The Superstars was a popular TV show in both the US and in Europe, in which athletes battle it out against each other to determine the greatest athlete. The original show on ABC (USA) was aired in 1973, followed shortly thereafter by a BBC (UK) version later that year. There have been slight modifications over the years, but the format remains relatively unchanged. See also a discussion about TV Athlete Challenges, part of the attempt to find the World's Greatest Athlete.
Athletes compete against each other in a wide range of disciplines, collecting points according to their score or time. Athletes are usually barred from competing in their own specialty. The winner of each event is awarded 10 points, followed by 7, 4, 2 and 1 for the next places. The overall winner is the athlete with the highest aggregate total.
Over the years the format has varied for the US and UK version and other versions around the world. In the original ABC version an athlete could compete in up to seven events, but not in the sport of his or her profession. the athletes opt out of one event and are pulled out of another. The US version was out of 10 events.
Some of the Events
Here are some of the events that have been featured on the show. Most of these came from a list of the UK events.
- 100m: sprint as fast as you can over 100m.
- 800m: timed race over the 800m distance
- 50m swim: timed swimming race over the 50m distance
- Gym test - squats: Your feet must be dragged from one line to another as many times as possible in a minute. Sliding in socks is allowed, but those who value their feet are advised to wear shoes.
- Gym test - Dips: The aim is to lift yourself up using two parallel bars until your elbows lock out, then to dip down before locking out again. You have one minute to do as many repetitions as you can.
- Kayak: a paddling race in pairs along a 120m course. The two fastest paddlers go head to head in a final to determine the winner.
- Mountain bikes: A one-off race up a very steep 600m slope.
- Football (men only): dribble a soccer ball from the start-line before trying to shoot past a goal keeper. They have three attempts at goal and if a tie the positions are determined based on time.
- Golf (men's heats only): The aim is to chip five golf balls as close to the pin as possible, scored according to how close to the hole the ball finishes.
- Archery (men's final and women): This one is like golf with arrows - five attempts to hit the bulls eye and the highest total score wins.
- Tennis (men's final and women): You must sit on a box and then get up and hit a tennis ball over the net. Balls come at regular intervals over a minute and hot into the opposite singles court. Scoring 3 points for deep shots, 2 points (mid-court) or 1-point (drop volleys).
- Shot Put
- Cross Country
- Obstacle Course - the obstacle course has been a main feature of the US series. The original course had the contestants climb a 12' rope wall, run through a tubular tunnel, push a blocking sled, step through a dozen tires (2 rows of 6), jump over a rectangular pool of water, clear a 4'6" high bar, jump two sets of hurdles. Penalty seconds were added for missing tires, stepping in the water hazard and knocking down the high bar and/or hurdles.
- Winners list from the World Superstars, US Superstars and UK Superstars.
- Discussion about who is the World's Greatest Athlete
- Vote for the Greatest Athlete of All Time?
- What is the Fittest Sport? and the Fittest Athlete?
- Fitness for Sports