1. Jim Thorpe Jim Thorpe This comes as no surprise. Jim Thorpe is without a doubt the finest all-around athlete of all time. He set seven world records in five sports: football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and lacrosse.
He was also the only man to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1912). Here are the other candidates who have been mentioned: Muhammad Ali, Charles Barkley, Roger Bannister, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Barry Sanders, Steve Nash, Peter Sauerbrei, and Simone Biles.
The top candidate is certainly going to be debated about for many years to come.
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Yes, he played professional baseball, basketball, and (as you may know) football, but it was his Olympic accomplishments that made Jim Thorpe famous. Thorpe, voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century, won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in 1912. His five highest scores ever recorded in a single event each stand as Olympic records to this day.
Of all the athletes who have gone before, Thorpe has the most appearances at the Olympics. He attended three different events in 1912, and then four more games in 1920. His last competition was the decathlon in Paris, where he finished second behind American Edwin Moses.
Although he never won a medal other than the gold from 1912, Thorpe's influence on sports history is impossible to measure. His participation in the Olympics helped bring attention to track and field as a legitimate sport, and his achievements had a major impact on future superstar athletes such as Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
After retiring from competitions in 1920, Jim Thorpe went on to have a successful career in professional baseball and football. He died in June 1961 at the age of 36.
According to research conducted by ESPN, Thorpe is the most popular athlete of the 20th century. His top two competitors - Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan - both belong to the Basketball Association of America/National Basketball Association era.
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Sir Steve is the only athlete to have won gold medals in five consecutive Olympic Games, making him unquestionably the greatest British athlete of all time. In addition to his Olympic gold medal, he has won nine World Championship gold medals and three Commonwealth crowns while competing in both the Coxless Pairs and Fours. He has also won four world records in athletics.
After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in sports science, Steve Williams turned professional at the age of 21 when most athletes are just starting out. From there, he went on to become one of the best long-distance runners in the world during the 1980s, winning the London Marathon seven times in eight attempts between 1981 and 1998. His other achievements include two European Indoor Championships titles, a World Half-Marathon Championship medal, and an Olympic silver medal.
He retired from competition in 1999 but remains one of Britain's leading coaches. Since then, he has worked with some of our country's top athletes including Darren Campbell, Mo Farah, Helen Glover, Katie Johnson, Jason Kenny, and Victoria Pendleton.
Steve was born on March 18, 1958 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, but grew up in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. He began running as a teenager and quickly became one of the best middle-distance runners in England.
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