The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports
0Ultimate List
tags 241,757 votes 12,889 voters 294,145 views 1,327 items f p @

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.

  • 149 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2812
    - 2199

    most listed Canada, United States of America

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 4090
    - 2478

    the people's #1 United States of America

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3358
    - 2147

    United States of America

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1873
    - 1643

    United States of America

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2346
    - 1879

    Brazil

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2222
    - 1749

    Jamaica

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1778
    - 1772

    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1890
    - 1416

    United States of America

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1363
    - 1117

    United States of America

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 622
    - 366

    ranked low on reranks Germany

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1418
    - 898

    United States of America

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 564
    - 399

    added by JonathanWeider Finland

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 607
    - 414

    added by RodneyBlair Australia

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 554
    - 321

    added by JonathanWeider England

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1259
    - 1110

    often listed & ranked high on reranks West Germany, Germany

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 579
    - 381

    added by JonathanWeider Norway

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 555
    - 345

    added by JonathanWeider Norway

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 518
    - 328

    added by JonathanWeider Lidija Skobilowa

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 546
    - 309

    added by JonathanWeider United States of America, Sweden

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 688
    - 432

    United States of America

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 461
    - 314

    added by JonathanWeider Czech Republic

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 581
    - 390

    added by JonathanWeider Norway

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1854
    - 1594

    often listed & ranked high on reranks South Africa, Switzerland

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 397
    - 257

    added by JonathanWeider

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 425
    - 232

    added by JonathanWeider Sebastian Vettel

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 701
    - 362

    ranked low on reranks Australia

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 432
    - 284

    added by JonathanWeider

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 461
    - 252

    Netherlands

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 787
    - 570

    Canada, United States of America

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 802
    - 521

    Canada

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 2093
    - 1600

    United States of America

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 1513
    - 1404

    often listed & ranked high on reranks United States of America

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 782
    - 467

    ranked low on reranks United States of America

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 1002
    - 1076

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Russia

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 363
    - 157

    ranked low on reranks & added by enros Germany

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 773
    - 519
    ) open
  37. 37
    + 881
    - 567

    Germany, West Germany

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 788
    - 591

    added by JonathanWeider United States of America

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 1024
    - 876

    often listed & added by Skojare Sweden

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 878
    - 622

    added by JonathanWeider United Kingdom

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 1265
    - 995

    United States of America

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 790
    - 529

    added by JonathanWeider United States of America

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 263
    - 103

    ranked low on reranks & added by Arminius Germany

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 871
    - 625

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider Sweden

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 284
    - 162

    added by JonathanWeider Netherlands

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 810
    - 417

    ranked low on reranks United States of America

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 494
    - 335

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider Norway

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 665
    - 339

    ranked low on reranks Hungary

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 782
    - 473

    added by JonathanWeider Australia

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 226
    - 89

    added by Arminius Germany, West Germany

    ) open
1328 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists