L'Équipe Champion of Champions

The French newspaper L'Équipe (a nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sports) has presented the Champion of Champions award (‘Champion des Champions monde de l’année) to the international sportsman of the year, since 1980.

Ben Johnson, the winner from 1987, was later removed from the winner list due to doping.

In 2012, they introduced a spearate male and female award. Prior to that, the only female to win the award was track and field athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

I have also come across information that the winner in the female category in 2010 was Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic, who picked up the award ahead of skier Lindsey Vonn and tennis player Kim Clijsters. Not so sure about that.

Male Champion of Champions Winners List

Year Winner nationality Sport
2017 Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer spain/switzerland tennis
2016 Usain Bolt Jamaica Athletics
2015 Usain Bolt Jamaica Athletics
2014 Renaud Lavillenie France Athletics
2013 Rafael Nadal Spain Tennis
2012 Usain Bolt Jamaica Athletics
2011 Linel Messi Argentina Football (Soccer)
2010 Rafael Nadal Spain Tennis
2009 Usain Bolt Jamaica Athletics
2008 Usain Bolt Jamaica Athletics
2007 Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis
2006 Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis
2005 Roger Federer Switzerland Tennis
2004 Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco Athletics
2003 Michael Schumacher Germany Formula One
2002 Michael Schumacher Germany Formula One
2001 Michael Schumacher Germany Formula One
2000 Tiger Woods USA Golf
1999 Andre Agassi USA Tennis
1998 Zinedine Zidane France Football (Soccer)
1997 Sergey Bubka Ukraine Athletics
1996 Michael Johnson USA Athletics
1995 Jonathan Edwards UK Athletics
1994 Romario Brazil Football (Soccer)
1993 Noureddine Morceli Algeria Athletics
1992 Michael Jordan USA Basketball
1991 Carl Lewis USA Athletics
1990 Ayrton Senna Brazil Formula One
1989 Greg LeMond USA Cycling
1988 Florence Griffith-Joyner USA Athletics
1987 Ben Johnson * Canada Athletics
1986 Diego Maradona Argentina Football (Soccer)
1985 Sergey Bubka USSR Athletics
1984 Carl Lewis USA Athletics
1983 Carl Lewis USA Athletics
1982 Paolo Rossi Italy Football (Soccer)
1981 Sebastian Coe UK Athletics
1980 Eric Heiden USA Speed Skating

Female Champion of Champions Winners List

Year Winner nationality Sport
2017 Katie Ledecky USA swimming
2016 Simone Biles USA gymnastics
2015 Serena Williams USA Tennis
2014 Katie Ledecky USA Swimming
2013 Serena Williams USA Tennis
2012 Serena Williams USA Tennis

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most.

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