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Top Ten Greatest Athletes of all time

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Old
09-05-2004, 12:46 PM
  #101
ObeySteve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon
1. Eddy Merckx
2. Carl Lewis
3. Jim Thorpe
4. Bjorn Dahlie
5. Paavo Nurmi
6. Muhammad Ali
7. Pele
8. Mark Spitz
9. Bo Jackson
10. Bernard Hinault
Nice list. Not sure I'd put Merckx that high, and there are a few single-team-sport athletes that I think could probably be in the top 10.....Jim Brown even more so than Jordan and Gretzky.

By the way....this whole thread should really be "Greatest Athletes of the Olympic Era", since we really can only limit any debate to athletes since the Olympics were started back up.

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Old
09-05-2004, 06:32 PM
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
What the heck? No mention of Jim Thorpe?

The guy won gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympic games in Sweden and played both professional football and professional baseball. He was dominant of a football player enough to the point that he made the 1911 and 1912 All-American football teams.

The Associated Press named him the greatest football player and greatest all-round athlete for the first 50 years of this century....yes, greater than Ruth.
I believe I called him "the greatest athlete of all time" in this very same thread.

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Old
09-05-2004, 07:05 PM
  #103
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Aleksander Karelin deserves to be mentioned.

He and Bubka are IMO two of the most dominant athletes

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Old
09-05-2004, 07:27 PM
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nortti&Volvo
Aleksander Karelin deserves to be mentioned.

He and Bubka are IMO two of the most dominant athletes
Edwin Moses also belongs to any list of dominant athletes.

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Old
09-05-2004, 07:55 PM
  #105
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Aamodt, Koss and Dahlie are candidates from Norway...

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Old
09-05-2004, 08:16 PM
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stockwizard
1. Babe Ruth
He was hitting 60 home runs while the next best guy was hitting 20. Also was
one of the best pitchers in the league with an 1.90 ERA.
2. Micheal Jordan
3. Muhammed Ali
4. Wayne Gretzky
5. Pele
6. Bobby Orr
7. Jim Brown
8. Pete Sampras
9. Barry Sanders
10. Lance Armstrong

This is a pretty accurate list.
I believe Sidney Crosby has the potential to make this list sometime soon.
Pete Sampras? I don't contest that he is one of tennis' all time greats, but come on, there are players in other sports that I'd put over Sampras.

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Old
09-06-2004, 05:59 AM
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nortti&Volvo
Aleksander Karelin deserves to be mentioned.

He and Bubka are IMO two of the most dominant athletes
Karelin was someone who immediately came to my mind after making my list. He'd be top twenty for sure.

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Old
09-06-2004, 07:34 AM
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattihp
Paavo Nurmi should be at worst #3 on anyone's list.
- 9 Olympic golds, dominating distance running in his era so much it wasn't funny.
- 32 world records, 16 of them official
- Banned from competing in more races because he wanted his travel expenses to be payed for going to olympics
- Was one of the most popular athletes in the world at his time, did a hugely successful tour of america in his day. Ran like 100 races and won 98 of them or something..
- Spent the winter-war touring America to raise funds for the Finnish war cause. Not only a great athlete but a great patriot.
- Died as one of the richest men in Finland after having started a successful construction company following his retirement from sports.


*note: Carl Lewis also has 9 golds, but several of those came from team or relay events, and since his retirement he's been quite convincingly accused of doping. In Nurmi's day doping didn't exist. Carl Lewis also didn't dominate, long-jump record holder is Mike Powell from Lewis's active days, in sprint Lewis also never dominated but won when it counted.

Someone said earlier that Nurmi was on a list of athletes unknown to North Americans. Untrue, Nurmi was hugely popular in North America in his day. It's the current generation of North Americans who do not know Nurmi. Your grandparents knew him and adored him.

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Old
09-06-2004, 08:02 AM
  #109
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While we're singing Nurmi's praises, Emil Zatopek from the Czech Republic should also be mentioned. Though he's probably not a top 10 candidate he comes pretty close I would guess.
His achievement of winning the gold on 5.000, 10.000 and the marathon in one olympic tournament (was it Helsinki?) is one of the greatest ever.

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Old
09-06-2004, 08:29 AM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raimo Sillanpää
In Nurmi's day doping didn't exist.
That's the only thing I don't like in your post.
We have no proof doping didn't exist then.

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Old
09-06-2004, 08:31 AM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raimo Sillanpää
- 9 Olympic golds, dominating distance running in his era so much it wasn't funny.
- 32 world records, 16 of them official
- Banned from competing in more races because he wanted his travel expenses to be payed for going to olympics
- Was one of the most popular athletes in the world at his time, did a hugely successful tour of america in his day. Ran like 100 races and won 98 of them or something..
- Spent the winter-war touring America to raise funds for the Finnish war cause. Not only a great athlete but a great patriot.
- Died as one of the richest men in Finland after having started a successful construction company following his retirement from sports.


*note: Carl Lewis also has 9 golds, but several of those came from team or relay events, and since his retirement he's been quite convincingly accused of doping. In Nurmi's day doping didn't exist. Carl Lewis also didn't dominate, long-jump record holder is Mike Powell from Lewis's active days, in sprint Lewis also never dominated but won when it counted.

Someone said earlier that Nurmi was on a list of athletes unknown to North Americans. Untrue, Nurmi was hugely popular in North America in his day. It's the current generation of North Americans who do not know Nurmi. Your grandparents knew him and adored him.
Nice feature of the greatest runner of all time there!

I'd add a few more details:

- Nurmi set world records on every single distance from 1500 meters to 20 kilometers. And judging by his time in the only marathon he ever ran, he was also the best marathon runner of his era.

- Nurmi was not allowed to compete in the 800 & 10,000 meter races at the 1924 Olympics by his own federation and in the marathon at the 1932 Olympics, this time due to the accusations of professionalism. This is why he *only* won 9 golds and 12 medals.

- He however made his point in 1924 when he first destroyed the 10,000 m world record by 25 seconds on a training run and thus became the first runner to break the 30-minute barrier. Later on he set an official record - 8 seconds slower than the unofficial one - which would become the longest standing world record on any Olympic distance over 800 meters.

- The greatest moment in his career was in 1924 when he faced the challenge of winning Olympic golds in 1500 and 5000 meters within two hours or so. He first simulated the event before the Olympics, using a similar timetable, and whattayaknow, set world records on both distances. Then at the Olympics, under worse conditions, he clocked the 2nd fastest times on both distances. And two days later he won the 10 km cross-country race by half a kilometer, on a day so hot that almost two thirds of the competitors had to quit the race.

But as for the Lewis remarks, we must not forget that 3 of Nurmi's gold medals came from team events as well. And as great an athlete as Nurmi was, his ego was definitely no smaller than Lewis'.


Last edited by Sampe: 09-06-2004 at 08:37 AM.
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Old
09-06-2004, 08:32 AM
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgian Fan
While we're singing Nurmi's praises, Emil Zatopek from the Czech Republic should also be mentioned. Though he's probably not a top 10 candidate he comes pretty close I would guess.
His achievement of winning the gold on 5.000, 10.000 and the marathon in one olympic tournament (was it Helsinki?) is one of the greatest ever.
Indeed. I'd say he's the 2nd greatest runner of all time.

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Old
09-06-2004, 08:40 AM
  #113
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I think Sampras had the potential to be on the list but he never quite reached the peak he was capable of. Failing to win the French Open is a serious weakness. Roger Federer definitely has the same potential and looks like a better all around player now.

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Old
09-06-2004, 09:54 AM
  #114
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I really think it is unfair to compare athlete's from the first half of the century to the athletes of today and even those from the 1964 Olympics and onward. The level of competition in the early days was so much lower, (Just look at Rocky Marciano) that their Medals cannot be taken at the same value as some of the more recent athletes. Although you can make the same case for Carl Lewis (No Eastern Bloc in 1984, Ben DQ'd in 1988)

But the fact remains that you can't really compare the ones from the early days to now. A poll for the Top 10 Greatest since the 1950s is much more objective.

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Old
09-06-2004, 10:04 AM
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampe
And as great an athlete as Nurmi was, his ego was definitely no smaller than Lewis'.
As it shouldn't have been.

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