There have been numerous polls and lists published on who people think are the greatest athletes in the world (see more). Here are the results of one such list of the 'Best Athletes in the World' published in the 2003 June issue of Men's Journal in the US.
The voting panel of experts included former athletes (such as Olympic downhill skier David Currier), renowned sports physiologist Jim Wharton, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman, and ESPN commentators Jeremy Schaap and Stuart Scott. Writer Paul Hochman began by identifying the top athletes in 75 sports, then whittled the list down to 20. The panel then voted for the top 10 using seven criteria: strength, speed, agility, endurance, hand-eye coordination, creativity and buzz factor, with each getting a score up to ten.
Michael Vick is Best: The Top 20 List
The greatest athlete in the world (in 2003), according to Men's Journal, was the fine specimen quarterback Michael Vick. You will notice that there are no women on this list (it is a men's journal after all), and only one athlete per sport was included.
|rank||points||athlete||sport||sport / team||notes|
|1||63.43||Michael Vick||American Football||Atlanta Falcons||6-foot, 215-pound|
|2||63.42||Bode Miller||Skiing||U.S. Ski Team||winner of the 2002 Superstars competition|
|3||60.29||Ronaldo||Football (Soccer)||Real Madrid & Brazil|
|4||59.6||Bob Burnquist||Skateboarding||Brazil||pioneer of "switch" tricks - maneuvers that are exact mirror images of what came before.|
|5||58.8||Alexei Nemov||Gymnastics||Russia||winner of 12 Olympic medals|
|6||58.43||Kevin Garnett||Basketball||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|7||56.7||Tony Azevedo||Water Polo||Stanford / USA|
|8||55.99||Roman Sebrle||Decathlon||Czechia||The world record holder in the decathlon (9,026 points)|
|9||54.8||Ole Einar Bjoerndalen||Biathlon||Norway||Won Olympic goal medals at Salt Lake City Olympics.|
|10||53.83||Ian Thorpe||Swimming||Australia||Size 17 feet|
|12||Sergei Fedorov||Ice Hockey||Detroit Red Wings|
|13||Laird Hamilton||Surfing||USA||A physically gifted Big-Wave Surfer|
|15||Roy Jones, Jr||Boxing||USA||The only fighter ever to win world titles as a middleweight, super middleweight, light-heavyweight, and heavyweight.|
|16||Davo Karnicar||Mountain Climbing||Slovenia||only man to climb Mt. Everest then ski down to base camp|
|17||Khalid Khannouchi||Marathon||USA||The world record holder. Morroccan born|
|18||Alex Rodriguez||Baseball||Texas Rangers||led the majors in home runs (57) and RBI's (142).|
- Other lists of the greatest athletes in the world
- Who really is the greatest athlete of all time?
- have your say of the greatest athlete
- Other sport specific lists