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[Other Sport] Best sportsman / athlete of all time

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Half Time Pies

Members
Sep 7, 2003
1,298
Brighton
If anyone wants a TLDR, the writer basically claims that Bolt was too good not to be doping himself, and that there was a big international conspiracy to cover it up.

Subscribe.

When you look in to this a bit more I don't think this really gives the whole story. Bolt spent most of is early career focusing on 200m and not the 100m. He was an exceptional 200m runner for his age, as a 16 year old he was running the same times as Micheal Johnson was at 20 years old! As a Junior he was head a shoulders above everyone else at 200m.

in the period 2005-2007 he was plagued with injuries and the push was for him to move up to the 400m, his coach cited the difficulty in him smoothly starting out of the blocks and other poor sprinting habits. Despite the injuries and poor technique, Bolts personal best in 2007 for the 200m was in the top 20 fastest 200m runs of all time!

It wasn't until 2007/2008 that he started to put any real focus on the 100m so the personal best of 10.03 mentioned in the article is a bit of a ref herring.

It's is perfectly feasible that with some proper focus and training and a prolonged period injury free, Bolt was able to resolve some of these technical issues that had previously affected his sprinting and therefore this may account for how he was able to dramatically improve his time.
 

hans kraay fan club

The voice of reason.
All-powerful Moderator
Mar 16, 2005
58,900
Chandlers Ford
When you look in to this a bit more I don't think this really gives the whole story. Bolt spent most of is early career focusing on 200m and not the 100m. He was an exceptional 200m runner for his age, as a 16 year old he was running the same times as Micheal Johnson was at 20 years old! As a Junior he was head a shoulders above everyone else at 200m.

in the period 2005-2007 he was plagued with injuries and the push was for him to move up to the 400m, his coach cited the difficulty in him smoothly starting out of the blocks and other poor sprinting habits. Despite the injuries and poor technique, Bolts personal best in 2007 for the 200m was in the top 20 fastest 200m runs of all time!

It wasn't until 2007/2008 that he started to put any real focus on the 100m so the personal best of 10.03 mentioned in the article is a bit of a ref herring.

It's is perfectly feasible that with some proper focus and training and a prolonged period injury free, Bolt was able to resolve some of these technical issues that had previously affected his sprinting and therefore this may account for how he was able to dramatically improve his time.

He's the most tested Track and Field athlete of all time, and has never failed a test.

If we can't accept his achievements for what they are, then we may as well scrap all sport.
 
Jul 13, 2012
1,232
Ooop North
How on earth could the answer be Jess Ennis, when there are a load of athletes ahead of her, in an event defined by points scores?

She's not even the best of her own era (Kluft was), or the best ever Brit (Johnson-Thompson). Jackie Joyner-Kersee is mile out ahead overall.

https://www.worldathletics.org/reco...mbined-events/heptathlon/outdoor/women/senior


She's a much better suggestion than Daley Thompson, mind, who is 85th on the men's all time list!

https://www.worldathletics.org/reco...=false&firstDay=1900-01-01&lastDay=2022-09-22

Sorry if my opinion offended you. Do you not know how this works? People have opinions, they put it on here.
At least half a dozen people before me suggested Thompson or Ennis but you seek to ridicule my opinion. Youre not one of those NSC bullies are you?
 


arfer guinness

Members
Feb 15, 2007
333
I agree with the people who say Muhammad Ali. Not only did he beat the early 60s generation Liston, Patterson, our 'enry etc. after losing his prime years went on to beat the next generation, Frazier, Foreman, Norton etc. I've been lucky enough to go to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville and found it very enlightening, and in my opinion one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century.
 

hans kraay fan club

The voice of reason.
All-powerful Moderator
Mar 16, 2005
58,900
Chandlers Ford
Sorry if my opinion offended you. Do you not know how this works? People have opinions, they put it on here.
At least half a dozen people before me suggested Thompson or Ennis but you seek to ridicule my opinion. Youre not one of those NSC bullies are you?

Calm down.

Nobody is ridiculing you. Just pointing out that, as the answer to a question of the 'greatest' athlete, there is an obvious flaw in choosing a candidate from a sport where, ability is very easily quantified (by points totals), and they sit behind lots of others in that list.

If you'd suggested somebody from a sport where subjective assessment is more the thing (say a footballer) then it does become a matter of 'opinion'. Nobody can categorically deny that Ronaldo (or Messi, or Pele, or Eusebio) is the 'best' - whereas with Jess Ennis, I can categorically tell you that 6 other heptathletes were better.
 

Swansman

Pro-peace
May 13, 2019
21,363
Sweden
I agree with the people who say Muhammad Ali. Not only did he beat the early 60s generation Liston, Patterson, our 'enry etc. after losing his prime years went on to beat the next generation, Frazier, Foreman, Norton etc. I've been lucky enough to go to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville and found it very enlightening, and in my opinion one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century.

Fully agree with that part.
 

1066familyman

Radio User
Jan 15, 2008
14,474
He's the most tested Track and Field athlete of all time, and has never failed a test.

If we can't accept his achievements for what they are, then we may as well scrap all sport.

Sadly, that same arguement, about the most tested of all time and never returned a positive test, was used by Lance Armstrong and we know how that ended up.

I'm not saying Usain Bolt used PED's as I've no idea. I do know there has been some controversy around Jamaican athletics testing though. I also know that it's not Track and Field and Cycling alone that have a drug problem, all top level sports do. Sadly it's inevitable in such highly competitive environments, and sports like football and golf that seem to like to pretend it's not a big issue in their sports too are perhaps deluding themselves.

Anyway, regarding Bolt's achievements and what he brought to athletics as an athlete and a person, he's right up there with the greats for me. A truly iconic figure, and rightly so.

There's one memory of him in particular that stands out. He was lining up in an Olympics 100 meters final. The marquee event, watched worldwide by millions, and he still had the composure, grace and humbleness to give a first bump and a smile to the youngster looking after his kit on the starting blocks. I imagine that's a little moment that will stay with that person forever. That for me typifies the sheer joy and relaxed happiness he brought to the sport. I loved watching him perform. A proper legend!
 

hans kraay fan club

The voice of reason.
All-powerful Moderator
Mar 16, 2005
58,900
Chandlers Ford
Sadly, that same arguement, about the most tested of all time and never returned a positive test, was used by Lance Armstrong and we know how that ended up.

I'm not saying Usain Bolt used PED's as I've no idea. I do know there has been some controversy around Jamaican athletics testing though. I also know that it's not Track and Field and Cycling alone that have a drug problem, all top level sports do. Sadly it's inevitable in such highly competitive environments, and sports like football and golf that seem to like to pretend it's not a big issue in their sports too are perhaps deluding themselves.

Anyway, regarding Bolt's achievements and what he brought to athletics as an athlete and a person, he's right up there with the greats for me. A truly iconic figure, and rightly so.

There's one memory of him in particular that stands out. He was lining up in an Olympics 100 meters final. The marquee event, watched worldwide by millions, and he still had the composure, grace and humbleness to give a first bump and a smile to the youngster looking after his kit on the starting blocks. I imagine that's a little moment that will stay with that person forever. That for me typifies the sheer joy and relaxed happiness he brought to the sport. I loved watching him perform. A proper legend!

Agree with all that. My point though, is that once you go down the path of questioning the achievements of people who have never been proven as anything other than clean, on the grounds of 'quickest = must be cheating' then the whole thing is rendered a waste of time.
 

1066familyman

Radio User
Jan 15, 2008
14,474
Agree with all that. My point though, is that once you go down the path of questioning the achievements of people who have never been proven as anything other than clean, on the grounds of 'quickest = must be cheating' then the whole thing is rendered a waste of time.

I agree with you too. We have to take things as they are and believe everyone innocent until proven guilty, as otherwise, just as you say, what's the point.
 

LU7 RED

Members
Nov 5, 2010
543
Leighton Buzzard
When you look in to this a bit more I don't think this really gives the whole story. Bolt spent most of is early career focusing on 200m and not the 100m. He was an exceptional 200m runner for his age, as a 16 year old he was running the same times as Micheal Johnson was at 20 years old! As a Junior he was head a shoulders above everyone else at 200m.

in the period 2005-2007 he was plagued with injuries and the push was for him to move up to the 400m, his coach cited the difficulty in him smoothly starting out of the blocks and other poor sprinting habits. Despite the injuries and poor technique, Bolts personal best in 2007 for the 200m was in the top 20 fastest 200m runs of all time!

It wasn't until 2007/2008 that he started to put any real focus on the 100m so the personal best of 10.03 mentioned in the article is a bit of a ref herring.

It's is perfectly feasible that with some proper focus and training and a prolonged period injury free, Bolt was able to resolve some of these technical issues that had previously affected his sprinting and therefore this may account for how he was able to dramatically improve his time.

Was talking to one of the sprint coaches whilst I was at a track meeting with my lot, Herne Hill Harriers.

Apparently whilst amazing, Bolt was one of the laziest trainers - so wanted to do the 100 rather than the 200. So the coach said he needed to get to a certain time doing the 100 before he would allow him to take the distance on properly. So he put some effort in!
 


Half Time Pies

Members
Sep 7, 2003
1,298
Brighton
Sadly, that same arguement, about the most tested of all time and never returned a positive test, was used by Lance Armstrong and we know how that ended up.

I'm not saying Usain Bolt used PED's as I've no idea. I do know there has been some controversy around Jamaican athletics testing though. I also know that it's not Track and Field and Cycling alone that have a drug problem, all top level sports do. Sadly it's inevitable in such highly competitive environments, and sports like football and golf that seem to like to pretend it's not a big issue in their sports too are perhaps deluding themselves.

Anyway, regarding Bolt's achievements and what he brought to athletics as an athlete and a person, he's right up there with the greats for me. A truly iconic figure, and rightly so.

There's one memory of him in particular that stands out. He was lining up in an Olympics 100 meters final. The marquee event, watched worldwide by millions, and he still had the composure, grace and humbleness to give a first bump and a smile to the youngster looking after his kit on the starting blocks. I imagine that's a little moment that will stay with that person forever. That for me typifies the sheer joy and relaxed happiness he brought to the sport. I loved watching him perform. A proper legend!

This is a valid point and of course in a lot of sports the testing regime is much more relaxed than it is in cycling or athletics. Its expensive to implement a drugs testing regime and many sports focus on in-competition testing whereas most drug taking is actually done during periods of training. It could actually be the case that the drugs taking in Athletics isn't actually more prevalent than other sports but that the stringent testing regime means that there are more positive tests.

Removing the suspicion of drugs from the argument another athlete who has to be in the mix is Carl Lewis. 9 Olympic golds (across 4 olympics) and 8 world championship golds. One of the all time greats in both the sprint events and the long-jump where he was undefeated for 10 years! You could make the case that his achievements were even greater than Bolts!
 
Last edited:

Half Time Pies

Members
Sep 7, 2003
1,298
Brighton
Was talking to one of the sprint coaches whilst I was at a track meeting with my lot, Herne Hill Harriers.

Apparently whilst amazing, Bolt was one of the laziest trainers - so wanted to do the 100 rather than the 200. So the coach said he needed to get to a certain time doing the 100 before he would allow him to take the distance on properly. So he put some effort in!

Yes I read about this! I think it was around the time that they wanted him to go more in the direction of 200/400m than 100/200m. To be honest he looks more like a 400m runner and with a bad sprint technique you could understand why his coach wanted him to head in the direction of the longer events. This was clearly the catalyst for him to up his game!
 

SK1NT

Members
Sep 9, 2003
8,562
Thames Ditton
Cassius Clay

Has to be Ali for me. Was a stunning, classy looking fighter but to go against the government and condemn the vietnam war. He was threatened to be shot in the ring on many occasions and still performed. I also believe we missed his best years when he was stripped of his title and not allowed to box for 3 and a half years. Being a bold, brash, cocky blackman in 60s america wouldn't have helped, but in time that was part of the character many loved.
Just out of interest why use Cassius Clay? He didn't want that name and changed it.
 

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