Who is the world’s greatest athlete in terms of Strength, Power and Speed?
Who is the greatest all-around athlete?
In this month’s issue of The Strength & Speed Newsletter, my good friend Clay Parker wrote an article on the greatest all-around athletes based on athletic feats and performances that are scored in Dale Harder’s book, You Can Compare Apples to Oranges, where athletic performances are scored on a 1-1000 point scale based on the impressiveness and rarity of the performance.
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Dale Harder’s Strength & Speed Newsletter includes coverage and articles about Track & field, Weightlifting, Powerlifting as well as unusual feats of speed and strength. To subscribe, please email Dale Harder at [email protected] for more information.
Here is a sample of some of the results:
20. CHRIS HUFFINS, DECATHLON, 6’3 180lb, 4774 POINTS (not decathlon points)
Huffins is not recognized by most fans; he had a solid but not exceptional decathlon career. Huffins is best known for his gutty 1500 meter run in Sydney to grab a bronze medal. Although Huffins never won old or set a WR, his talent was tremendous. He holds the decathlon 100m WR and was a great leaper.
23. TOMAS DVORAK, DECATHLON, 6’2 190 4751 POINTS
Roman’s countryman from the Czech Republic cracks the list at #23. Dvorak is 2nd on the all-time decathlon list and was a 3-time World Champ. It’s scary how Dvorak and Sebrle’s mark compare. His accomplishments are not as strong as Sebrle yet he deserves to be remembered in his own right
24. ROMAN SEBRLE, DECATHLON, 6’2 190 4749 POINTS
The decathlon world record holder and only man to break the 9,000 point barrier comes in at #24. An amazing natural athlete, but like fellow decathlete legend, Daley Thompson, his work ethic and amazing competitive spirit is not measured in these rankings. Nonetheless, Roman deserves a place on this list.
25. ASHTON EATON ,DECATHLON, 6’2 180 4746 POINTS
Eaton won the 2011 US national decathlon title and finished 2nd at the World Champs. He’s a tremendous talent and many decathlon experts give him a shot at the gold in London as well as the world record. Watch him improve in the decathlon and here – how high will he go? top 20? 10? #1?
27. JUSTIN GATLIN, SPRINTER, 6’1 175 4728 POINTS
Justin edged out Carl Lewis for the top (and only) sprinter on this list. In addition to his sprinting exploits, Justin was a great hurdler in college and had some great combine marks in an aborted NFL tryout.
28. RAFER JOHNSON, DECATHLON, 6’3 200 4719 POINTS
Decathlon experts marvel about his athletic ability which really speaks volumes about his true ability. Rafer retired at the early age of 25 after two Olympic medals or else his numbers would have improved even more. Rafer was a standout basketball player at UCLA and truly an all-time great athlete.
29. VALERY BRUMEL, HIGH JUMP, 6’1 175 4716 POINTS
Recognized by many experts as the greatest high jumper of all-time before a motorcycle accident ended his career early. Brumel was also a fantastic all-around athlete, who set the Russian heptathlon record and flirted with the decathlon but never competed in one. 10.5 and a near 52 ft shot put are not shabby.
30. DALEY THOMPSON, DECATHLON, 6’0 205 4711 POINTS
Many experts consider Daley the greatest decathlete ever. It’s hard to argue: 2 Olympic gold medals and a 4th place at age 30. He’s a little lower here than track fans would like but one thing that these numbers don’t account for is his amazing competiveness and performance under pressure.