Top Athletes of the 21st Century (Daily News, 2012)

The NY Daily News posted a list in August 2012 of their top athletes of the 21st century. The list was based on the views of the writers and editors of the Daily News sports staff, who were asked to rank their Top 12 athletes for the first 12 years of the 21st century. This is just one of many lists you can find online on the 'greatest athlete'. We have discussed and compared many of these lists of the greatest athletes in the world.

Michael Phelps is top

The greatest athlete of the 21st century (in 2012), according to the Daily News, is swimmer Michael Phelps. You may notice that the list does not include some athletes that may warrant a place on this list. The list makers decided to limit the list to athletes who either hail from North America or compete there primarily, and so does not represent the 'world' greatest athletes. Great athletes such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Lionel Messi and Ronaldo were not even considered. The only female in the list was tennis player Serena Williams at 8th. The list was published in the NY Daily News in 2012, so it is not really the top athletes on the 21st century, there is another 82 years of sports to find some more worthy athletes!

rank athlete sport
1 Michael Phelps Swimming
2 Tiger Woods Golf
3 Kobe Bryant Basketball
4 Tom Brady American Football
5 LeBron James Basketball
6 Peyton Manning American Football
7 Albert Pujols Baseball
8 Serena Williams Tennis
9 Usain Bolt Track & Field
10 Mariano Rivera Baseball
11 Derek Jeter Baseball
12 Tim Duncan Basketball

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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. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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