10 Greatest Athletes of All Time

Although many of the athletes on the list may have been great players, this is not a list of the greatest players of all time. This is a list of the greatest athletes, which begs the question of what makes an athlete great. Athletic greatness is defined as having a variety of attributes that contribute to athletic prowess for the purposes of this list. Speed, quickness, endurance, power, and hand-eye coordination are examples.

As a result, this list excludes specialized athletes such as marathon runners and bicyclists. While Lance Armstrong is clearly a master in his field, he has yet to demonstrate that he can compete in other sports that require more than pumping his thighs for hours on end. Below is a list of top 10 greatest athletes of all time.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known as MJ, is a retired American professional basketball player. Michael Jordan is a globally recognized athlete who has accomplished numerous feats such as NBA rookie of the year, Slam-Dunk contest winner, six NBA championships, five NBA Most Valuable Player awards, two Olympic gold medals, being a member of the 1992 dream team, and appearing in thirteen all-star games, to name a few. He accomplished all of this in fourteen years in the NBA, which is incredible.

2. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet, and philanthropist who died on June 3, 2016. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sporting figures of the 20th century, and is frequently ranked as the greatest heavyweight boxer and athlete of all time.

3. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC is a former professional ice hockey player and head coach from Canada. From 1979 to 1999, he played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four different teams.

4. Usain Bolt

Usain St Leo Bolt is a Jamaican retired sprinter, widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. He is a world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay. An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). He also won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals.

His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt”, and his awards include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (three times) and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (four times). Bolt retired after the 2017 World Championships, when he finished third in his last solo 100 m race, opted out of the 200 m, and pulled up in the 4×100 m relay final.

5. Michael Phelps

Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is a former competitive swimmer from the United States and the most successful and decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23) and individual Olympic medals (13). Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven first-place finishes in a single Olympic Games when he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games.

6. Babe Ruth

George Herman Ruth Jr., better known as Babe Ruth, was an American professional baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1914 to 1935.

7. Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi (born June 24, 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who currently plays for the French club PSG. He is also regarded as one of the all-time great football players. On June 24, 1987, he was born in Rosario, Argentina.

8. Bo Jackson

Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson is a former baseball and football player from the United States. He is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football, and one of few to do so in two major sports.

9. Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as “Pelé,” is a former Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. The International Olympic Committee named him Athlete of the Century in 1999, and he was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Pelé was named World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) in 2000, and he was also named FIFA Player of the Century.

10. Tom Brady

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. is an American football quarterback for the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady is known as the only quarterback in history to win seven Super Bowls and is widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Brady is also widely regarded as the greatest bargain in NFL history, having been selected in the late sixth round. From 2000 to 2019, He had previously played for the New England Patriots.

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