The 10 Best Athletes in the World
Athleticism—physical prowess consisting variously of coordination, dexterity, vigor, and stamina.
That's one way to describe it, but words do not do athleticism justice. It's poetry in motion.
This list looks at the best athletes in sports.
Who's the strongest, fastest, and most skilled?
Who can stop on a dime and rotate 360 degrees in the air effortlessly?
Who can do everything they did at the beginning of the game, match, or event at the end?
Some may think this list is comparing apples to oranges, but at the end of the day everyone is human, and everyone on this list is an athlete.
10. Rafael Nadal
Tennis requires strength and stamina.
At a macro level, you must outlast your competitor inside the confines of the court for hours, accelerating and stopping with your lower half while extending and torquing your upper half the entire time.
On a micro level, every shot matters. From returning serves near 150 MPH to accurately placing firm shots on the run, a tennis player has to always be at the top of his game to advance.
Nadal is very skilled, but it's his conditioning and athletic ability that allow him to put opponents away.
Known for his buff left arm, Nadal may have the best physique of any elite tennis pro, and it's what has given him the edge over Roger Federer in recent years.
9. Wladimir Klitschko
The only thing worse than getting hit in the face is getting hit in the face by a 6'6", 245-pound heavyweight champion.
Although we will never know it because they promised their mother they would never fight, Wladimir is the superior of the Klitschko brothers both athletically and physically.
Boxing is the most physically strenuous sport because it requires the stamina to go the distance and the power to knock your opponent out at any time.
Other boxers may be better fighters pound for pound, but toe-to-toe, Wladimir Klitschko is the most dominant figure in the sport.
8. Brock Lesnar
College wrestler turned pro wrestler turned pro football player turned pro fighter: If there's one way to describe Brock Lesnar, it's physical.
The UFC Heavyweight Champion is imposing at 6'3" and 265 pounds. Although some may question his skill as an athlete, his diverse success at highly competitive levels of athletics shows he is very talented and very determined to succeed.
Had Lesnar not left the WWE, he wouldn't be anywhere near this list, but in the cage he has proved to be a deceptively long and extremely explosive athlete.
Similar to Klitschko, you can talk about pound for pound all you want, but man vs. man, Lesnar is the best in the business.
7. Adrian Peterson
All Day didn't just start yesterday; he's been putting in work for almost two decades, and it's paid off in a big way.
The NFL is full of amazing athletes. Some are more athletic than they are skilled, while others have amazing skills and competitive athletic ability. Peterson has it all.
Peterson has the strength to rip through the arms the size of legs, and he can outrun world-class athletes.
Stamina and overall conditioning are underrated characteristics of a football player, but in the fourth quarter Peterson is at his best.
He may not be the most skilled athlete in the league, but he always gets the most out of his amazing ability.
6. Usain Bolt
Standing a head above and usually two steps in front of his opponents, Bolt is the most amazing sprinter of all time.
Speed kills, but just being fast isn't enough to be one of the world’s best athletes. Bolt is 6'5", and he has thick shoulders and legs that compare to any professional athlete.
Bolt smashed records in Beijing, and the 22-year-old isn't even at the top of his game. As the youngest athlete on the list, the best is still to come.
5. Calvin Johnson
Megatron has been the nickname dubbed to Calvin Johnson because of his inhuman characteristics.
When you create a player on Madden Football, you wouldn't even make him 6'5" and 240 pounds with sub 4.4 speed and a 40+ inch vertical because it would be too unfair.
Yes, he has the athletic ability, but he also knows how to use it. Johnson makes the catches other receivers would give up on, and he routinely out-quicks smaller defensive backs.
There should not be a question of if Johnson belongs on this list; it's only a matter of where he belongs.
4. Mariusz Pudzianowski
In a sport where most of the guys look like someone you don't want to mess with at the local pub, Mariusz Pudzianowski has risen to the top through maintaining peak physical condition.
Strong men are far from the mainstream, but if there is one notable figure in the sport, it's "Super Mario."
The five-time World's Strongest Man runs laps around the competition. He is able to be both quicker and stronger than his fellow strongmen.
Pudzianowski announced his retirement after his 2008 championship, but he is still the best in his sport.
3. Mario Williams
Another Super Mario?
When it comes to freaks in the NFL, Mario Williams is setting the bar. At 6'7" and nearly 300 pounds, this hulk hailing from Richlands, North Carolina posted a 4.65 40-yard dash, 40.5 inch vertical leap, and 35 reps of 225 on the bench.
Williams has the perfect combination of speed, strength, quickness, and power, which is why he is the NFL's elite defensive end at 24 years old.
A gentle giant off the field, Williams physically abuses grown men on his way to the quarterback.
2. Dwight Howard
Does this pick need any explanation?
Put Dwight Howard on the football field, and he would catch three touchdowns per game. Put him in center field, and the fence just got a few inches higher. Put him in goal and watch David Beckham cry.
Never have we seen an athlete with Howard's combination of size and leaping ability. He is able to look down in the hoop when dunking and block shots at the top of the backboard.
Howard continues to get stronger, but it doesn't seem to come at the expense of his athleticism or body control. The only thing holding him back is that he's not a coordinated ball-handler.
1. LeBron James
Just another jewel in King James' crown.
LeBron James is the best athlete in the sport that houses the world’s best athletes.
There has never been an athlete to have James' combination of size, strength, and coordination.
Not only does James have the physical tools, but he is also able to focus his talents in order to get it done on the court.
Right now, James is on top, and he should remain there for years to come.