Pick the greatest human athlete ever. Who is your pick? Why?
Before I tell you my pick, which will surprise you, let's look at what makes a great athlete.
Stamina - Got to be able to go the distance and then some. Overtime matters.
Talent - Well, yeah.
Dedication - Frankly dedication will cover gaps in talent to get an athlete to certain places, but without
Coaching - Yep.
Intellect - Don't have to be a rocket scientist, but an average IQ? Maybe. But the top athlete must have a very high "sports IQ" or he's not going to get far.
Size - Size matters. But what matters more are the above items. Of course the top echelon can't be missing one meal from starvation nor can they be the size of a mountain.
Determination - I see this as different from dedication. Determination is the willingness to sacrifice. Dedication is the willingness to practice.
Physical ability - By this I mean able to get knocked down, get up and keep going and deliver punishment in return.
Camaraderie - A truly top athlete has to know he's not getting there by himself. He's part of a team effort.
Coordination - Well, yeah, but it's important below, so I
Probably more need to be listed, but that's as far as I'm taking this.
So my top pick?
Wayne Greztsky. He is the greatest pro hockey player the world has ever seen.
Why? Look at hockey.
It combines heavy physical activity and impacts (football, wrestling, rugby).
It combines endurance and stamina (
It has hand-eye coordination (baseball, basketball).
It has strength and physical agility. It's done on ice with skates!
As for the other qualifiers, anyone who says Greztsky doesn't have those in abundance does not know much about the man.
In the world of sports, very few have managed to cross from one to another and be a success. Many have tried. Babe Ruth was great at baseball and wrestling. Basketball? I seriously doubt it.
If you took Greztsky from hockey and moved him to another sport, I believe he could adapt and be one of the few who could cross over and be very good. I also say he could move to yet a third
There is no other sport that combines and demands as much
Basketball is nonstop action, but basketball does not see players body-checked nearly as hard as hockey. The physical violence in hockey is on par with pro football. The necessary stamina is on the same level as marathon runners.