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August 05, 2012

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Don't forget Alexander Karelin is definitely in the mix. Especially if you put Dan Gable in there. Just for info Karelin was a 12 time world champ three time Olympic champ and would have won a 4th gold in 2000 if not for a rule change in Greco.

actually dan that's not semantics

that's just facts

at least get your semantics right when calling someone else out on their semantics

Semantics but Phelps was 15 in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. No medals there. He won his first medals in 2004 at 19.

win-win co-operation

Even a dragon (from the outside) finds it hard to control a snake in its old haunt - Powerful outsiders can hardly afford to neglect local bullies.

Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.

Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.

OMG, Maria, that's hella funny!

Michael Phelps is a great athlete. But, he reminds me too much of "Quark" from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I can't get past his ears and teeth.
BTW, I uploaded the 31 Heros pics I took onto Flickr. Enjoy!

Hey, that Gabby chick bombed last night. I don't think we can consider any athlete that competes in a sport that is judged (gymnastics and ice skating and CrossFit (lol) for example) Too much human meddling that the athlete can't control. Agree, disagree?

Alex, we're basically saying the same thing. Which is why I thought you were trolling me.

Fun thread.. I knew it would get a ton of comments. Now I need you all to comment on tonite's post asking for volunteers for occupy strength. =)

Uhhh....yeah. Swimmers have no strength. What was I thinking? I took me a few minutes to realize Alex was trolling but after I read the Gabby comment I wised up. Too funny.

These are the best blog comments EVER! LOL!

Greatest male swimmer of all time, yes. I do agree with people that it's hard to compare to other sports. Each sport requires a different type of physical attributes. The mentality would probably be the same for all athletes in focusing on the gold. That's a great photo of Phelps! Well earned.

This argument has been kicked around, for years. It has been popping up every four years and everyone bites. There is no way of knowing who the best athlete is because no one is willing to define it. By Camacho's attempt to use a definition, it immediately excludes phelps because Phelps is scrawny. Id be interested to see what Rafael Ruiz has to say on this topic, being he has trained all kinds of different athletes. In any case, lots of fun I had tonight. I must now follow my prolific career and one day I will be considered the greatest man-nurse.....of....all.....time..........

right, but there is nothing stopping them from dethroning Phelps should they want to, except for the fact that they aren't as good as him

whereas in Thorpe and Ruth's days, black people couldn't participate for completely different reasons.

are you trolling me?

Had to consider that argument Jahed, so I looked it up and he was in fact playing against black people in football and in the Olympics, the first black athlete to participate was from france in 1900, and the first to win a gold was in 1908, an american actually. Your statement sir is false.

Using your same argument, Michael Phelps isnt swimming against black people either.

1888-1953

you tell me brah

it's the same tired argument that people trot out for babe ruth being the best baseball player

maybe for the era, but a total joke if you're serious, cuz black people imo

(might be laughing very loud at work).... ummmmm is that true

Jim Thorpe didn't have to play against black people though

huge advantage

I agree on Thorpe. Phelps lacks strength, most swimmers lack strength, case closed. Phelps is the greatest swimmer, and has the most medals in the Olympics, but in terms of athleticism Id vote for Gabby Douglas over Michael Phelps in a second, which means, he is not the greatest athlete of all time.

Touché!

So the Thorpe dude not only did team sports but also individual. I think he has to be seriously considered the greatest...could Phelps or Dan Gable post the same resume?

Freddy, Jim Thorpe from wikipedia:

Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball.

He played professional sports until age 41, the end of his sports career coinciding with the start of the Great Depression.

In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century out of 15 other athletes including Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, and Michael Jordan.[3]

Definition of athlete:
" A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts."

In competitive contexts:

Phelps won his first medals at the 2004 Games when he was 15 years old. To this day, his national records from when he was a child (8+ years) up until he competed in the Olympics still stand. Can any other athlete that has been mentioned say they were the best in the world at 15 years old and still the best at 27 years old??

I think we should think about the question. What is "athletic"? Most of us base our judgement of athletes by exposure of what we see in mainstream sports. Are only football/basketball/soccer/baseball athletes to be considered? Do team sports rate as high as individual sports? Personally, I don''t think they compare because in the team game there are so many variables to consider.

BTW- I throw Dan Gable's name into the hat as one of the greatest athletes of all time

Is this a who has the best glycolitic pathway in a horizontal plane, or a real search for who the best athlete of all time?

not taking anything away from Phelps, but didn't that Thorpe dude play like 3 different sports? surely that would make him the greatest athlete?

Yes Rob, Ali was very vocal in pointing that he was the greatest of all time =)

OK, here is another one for you....Ali

speaking of silver, DROP EVERYTHING AND WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY:

http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=23uen83&s=6

I saw it in person and it almost moved me to tears

chinese brah clean and jerks 190 after sustaining a horrendous elbow injury trying to break the snatch world record, was a gold medal favorite, nails 190 to seal the top two places on the podium for china.

I just watched 37yo Oksana Chusovitina in her SIXTH Olympic Games. Her total medal count over 20 years? 1 silver.

hahaha

the funny thing is, I was semi-serious about the crossfit games comment...

Jahed, you are at top alltime trollolololol status...... Rob, one performance under pressure was not the question. The greatest athlete of all time was the question. Jesse Owens was definitely the bomb diggity!

The most decorated Olympian for sure, but the greatest Olympic performance occurred before our time. It was Jesse Owens' performance during the 36 Olympics in Berlin and in front of Hitler, who intended the Games to showcase the superiority of his Aryan ideals. Now that's the greatest athletic clutch performance under pressure.

I don't know Anna

I think it was for reasons like this that crossfit was even created

Just have Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps run through the crossfit games, complete with the triathlon so we can even up the swimming angle, and let's find out who the worlds' fittest athlete is in my opinion

we'll need a time machine though, Jordan is like 50

Whoops! I meant 10 seconds to over 3 minutes

It's too hard to compare athletes from all different sports. How can you compare swimming to football to gymnastics to running? I don't think you can truly. Pro athletes are specialists. I'm sure Phelps can't dunk like Jordan could. But I bet Jordan can't fly in the pool like Phelps. Most decorated Olympian and best swimmer ever, yes...best athlete ever...don't know about that.

Interesting that so many people picked a bunch of athletes that played team sports. Also, a 100m swim and a 400m swim are like comparing a 100m sprint to a mile runner (40 seconds to over 3 minutes). Phelps rocked shorth and long. Have you seen the guys who run the 1500m and the guys who run the 100m? Just a thought to add to the debate....

^is this guy for real?

I don't even know what to say to that

tough one... most decorated olypmian, yes. Greatest swimmer, yes. Greatest athlete... I believe there's a possibility. What if Phelps and Froning each got to pick one event to go head to head. Phelps would swim and Froning would do any CrossFit WOD ever that did not include swimming. Right there it would be a tie. Any ideas for a tie-breaker?

Jordan, Bo Jackson, Deon Sanders can't even swim 50 meters alex.

greatest swimmer for sure. Doesn't come close to Jordan, Bo Jackson, Deon Sanders, or Jim thorpe in terms of greatest athlete.

Jahed, quite possibly the GREATEST comment ever.

I'm not sure, I'd need more information before I made the decision. Like, what's his Fran time, for instance.

He is the greatest swimmer of all time.

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