Let the great debate begin! It is much harder than you think to squeeze every “Great” athlete into a top 10 list. But we think our ten are all most worthy of their places. To even begin arguing about who makes the list of the greatest athletes of all time, we needed to consider the question asked first. What does the “greatest athlete” even mean? – Is it title honours, statistics or just pure physical dynamism. We believe it’s of the above and much more, what makes the great athletes great is that they have the ability in the blink of a second to reinvent their sport. All it takes is a touch of brilliance from one of the greats that can change the entire outcome of a match or a race.
We have managed to narrow list down to 10 athletes after tossing some famous names overboard. If you have outrage on our decision then you can hit us up in the comments or on twitter, we will be glad to hear your thoughts on the greatest athletes of all time.
From 10 to 1, let’s see which athletes makes the list –
10. Bo Jackson – NFL Player
Bo Jackson is a former baseball and american football player. 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. He is widely considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. Bo was a character both off and on the field. We will never see another athlete who can hit a homerun 450 feet in the All-Star Game and then rip off a 91-yard touchdown on Monday Night Football.
9. Serena Williams – Tennis Player
Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players. Her record of 39 Grand Slam titles puts her 3rd on the all-time list and second in the Open Era: 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. Both Serena and her sister Venus have also dominated the doubles game with 14 Doubles Grand Slams. At 36 now, Serena is producing some of her best tennis. She deservedly makes our top 10 list of the greatest athletes of all time.
8. Usain Bolt – Sprinter
Easy pick in our list, Usain Bolt the fastest human ever, what an accolade that is. All it took was 9.58 seconds over 100 metres at the 2009 World Championships to cement Usain Bolt as the fastest athlete of all time. His charisma and attitude both on and off the track is what makes Usain Bolt unique. Prepping before the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a handful of chicken nuggets, Bolt went on to secure gold medals in both the 100 metres and the 200 metres in world record times. A remarkable achievement by anyone! Since then Bolt has continued to win and dominate the men’s sprinting game, and he goes down as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
7. Michael Phelps – Swimmer
The most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps has earned every ounce to be in our list of the greatest athletes of all time. With a wingspan of 80 inches which is greater than his overall height, Phelps was a machine in the pool. He glided across the water like no other, and in doing so he amassed 23 gold medals. Every time in jumped into the pool, it was sure to be an exciting race. More impressively, Phelps came out of retirement to win a further 5 gold Olympic medals in 2014. Phelps will be long remembered as one of the greatest athletes ever to compete in the Olympic games, and is hands down the greatest swimmer we have ever seen.
6. Tiger Woods – Golfer
Tiger Woods is one of the most iconic sports people of our time. He brought the term “athlete” into the golfing world. He introduced biceps and the fist pump to golf and began the era of legit athleticism among the golfing world. The professional golfer was to become a different kind of beast after Tiger’s influence. For over a decade, Tiger thrashed every opponent that stood in his way. Tiger swung a club like no other, winning his first major at the age of 21 at Augusta National, he then went on to win a further 13 majors. To this day Tiger Woods remains one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game.
5. Lebron James – NBA Player
LeBron James is the face of the modern day NBA. Dominating the basketball scene now for over 14 years. Lebron who is now 33 years old is widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He has won an impressive three NBA championships and also a three NBA Finals MVP awards. A 14-time All-Star James is now the leading all-time scorer for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With endorsements and acting roles off the field, LeBron has done it all. He is a true role model for every young kid out there wishing to follow in his footsteps. Some say he may someday overtake the great Michael Jordan, as the greatest basketball player of all time.
4. Michael Jordan – NBA Player
Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player ever. The man who set the bar so high in basketball. Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. A 6-time NBA champion and 6-time Finals MVP, Michael Jordan was a true great. He brought athleticism and professionalism to basketball in the 1980’s and paved the way for many others to follow. Since his retirement, he has gone on to design shoes and other apparel. His famous jumping silhouette logo is now the world’s most famous sports icon. Jordan just has a hard time of not being number 1 in what he does and remains a true great amongst sports fans right across the globe.
3. Roger Federer – Tennis Player
Where do we start, Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time and number three on our list of the greatest athletes. At 36, he keeps on producing. Roger in January of 2018 won his 20th Grand Slam title by defeating Marin Cilic at the Australian Open. By doing this he also became the oldest tennis player to be number 1 in the world. With over $100 million in career earnings, Roger is without a doubt one of the greatest athletes of our time. We may never see a greater player to ever lift a tennis racket again!
2. Mohammad Ali – Boxer
Could be easily be number 1 on our list of the greatest athletes ever, it was a tough decision but in the end we feel he secures the number 2 spot. Regarded as the greatest boxer ever, Ali competed in the biggest boxing matches ever including the “Fight of the Century”, the “Rumble in the Jungle” and the “Thrilla in Manila”. Obviously his boxing abilities did the talking in the ring, a man with tremendous skill and patience. His timeless quotes like “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” sum up the intelligence Ali held. Ali was not only the greatest, he was the double greatest!
1. Pelé – Footballer
Pipping Mohammad Ali to the number one spot is of course the greatest footballer ever, Pelé. The three-time World Cup winner, Pelé is the all time leading goalscorer for the great Brazil and to this day remains the greatest goal scorer ever. Can you believe he has 1283 goals in 1363 games? A remarkable stat! Pelé was an influential character on and off the field. He helped paved the way to put football on the map in America in the 70’s but his most iconic sporting moment was scoring the opener against Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final. If you were lucky enough to witness the greatest ever live you were in for a treat, nowadays all his greatness lives online for the world to see. As the say, the greats only go by one name and for us that name is Pelé.