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Roman Šebrle - the World's Greatest Male Athlete in 2008

According to a panel of sports scientists at The Wall Street Journal, the world's greatest male athlete in 2008 was determined to be decathlete Roman Šebrle from Czechia. It is hard to argue against a decathlete being the world's greatest athlete - they need to excel in 10 different events, showing speed, power and endurance, as well as skill across a range of events. In 2001 Šebrle became the first decathlete ever to achieve over 9,000 points. He won silver in the decathlon at 2000 Olympics followed by gold in 2004. After being named the World's Greatest Male Athlete in 2008, he finished 6th in Beijing.

The Top-10 Athletes

  1. Roman Šebrle, track and field, decathlon
  2. LeBron James, NBL, basketball
  3. Floyd Mayweather, boxing
  4. LaDainian Tominson, NFL, running back
  5. Roger Federer, tennis
  6. Sidney Crosby, NHL, ice hockey
  7. Liu Xiang, track and field, 110m hurdles
  8. Jeremy Wariner, track and field, 400m sprint
  9. Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, soccer/football
  10. Alex Rodriguez, MLB, baseball

The Process

While not completely scientific, the selection of the greatest was based on the expertise of scientists. A panel of five sports scientists started with a list of 79 athletes determined by the Journal. These nominees had to be among the all-time best and currently active in their sport. They then gave each athlete a score based on the six criteria listed below. The panelists then ranked the top 19 from this, with a statistician normalizing the scores.


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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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