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.

  • 169 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ) open
  2. 2
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    - 3216

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

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 4044
    - 2862

    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 2547
    - 2260

    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2764
    - 2422

    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2909
    - 2552

    Três Corações, Brazil

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 2540
    - 1990

    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 2066
    - 1291

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

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 2103
    - 2236

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

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1856
    - 1645

    Mannheim, Germany

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1988
    - 1654

    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1125
    - 914

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1170
    - 882

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 1251
    - 866

    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 2188
    - 1922

    Basel, Switzerland

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 1176
    - 842

    Munich, Germany

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 1073
    - 802

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1025
    - 778

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  19. 19
    + 1083
    - 833

    added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 1078
    - 759

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ashington, United Kingdom

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1435
    - 1533

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 1726
    - 1414

    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 986
    - 716

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 951
    - 788

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 1346
    - 1261

    added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1136
    - 943

    Montreal, Canada

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 2354
    - 2091

    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 1703
    - 1815

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

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 1125
    - 883

    Parry Sound, Canada

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 781
    - 711

    added by JonathanWeider
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 981
    - 738

    Kew, Australia

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 1115
    - 999

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 1048
    - 825

    Carlsbad, California, United States of America

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 985
    - 932

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

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 927
    - 822

    Volgograd, Russia

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 996
    - 858

    Yorkville, New York City, New York

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 910
    - 364

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

  38. 38
    + 1054
    - 880

    Leimen, Germany

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 1007
    - 893

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 914
    - 772

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

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 604
    - 532

    added by JonathanWeider
    Trondheim, Norway

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 875
    - 664

    added by JonathanWeider
    Albury, Australia

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 960
    - 663

    ranked low on reranks
    California, United States of America

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 558
    - 536

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Ishim, Tyumen Oblast, Russia

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 761
    - 528

    Sopron, Hungary

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 2308
    - 1941

    Chinatown, California, United States of America

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 1203
    - 1563

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Cypress, California, United States of America

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 897
    - 609

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

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 1305
    - 1456

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 201
    - 100

    Hürth, Germany

    ) open
1341 +

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