
    - 4941

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 5941
    - 4443


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  4. 4
    + 3622
    - 2776


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 3908
    - 3580


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4261
    - 4093


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  7. 7
    + 4179
    - 4039


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2947
    - 2746


    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3523
    - 2964


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  10. 10
    + 3902
    - 3072

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

    ;
  11. 11
    + 2396
    - 2611

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  12. 12
    + 3131
    - 3482

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

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  13. 13
    + 2025
    - 1918

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ;
  14. 14
    + 809
    - 506


    Hürth, Germany

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  15. 15
    + 3150
    - 2897

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

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  16. 16
    + 2220
    - 1851


    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

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  17. 17
    + 2146
    - 1728


    Munich, Germany

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  18. 18
    + 1930
    - 1482


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1754
    - 1332


    Yorkville, New York City, New York

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  20. 20
    + 1948
    - 1579


    Montreal, Canada

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  21. 21
    + 1843
    - 1645

    added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3022
    - 2569


    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ;
  23. 23
    + 485
    - 271

    added by geyyy
    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1739
    - 1638

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

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  25. 25
    + 1747
    - 1580

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

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  26. 26
    + 1983
    - 1756

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  27. 27
    + 703
    - 509

    added by Arminius
    Gelsenkirchen, Germany

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1288
    - 1084

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1552
    - 1367

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1600
    - 1471

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  31. 31
    + 1798
    - 1463

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ashington, United Kingdom

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2638
    - 2327


    Rosario, Argentina

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  33. 33
    + 1193
    - 819

    ranked low on reranks
    Spavinaw, Oklahoma, United States of America

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  34. 34
    + 1455
    - 1359

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

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  35. 35
    + 1597
    - 1227


    USA, Carlsbad, California

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  36. 36
    + 1467
    - 1423

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  37. 37
    + 3156
    - 3133


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1841
    - 1966

    added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1315
    - 1293

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

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  40. 40
    + 1375
    - 1129

    ranked low on reranks & added by averagej123
    Nyagan, Russia

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  41. 41
    + 742
    - 896

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1230
    - 1202


    Volgograd, Russia

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  43. 43
    + 398
    - 294

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

    ;
  44. 44
    + 832
    - 800


    Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    ;
  45. 45
    + 617
    - 490


    Prague, Europe, Czech Republic

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1095
    - 1511

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

    ;
  47. 47
    + 2218
    - 2444


    Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1629
    - 1730


    Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York

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  49. 49
    + 281
    - 180

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

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  50. 50
    + 579
    - 464

    ranked low on reranks & added by Arminius
    Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany

    ;
1557 +

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