The Greatest Olympian Ever - bwin formula
As discussed, the Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time is not a simple listing of the most medals won, though that is a big part of it. If it was just based on the number of gold medals won, Michael Phelps is the greatest ever Olympian. An analysis by Craig Kemp on the bwin website factored in a number of criteria to determine his list of greatest Olympians, and Phelps did not come out the winner.
The criteria he used included:
- Total medals
- Total gold medals
- Total individual gold medals
- Win % (golds divided by attempts)
- Number of Olympics competed in
- A coefficient score - calculated by initially giving five points for a gold medal, three for a silver and one for a bronze, a ranking system first introduced in 1908 by the organizers of the London Games (though we prefer to use the 6-2-1 system, which gives a greater emphasis on gold medals). Next he divided the medal points by the number of different events the athlete had attempted to win gold in.
For each of the criteria, each athlete was ranked highest to lowest and allocated points. Also a different weighting was applied to each criteria, the details of which was not given, though it was revealed that the win percentage was deemed the most important.
Ray Ewry is the greatest
- Ray Ewry: He won 10 golds across the standing long jump, triple jump and high jump.
- Michael Phelps: a total haul of 18 golds
- Carl Lewis: won four golds and was unbeaten anywhere for over a decade in the long jump.
- Birgit Fischer: kayaker who claimed eight gold medals across six different Olympic Games.
- Sir Steve Redgrave: gold in 5 Olympics in rowing.
- Aladar Gerevich: part of the Hungarian Sabre fencing team which won gold at every Games between 1932 and 1960 (missing 1940 and 1944).
- Paavo Nurmi. Finnish middle-distance and long-distance runner. He was the first athlete to ever win five gold medals at the same Olympics.
- Usain Bolt: sprinter Bolt won the triple-triple, the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
- Larisa Latynina — the most successful female athlete of all time, 9 gold medals and 18 in total.
- Gert Fredriksson — Swedish canoeist. the most successful male canoeist of all time, winning golds at four consecutive games.
- The discussion on The Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time
- Olympic medal ranking systems
- Poll: Who is the Greatest Olympian (Summer) of All Time?
- ESPN Sport Science poll of the Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time
- More about the Olympics
- All time greatest index of sports