Inspired by Michael Phelps amazing performance and on the eve of the beginning of track and field I am summoned to think who are the greatest olympians of all time.
This is a tough one, but I am going to give the 5 greatest Olympians of all time and why they are the greatest. I think the greatest olympians have to have not just a ton of medals but also have done something majorly significant and have made the olympics a more exciting place!!
1. Jesse Owens- Jesse won 4 gold medals broke the world record in each event, and defied Adolf Hitler’s master race by beating his superstars. There may not be any more consequential olympian than Jesse Owens and none more important. Jesse’s 4 gold medals in track and field was not duplicated until the great Carl Lewis at the 1984 Olympic games.
2. Michael Phelps-20 medals and counting with 16 golds, he is the most decorated Olympian of all time. It is amazing his durability, longevity and over the course of three olympics. He is the greatest swimmer of all time hands down and most people feel he may be the greatest Olympian of all time. In my opinion he is #2 and back when Jesse Owens won, there was very rare that you can win medals in multiple Olympics because there was no endorsements, you had to go and get a job.
3. Carl Lewis- The most decorated Track and Field athlete of all time and arguably the greatest Olympic athlete of all time won 9 gold medals at the Olympics and 10 total medals. He is one of the most Iconic figures in Olympic history and he would have arguably won 2 more if there was not a boycott of the 1980 Olympics
4. Nadia Comaneci- The first woman to achieve a perfect 10 in the olympics she set the standard for every Olympics superstar after her. There is no doubt her Olympic performance was a ground breaker and she led the way for the Mary Lou Retton’s of the world and actual led the american growth in gymnastics as Bela Karolyi soon defected to America and began his own school helping countless Americans to their dreams.
5.Mark Spitz-9 golds and 11 total medals in the olympics he set the bar for what michael phelps later on achieved. His performances were light years ahead of his competition and in swimming had never been done. Mark Spitz didn’t just win he dominated.
I considered many others including Larisa Latynina, gymnast, Soviet Union 14 Medals, Bob Mathias, USA,2 time Decathlon Champion, Florence Griffith Joyner, USA,2 time world record breaker and 3 golds in track and field, Michael Johnson, USA,4 golds, multiple world records Track, Usain Bolt, Jamaica, Smashed 100 and 200 world records in Beijing, Mary Lou Retton, Gymnast, USA-All Around Champion and the 1996 Girls American Gymnastics Team which won in fantastic fashion in Atlanta. There are many others.
Who Do you think is the greatest olympian of all time.