G.O.A.T – Greatest of all time. Each sport has them but who would you vote for the greatest athlete ever?
It is a big call, however, many go with the high profile basketballer, Michael Jordan. Jordan is arguable the world’s most recognized athlete. From downtown Chicago to the remote village of Talua in Vanuatu, Jordan T-Shirts are worn. And who could argue with six NBA Championships, six Finals Most Valuable Player Titles, a host of other awards plus two Olympic Gold Medals?
Jordan’s influence on both basketball and sport is without comparison. For example, he is credited in slingshoting a small sports company called Nike into number one in the world through the Nike Air Jordan shoes.
How about football (soccer)? They have a host of legends from Brazilian super star Pele to one of the highest paid athletes on the planet Lionel Messi (worth over $130 million). Or what about other famous athletes who have earned millions such as Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles.
Few names are greater than Usain Bolt, 8-time Olympic Gold Medallist including world records for the blue-ribbon event, the 100 meters. Another athlete who continues to prove his quality is Sebastian Coe. The British middle-distance runner dominated the sport with Olympic Gold Medals and world records back in the 1980’s.
What makes Coe such a class act is that he continued to give back to the sport as head of the International Athletics Federation and President of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
My final athlete, however, does not fit into the category of rich household-name male athletes. Few would know the name of French cyclist, Jeannie Longo. However, her statistics and influence are unmatched in any sport.
The 13-time world champion, seven Olympic Games (including Gold) and a world record holder who raced between 1975 to 2012. The length of her career and her domination of the sport of cycling is unmatched and why I have her on my GOAT list.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html