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  1. #1
    First Team Breakthrough ErinGoBraghHFC's Avatar
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    Top 5 Athletes Of All Time

    No particular order here, because you canít compare between sports obviously. Maradona, Tiger, Senna, OíSullivan, Babe Ruth.

    Discuss.


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  3. #2
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    Bo Jackson up there, Jim Thorpe

  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member MagicSwirlingShip's Avatar
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    Michael Jordan above any snooker player if we are discussing athletes.

  5. #4
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    Carl Lewis, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Floyd Mayweather, Sir David Gray

  6. #5
    First Team Breakthrough ErinGoBraghHFC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicSwirlingShip View Post
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    Michael Jordan above any snooker player if we are discussing athletes.
    Donít know anything about basketball, thatís why I left him out. Same goes for Gretzky and Tom Brady


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  7. #6
    Athletes or great at their sport? You could have Phil Taylor if it's the latter 🤔
    Anyway I'll go for

    Michael Johnson
    Ed Moses
    Roger Federer
    Usain Bolt
    Steve Redgrave

  8. #7
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali

    Jackie Joyner-Kersee

    Jesse Owens (not just for 1936)

    Eddie Merckx

    Michael Phelps
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  9. #8
    As far as athletes who transcend their sport are concerned;

    Roger Federer
    Tiger Woods
    Michael Jordan
    Muhammad Ali
    Pele

    Those five athletes have achieved great things in their respective sports and I think a large number of people will know who they are without necessarily knowing much about the sport they play.
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  10. #9
    First Team Breakthrough davy67 +'s Avatar
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    Cassius Clay ( before he was banned)
    Steve Redgrave
    Sarah Storey
    Michael Phelps
    Jim Clark

  11. #10
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    "Athlete" for me would mean supremely fit individuals who have dominated their sports.

    Steve Redgrave
    Usain Bolt
    Tiger Woods
    Roger Federer
    Michael Jordan

    Michael Johnson & Navratilova narrowly miss out
    Last edited by BroxburnHibee; 04-09-2022 at 08:23 PM.

  12. #11
    @hibs.net private member Sylar's Avatar
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    Tiger Woods - redefined the modern game of golf. Will undoubtedly fall short of Jack's record, but Woods transformed what it takes to be a modern-day golfer.
    Serena Williams - an absolutely amazing athlete who's dominated some incredible competition over the past 2+ decades.
    Usain Bolt - record after record has fallen in his era. A truly incredible guy to behold, and witnessing his skills first half in 2012 was unforgettable.
    Tom Brady - I was a New England fan before he arrived. Not the fastest or strongest QB to ever grace the NFL but his skills and ability to read an opposition is unparalleled. For a while I thought his success would never have happened with Belichick, but then he moved on to Tampa and did it again.
    Dan Carter - an absolute stalwart for the All Blacks - his record speaks for itself. Lomu was the first player in Rugby Union who truly blew oppositions away, but Carter was spectacular at what he did and there have been few who have gotten close to him.

    Again, these are sports I've followed - I'm not a boxing fan, F1 fan, basketball fan, cricket fan etc. I find it too difficult to pick the 'best' football player I've ever seen, I'm a massive X-games/alternative sports fan but I'm not sure how much athleticism comes into some of those sports: Tony Hawk or Nyjah Huston have both transformed skateboarding, but what they do is part skill/art. I love baseball, but some of the best baseball players are overweight and rely on pure power...
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  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Scouse Hibee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErinGoBraghHFC View Post
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    No particular order here, because you canít compare between sports obviously. Maradona, Tiger, Senna, OíSullivan, Babe Ruth.

    Discuss.


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    Surely youíre not referring to Ronnie OíSullivan as an athlete?

  14. #13
    Coaching Staff Wilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Hibee View Post
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    Surely youíre not referring to Ronnie OíSullivan as an athlete?
    I wondered about that. Ronnie at least does a bit if running but not to athlete level.

    Reminds me of the film Kingpin when they're at the bowling alley. Loads of bowlers with big guts about and he says "it's intimidating to be in the presence of such great athletes".

    Even Maradona. Mercurial talent. One of the greats. But is he a top athlete as we'd consider an athlete today?

    Perhaps the poster really wanted people's favourite or top sportspeople rather than actual athletes.
    Last edited by Wilson; 05-09-2022 at 01:54 PM.

  15. #14
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    Will be top sportspeople as most on the lists are full of skill and talent but might not physically handle tour de France for example

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stairway 2 7 View Post
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    Will be top sportspeople as most on the lists are full of skill and talent but might not physically handle tour de France for example
    Talking of which, Bernard Hinault.?

  17. #16
    Ali - only 3 time world champion and if he hadn't had his prime years stolen due to his morals, it wouldn't even be a question.
    Gretzky - all time NHL points scorer. Has so many assists, that even you remove his goals, he'd still be above everyone else.
    Tiger Woods - the only golfer I know of who could be 8 behind on a Saturday morning and you could still be certain he'd win.
    Michael Jordan - 6 time champ and an elite mentality.
    Messi - The best player ever at the world's most popular sport.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Talking of which, Bernard Hinault.?
    Unbelievable fitness. I remember reading Nordic Skiing is the most physically demanding sport some scientists calculated. Not sure how, or who's the greatest mind ha

  19. #18
    Coaching Staff hibsbollah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davy67 + View Post
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    Cassius Clay ( before he was banned)
    Problematic to call him that.
    His achievements post-name change are arguably more impressive anyway.

  20. #19
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    As this off the back of the hilarious thing on American tv where they done this and it was only Americans?

  21. #20
    Our Lewis number 1 without a question 😁

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Onceinawhile View Post
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    Ali - only 3 time world champion and if he hadn't had his prime years stolen due to his morals, it wouldn't even be a question.
    Gretzky - all time NHL points scorer. Has so many assists, that even you remove his goals, he'd still be above everyone else.
    Tiger Woods - the only golfer I know of who could be 8 behind on a Saturday morning and you could still be certain he'd win.
    Michael Jordan - 6 time champ and an elite mentality.
    Messi - The best player ever at the world's most popular sport.

    Quite like this effort 👍

  23. #22
    I think it's difficult if the criteria is best athletes as it arguably removes a lot of people who were dominant in their sport. If the question was people who dominated and even transformed their sports then the likes of Ronnie O'Sullian and Phil Taylor could well be included.

    I'd even argue some of the names on the lists above don't qualify if we are talking about pure athleticism. Maradonna was hardly a clean living pure athlete, the same could be said of Johan Cruyff. Certainly they don't compare to someone like Pele who was an athletic freak. The same is true of Tom Brady. The best to ever do it and to still be elite at 45 is testament to his athletic prowess. However if you were discussing the biggest arm in NFL history, quickest release, fastes QB, most agile QB etc etc it's unlikely Brady would get too many mentions.

    I watched a lot of the coverage of the UTMB last week. A 176km ultra marathon around Mont Blanc encompassing 3 countries and over 10000M of climb. Kilian Jornet smashed the course record in a time of 18 hours 50 minutes. In ultrarunning circles he is a phenom. He's able to endure extreme distances, altitude issues, sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue etc etc. And the races involve running, an ability to hike, scramble, navigate and even occasional mountaineering. In the women competitios of the same sport the likes of Courtney Dewaulter and Nikki Spinks are doing amazing things. For sheer athletic ability and dedication I'd struggle to look last these people.

    But then it's a niche sport. And for all they can stay on their feet for a long time they would be left for dead by a Usain Bolt or Michael Johnson, even a marathoner like Eilid Kipchoge would leave them standing. They don't display the same aerobic and anaerobic mix of the boxer or tennis player. Running, even technical trail running, is less skilful than football or basketball. They couldn't pull a 500kg deadlift like Eddie Hall. So they have excelled in the area of endurance and aerobic fitness but lack in other areas. By the same token ask Usain Bolt to compete in a 10K and he'd be an also ran, Eddie Hall would have been lucky to make it 10 metres when he was at his biggest.

    I know I've sucked the fun out of this a bit but I think athleticism is too broad to really narrow a list down to 5 people.

  24. #23
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    Pele
    Nicklaus
    Nadal
    Ali
    Bolt

    Though on another day I might have plumped for Federer and Carl Lewis.

  25. #24
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    Think the criteria for this should be clearer. If we're talking pure athletes, then it'll probably be 100m athletics, NFL and a few other sports only.

    If we're talking the greatest in their sports compares to the rest, the likes of Ali wouldn't have a shout, as he was more important, transcended his sport for other reasons and etc, rather than being the best boxer ever, which he isn't really.

    If we're talking just the most important athletes in their respective sports, you're probably looking something like Ali, Federer/Nadal, Pele, Brady and Phelps.

    My personal list, with 100% bias would be Demetrius Johnson, Roberto Duran, Messi, Nadal and Samart Payakaroon, although I knew a lot of people would have no idea who Samart and DJ are, their achievements in their retrospective sports would top my list.

    It's a weird question but it's also good to see everyone's interpretation of it and how many different sports vary in everyones answers.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by cameronw-hfc View Post
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    Think the criteria for this should be clearer. If we're talking pure athletes, then it'll probably be 100m athletics, NFL and a few other sports only.

    If we're talking the greatest in their sports compares to the rest, the likes of Ali wouldn't have a shout, as he was more important, transcended his sport for other reasons and etc, rather than being the best boxer ever, which he isn't really.

    If we're talking just the most important athletes in their respective sports, you're probably looking something like Ali, Federer/Nadal, Pele, Brady and Phelps.

    My personal list, with 100% bias would be Demetrius Johnson, Roberto Duran, Messi, Nadal and Samart Payakaroon, although I knew a lot of people would have no idea who Samart and DJ are, their achievements in their retrospective sports would top my list.

    It's a weird question but it's also good to see everyone's interpretation of it and how many different sports vary in everyones answers.
    Samart is a great shout. Elite in 2 sports (albeit there is crossover between them).

    Sure he had a number 1 album after his sports career as well. A proper all rounder.
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  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pretty Boy View Post
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    Samart is a great shout. Elite in 2 sports (albeit there is crossover between them).

    Sure he had a number 1 album after his sports career as well. A proper all rounder.

    Just a shame a lot of his footage is being held by governing bodies so we can't see all of his greatness, watching him is amazing though, so accurate, so effortless.

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member Lancs Harp's Avatar
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    Great and interesting thread all very subjective of course.

    I once read about CB Fry (1872 to 1956) a sportsman by and large lost to the annals of time. He was quite remarkably gifted in a sporting sense. He played for and captained England at Cricket. Played for Corinthians, Southampton and capped by England at football, played for Oxford University and The Barbarians at Rugby and held the world record for the long jump as well as competing in athletics at the highest standard in sprinting, shot put and hammer.

  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member Lendo's Avatar
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    Should Eliud Kipchoge be added to this list of the greatest athletes of all time? Just smashed his own marathon world record again in Berlin. Unbelievable run at two hours and one minute.

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