There are many good athletes, but to be considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, the athlete needs to be one of the most dominating, iconic, and inspiring figures to ever grace the sports world. Their resumes are impressive and their talent, strength, perseverance and resilience are undeniable. Here is a list of the most remarkable athletes who ever lived in no particular order.
There is no denying Michael Jordan’s success in the NBA. With 6 NBA championships, 6 NBA Finals MVP awards, 10 NBA Scoring Champion awards, 14 times a NBA All-Star and 2 Olympic gold medals under his belt, MJ is the greatest basketball player of all time. He was entertaining on the court, averaging 30.12 points per game, could jump 6 feet high and slam dunked like no one else.
Ali is “The Greatest.” He was fast, agile, strong, fearless, intelligent, and coordinated. He is the first three-time world heavy weight champion, and won 22 heavyweight championships. He was a fighter both in the ring and out, taking on the US government because he didn’t support the Vietnam War and didn’t enter the Army. He is truly an admirable man, role model and boxer.
Bo Jackson is the only athlete ever to be an All-Star in two major sports: football and baseball. At 4.12 seconds, Jackson holds the record for the fastest 40-yard dash. As a running back, he didn’t play more than 11 NFL games in a season, didn’t participate in training, yet Jackson averaged 5.4 yards per game. Over his baseball career, he hit 141 homeruns, with 20 homeruns in 4 consecutive seasons.
Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) is the greatest soccer player of all time. He was once quoted as saying, “If you are first, you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.” It is evident that this is his motto. Pele played in four World Cups, winning 3 of these World Cups for Brazil. He scored over 1,280 goals during his 20-year career. Most Americans started watching soccer because of Pele and his amazing talent on the field.
Roger Federer also deserves to be classified as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Federer is a Swiss tennis player with a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles. He is the only man to reach the semifinals or finals in 23 consecutive Gram Slam tournaments. He won 5 straight US Open titles. Federer has won 6 ATP World Tour Finals and has accumulated over $78,000,000 in prize money, the most by any tennis player.
“The Great One, ” is the greatest hockey player of all time. When most people think of hockey, they think “Gretzky.” He is the all-time scoring leader in the NHL and the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season, something he accomplished 4 times in his career. He won 4 Stanley Cups in 5 years, and holds 9 MVP titles.
Kelly Slater is the greatest surfer of all time. Some may dispute that surfing is not a sport but no one can dispute that Slater is an athlete. At 41 years old, he dominates surfing. He is still beating competitors half his age and showing them how it is done. Slater’s impressive 23-year (and counting) career resume includes 11 ASP World Championships, and 51 Elite World Tour victories, making him one of the greatest athletes of all time. Slater is the youngest (at 20 years old) and the oldest (at 39 years old) world champion.
Muhammad Ali once said, “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them- a desire, a dream, a vision.” These seven athletes are champions, and are considered by many as the greatest athletes of all time.