The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

603k votes 29k voters 452k views 1,815 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
  • 313 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 6,385
    - 6,621

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 9,812
    - 7,259

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 8,144
    - 6,620


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  4. 4
    + 4,627
    - 4,950


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 5,486
    - 5,820


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,307
    - 4,138


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  7. 7
    + 5,569
    - 6,082


    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  8. 8
    + 2,425
    - 1,698

    ranked low on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,929
    - 4,694

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,638
    - 4,950


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1,261
    - 776

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Zagreb, Yugoslavia

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,325
    - 5,419

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 4,938
    - 4,567


    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,546
    - 2,161

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3,189
    - 4,561

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,594
    - 1,068

    ranked low on reranks
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,087
    - 669

    ranked low on reranks
    Novi Sad, Serbia

    ;
  18. 18
    + 967
    - 581

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

    ;
  19. 19
    + 2,680
    - 2,612

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Upper Arlington, Ohio, United States of America

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,766
    - 3,489

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

    ;
  21. 21
    + 969
    - 677


    Split, Croatia, Croatia

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,134
    - 472

    ranked low on reranks
    Ostrava

    ;
  23. 23
    + 2,287
    - 2,137


    Parry Sound, Canada

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,347
    - 1,946

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 2,608
    - 2,635

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  26. 26
    + 2,137
    - 1,985


    New York City, USA, New York

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2,142
    - 2,258

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,994
    - 2,019
    Lidija Skobilowa is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Athletes of All Time

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  29. 29
    + 1,012
    - 894


    Onești, Romania

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,228
    - 1,210


    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  31. 31
    + 995
    - 1,030

    added by JonathanWeider
    Ishim, Tyumen Oblast, Russia

    ;
  32. 32
    + 3,595
    - 3,644


    Bessemer, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,260
    - 2,279


    Montreal, Canada

    ;
  34. 34
    + 553
    - 449


    Örnsköldsvik, Sweden

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,841
    - 1,965

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  36. 36
    + 2,569
    - 2,788

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 982
    - 722

    added by geyyy
    Moscow, Russia

    ;
  38. 38
    + 728
    - 636

    added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  39. 39
    + 269
    - 166

    added by enros
    Luhansk, Ukraine

    ;
  40. 40
    + 522
    - 360

    added by JonathanWeider
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2,360
    - 2,897

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  42. 42
    + 3,820
    - 4,680

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

    ;
  43. 43
    + 399
    - 217

    added by LeeBob
    Roosevelt, New York, United States of America

    ;
  44. 44
    + 563
    - 391

    ranked low on reranks & added by Skojare
    Joesjö, Sweden

    ;
  45. 45
    + 2,244
    - 2,685

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ;
  46. 46
    + 480
    - 333

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Klein Luckow, Germany

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1,638
    - 1,673

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,906
    - 1,915

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  49. 49
    + 563
    - 475


    Russia

    ;
  50. 50
    + 704
    - 689

    added by JonathanWeider
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    ;
1816 +

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