Greatest Olympic Athlete

With the recent record medal haul by Michael Phelps in the pool, the notion of the greatest Olympic athlete has been discussed widely. There are many factors which make up a champion sports person, including their skill in their chosen sport. See more on The Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time.

A poll conduced on ESPN Sport Science in 2012 looked at the Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time. In a slightly different twist, the voting was based on the best athlete (not player) who has a combination of strength, speed, endurance, quickness, durability and the other attributes that make an athlete elite. See more about the ESPN Sport Science poll to determine the Greatest Athlete of All Time.


Who is the greatest Olympic athlete of all time?

  1. Nadia Comancei — she received seven perfect scores at the 1976 Olympics, winning five individual gold medals, including individual all-around.
  2. Eric Heiden — he won five gold medals in speed skating at 1980 Winter Olympics, setting four Olympic records. He also took up cycling and won a US cycling championship.
  3. Michael Phelps — he won 18 gold medals in swimming, 22 medlas in total, the most in Olympic history.
  4. Mark Spitz — he won seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics, all in world record time.
  5. Teofilo Stevenson — he was the first boxer to win three Olympic gold medals in one weight class, and went 11 years from 1971 to 1982 without losing a fight.

And the winner is ...

Michael Phelps with 82% of the votes

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