The Best Athletes of All Time People In Sports

The Best Athletes of All Time

756k votes 32k voters 477k views 1,992 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
  • 506 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 6,993
    - 7,041

    most listed
    Brantford, Canada

    ;
  2. 2
    + 10,874
    - 8,391

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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 6,094
    - 6,971

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Três Corações, Brazil

    ;
  4. 4
    + 8,834
    - 7,520


    Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    ;
  5. 5
    + 5,978
    - 6,649


    Sherwood Content, Jamaica

    ;
  6. 6
    + 3,186
    - 2,136

    ranked low on reranks
    Lanús, Argentina

    ;
  7. 7
    + 5,008
    - 5,693


    New Eagle, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    ;
  8. 8
    + 4,469
    - 5,465


    Mannheim, Germany

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1,322
    - 1,795


    Wiesbaden, Germany

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,567
    - 4,895


    Oakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1,179
    - 1,166

    added by Skojare
    Joesjö, Sweden

    ;
  12. 12
    + 2,899
    - 3,393

    added by RodneyBlair
    Rockhampton, Australia

    ;
  13. 13
    + 886
    - 1,194

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 759
    - 1,198

    added by JonathanWeider
    Milan, Italy

    ;
  15. 15
    + 2,999
    - 2,525

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Elverum, Norway

    ;
  16. 16
    + 743
    - 1,096

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Utrecht, Netherlands

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,000
    - 1,463

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Potomac, Maryland, United States of America

    ;
  18. 18
    + 1,085
    - 1,278

    often listed & added by JonathanWeider
    Västervik, Sweden

    ;
  19. 19
    + 2,941
    - 3,224

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

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,004
    - 1,390

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Zagreb, Croatia

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2,157
    - 1,396

    ranked low on reranks
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  22. 22
    + 1,542
    - 914

    added by amsmaia

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,721
    - 1,025


    Novi Sad, Serbia

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,778
    - 838

    ranked low on reranks
    Ostrava, Czech Republic

    ;
  25. 25
    + 1,138
    - 1,144


    Split, Croatia, Yugoslavia

    ;
  26. 26
    + 5,533
    - 4,950


    West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana

    ;
  27. 27
    + 5,059
    - 5,889


    Basel, Switzerland

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1,292
    - 1,648


    Onești, Romania

    ;
  29. 29
    + 2,058
    - 2,274


    Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

    ;
  30. 30
    + 1,663
    - 791

    ranked low on reranks & added by bohater
    Carrara, Italy

    ;
  31. 31
    + 599
    - 963

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Travagliato, Italy

    ;
  32. 32
    + 3,430
    - 5,539

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Novosibirsk, Russia

    ;
  33. 33
    + 3,051
    - 4,307

    added by JonathanWeider
    Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,418
    - 887

    ranked low on reranks & added by bohater
    Conegliano, Italy

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2,583
    - 2,970

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  36. 36
    + 4,634
    - 6,332

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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2,587
    - 3,490

    added by JonathanWeider
    Davenham, United Kingdom

    ;
  38. 38
    + 2,353
    - 2,661

    added by JonathanWeider
    Bro, Sweden, Sweden

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2,334
    - 2,766

    added by JonathanWeider
    Drammen, Norway

    ;
  40. 40
    + 2,430
    - 2,760
    Lidija Skobilowa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Athletes of All Time

    added by JonathanWeider
    Lidija Skobilowa

  41. 41
    + 1,926
    - 2,399


    Hürth, Germany

    ;
  42. 42
    + 2,114
    - 2,632

    added by JonathanWeider
    Sandhult, Sweden

    ;
  43. 43
    + 2,900
    - 3,869

    added by Skojare
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ;
  44. 44
    + 449
    - 679


    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,643
    - 2,055

    added by JonathanWeider
    Prague, Czech Republic

    ;
  46. 46
    + 620
    - 1,079

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Tielt-Winge, Belgium

    ;
  47. 47
    + 3,244
    - 3,778


    Munich, Germany

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,175
    - 1,350

    ranked low on reranks & added by JonathanWeider
    Oslo, Norway

    ;
  49. 49
    + 4,021
    - 5,456


    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    ;
  50. 50
    + 2,413
    - 2,960


    Montreal, Canada

    ;
1993 +

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