The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

506k votes 26k voters 428k views 1,633 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
  • 293 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 5,864
    - 6,180

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 8,576
    - 6,055

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 7,133
    - 5,428


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  4. 4
    + 4,049
    - 3,812


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 4,922
    - 4,912


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,915
    - 5,003


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  7. 7
    + 4,289
    - 4,596


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1,484
    - 1,176

    ranked low on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  9. 9
    + 4,320
    - 3,556

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

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,041
    - 3,856


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,277
    - 3,661

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  12. 12
    + 3,765
    - 4,318


    Towson, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  13. 13
    + 2,652
    - 3,489

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,253
    - 1,906

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  15. 15
    + 1,134
    - 705

    ranked low on reranks
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,250
    - 2,517

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ;
  17. 17
    + 622
    - 368

    ranked low on reranks & added by amsmaia

    ;
  18. 18
    + 3,419
    - 3,725

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 2,436
    - 2,343


    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,991
    - 1,768


    New York City, USA, New York

    ;
  21. 21
    + 384
    - 304

    added by JonathanWeider
    Zagreb, Yugoslavia

    ;
  22. 22
    + 2,158
    - 1,973


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ;
  23. 23
    + 2,037
    - 2,238

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  24. 24
    + 408
    - 252

    ranked low on reranks
    Novi Sad, Serbia

    ;
  25. 25
    + 2,406
    - 2,261


    Munich, Germany

    ;
  26. 26
    + 254
    - 54

    ranked low on reranks
    Ostrava, Czech Republic

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2,442
    - 2,632


    Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2,155
    - 2,155

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  29. 29
    + 3,441
    - 3,490


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,891
    - 1,951

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  31. 31
    + 3,296
    - 3,365


    San Mateo, California, United States of America

    ;
  32. 32
    + 1,225
    - 1,666

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

    ;
  33. 33
    + 3,102
    - 3,073


    Rosario, Argentina

    ;
  34. 34
    + 2,166
    - 2,194


    Montreal, Canada

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,850
    - 2,145

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,774
    - 1,758


    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1,768
    - 1,838


    Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1,559
    - 1,574

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,602
    - 1,723

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,678
    - 1,704

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,321
    - 1,041

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 1,682
    - 1,817
    Lidija Skobilowa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Athletes of All Time

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  43. 43
    + 1,617
    - 1,979


    Cypress, California, United States of America

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,735
    - 1,548

    ranked low on reranks
    Carlsbad, California, United States of America

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,433
    - 1,577

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,788
    - 2,003


    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,134
    - 1,129


    Hürth, Germany

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,341
    - 1,496


    Volgograd, Russia

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2,865
    - 2,569


    Chinatown, California, United States of America

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,911
    - 1,840

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ashington, United Kingdom

    ;
1634 +

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