Greatest Athletes In The World - From All Sports

"You, sir, are the World's Greatest Athlete" King Gustav V of Sweden to Jim Thorpe after he won the decathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. 

Who is the greatest athlete of all time? There have been numerous lists of the world's greatest athlete, and not surprisingly they do not agree. We believe the greatest athlete is not just the fittest, or just most skilled, but something combined with these and other factors which makes them stand out in their sport. Some greatest athlete lists are limited to a certain sport, region, or time period. Comparing athletes across sports and over time to find the greatest athlete ever is very difficult, and possibly impossible. Still, many have tried.

Below are some of the lists and winners of such lists, from various sources, plus information about our own quest to find the world's greatest athlete of all time. See also our discussion and lists of the world's fittest athletes.

Our List

We are into the first stage in creating the Topend Sports list of the greatest athletes of all time by voting for the greatest athlete from all the major sports, then from this list deciding on the greatest of the greatest.

Greatest Athletes Lists

Where do they come from?

Who else is worthy of the title of greatest athlete? Below are some suggestions. The greatest athletes of the world may come from the following:

Who are they?

Here are just a few athletes who may fit the bill.

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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 neccesarrily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most.

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