Who is the Greatest Olympian of All Time?

Before the Rio Olympics, we asked "who is the greatest Olympian in the history of the summer Olympic Games?". Defining the greatest in sport is usually a difficult decision, and may depend on things like the number of medals won, the number of Olympics participated in and the impact they had on their sport and society in general. In this case it is pretty clear cut - in the poll results below you can see that a majority (72%) believed that Michael Phelps is the greatest.

We had asked this question prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, in which Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt both added to their medal tally. It is now widely agreed that the mantle for the greatest ever Olympian is between these two, so the latest version of this poll has just those two options. Also see our other Olympics Polls.

Michael Phelps 2538 72%
other 179 5%
Steve Redgrave 177 5%
Jesse Owens 172 5%
Carl Lewis 156 4%
Nadia Comaneci 108 3%
Jim Thorpe 107 3%
Paavo Nurmi 48 1%
Larissa Latynina 27 1%
Mark Spitz 20 1%

Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific, and only reflect the opinion of visitors to this website who have chosen to participate.

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