The question of who is the world’s greatest athlete has always been a debate. With the conclusion of the NBA finals, the European Championships in soccer, the ongoing baseball season, and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, many athletes have caught our eye; however, the question still seems to be unanswered. Could it be a soccer player like Cristiano Ronaldo? How about a hockey player? Some people think Kobe Bryant is supreme, while others believe Tiger Woods has consistently shown the greatest amount of talent. Well guess what? Those athletes did not even crack the top ten.
The Wall Street Journal gathered a panel of five sports scientists and exercise physiologist to make a list and rank the worlds top male athletes on a plethora of categories (ladies, the article said they will rank the female athletes in the future, so stay tuned). The panel graded the athletes based on their individual performances, the difficulty and competitiveness of the sport, along with the athlete’s speed, reflexes, stamina, coordination, as well as power, strength and size.
The article was extremely interesting, as it talked about the abilities and qualities needed to excel in each particular sport by the athletes and how each sport ranked along those qualities. In order to be put on the list, the athletes had to be not only dominant at their particular sport, but they had to be athletic enough to have the qualities to dominate other sports as well. A truly great athlete must be in good enough shape and have the ability to dominate in other areas as well. This is why LeBron James was not only a sick basketball player, but also he was also an amazing wide receiver in high school as well, and with some of the dunks I’ve seen from him in the NBA I bet he could participate in the long jump or high jump and excel easily.
The sports scientists and physiologists seemed to have agreed with me when making some of the decisions on the list. LeBron James was the number two pick on the list, followed by boxer Floyd Mayweather and Charger great LaDainian Tomlinson. The surprising number one choice was Czech decathlete Roman Sebrle. Those of you who know who Roman is might not think he was such a long shot as he can apparently throw a 16-pound ball the length of a 53-foot yacht and leap over a two-lane highway. The five experts believe Roman has the speed and agility of an NFL player with the leaping ability of an NBA player matched with much much more.
Many of our favorite athletes did not even crack the top ten. Some sports were too one dimensional like swimming and golf and those athletes would not excel at more physical sports, according to the panelists. To find out who cracked the top ten or to hear what these experts thought about particular sports check out (Who is the greatest Athlete?).