Saturday, August 11, 2012

Is Usain Bolt the greatest athlete ever?


How about the greatest track and field athlete?

Still no.

1. Jim Thorpe 1912. They never say "decathlon" without saying "the grueling decathlon." Well, how about the grueling decathlon (10 events) plus the pentathlon (5 more events) on the side? That's what Thorpe did. Won 'em both. And he was one of the top half dozen football running backs ever and, while not a star, good enough to play major league baseball. Now that's the world's greatest athlete.

2. Jesse Owens 1936. Four golds. And who says he wouldn't have defended them if there had been an 1940 Olympics.

3. Paavo Nurmi 1920-1924-1928. 9 gold plus 3 other medals in long distance running events.

4. Carl Lewis 1984-1988-1992-1996. Did everything Bolt did (100 and 200) plus the long jump.

5. Bob Beamon 1968, Long jumped 2 feet further than anybody, ever.

6. Usain Bolt 2008-2012. 1st to repeat at both the 100 and 200.

7. Florence Griffith-Joyner 1988. 3 gold, 1 silver.

8. Babe Didrickson 1932. 2 gold, 1 silver. Later became a champion pro golf.

9. Emil Zatopek 1948-1952. 4 gold in long distance running.

10. Fanny Blankers-Koen 1948. 4 gold.

11. Wilma Rudolph 1960. 3 gold.

12. Jackie Joyner-Kersee 1988. 2 gold.

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