^interesting article, although a bit biased with no mention of Jordan or a few others.
All have good points and all the athletes named are no doubt greats. I just look at it like this. Regardless of the sport, wether a team sport or individual, when completely broken down and analyzed from every angle, I just do not believe there to be anyone who has dominated their respective sport quite like Kelly has. There is a lot of new talent coming up and on the tour right now. At 40 years old, he watches these kids like Medina and John John, Wilson, etc....and learns everything he sees with ease and just continually progresses to the point of just being silly.
shaun white. dominated at a young age, continues to dominate, and reinvents the sport with time.
Shaun White may not have the longevity yet, but definitely has dominated. I remember watching the last Winter Olympics. Even if you knew nothing about snowboarding or the half-pipe, it was very obvious he was just head and shoulders above the competition.
Tony Hawke, don't know details, but he seemed to be at the top in skateboarding for a pretty long time.
Kelly is a freak though. Right now, it seems like the only person that can really stop Kelly is him. As long as he continues to have that drive, we may be having this same discussion 5 yrs from now.
tough one... Michael Jordan, Lance Armsrtong (F*ck the recent rulings...), Tony Hawk, Joe Montana, Valentino Rossi, Michael schumacher etc. every sport has it's king and Kelly is ours. Apples and oranges, capache?
Agree with Shaun White..F* montana Eli is better anyone can throw to Jerry Rice. Easiest way to compare across sports is whether or not you can dunk a basketball. If youve never been able to dunk youre probably not that sweet at sports
Great athelete but ask the average American who Kelly Slater is an probably 20% might know.
Ask the average American who Michael Jordan is and 99% would know. No one gives a crap about surfing in the grand scheme of sports.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson. Nobody can even come close. The man defined the word "Fearless". Check out the wikipedia page. Lettered in 4 sports at UCLA. He was a freak of an athelete. There is a reason the guys number is retired throughout the game.
Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a ****in' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."
Pele re-introduced the worlds most popular sport to the US. He def has a spot on the podium for worlds greatest. However as previously mentioned it is still a team sport so it is hard to ever determine an out right solo top athlete. Slater and Woods would be my candidates if there had to be non-team sport best athlete. Usain Bolt - honorable mention in a sport that has a high turnover rate for fastest in the world
You have to look at sports where the athlete can control the entire game or the entire competition and single handedly change the end result all alone. Remember, Surfing isn't as big and far-far-far less popular then other niche sports such as Pro Bass Fishing, Tennis, Wrestling, Boxing, Cycling, Triathlon, Running, Cross Country Ski’ing (widely considered the greatest endurance athletes on earth), Track & Field, GOLF, etc. ...just to name a few. And these are just NICHE sports that are way more popular then surfing.
My list of greats that I feel are as great as K E ! ! Y that were competing in individual sports: Tiger, Armstrong, Prefontain, Macca, Crowie, The Brownlee's, Mahamad Ali, Zane Holmes, Cael Sanderson, Dan Gable, The Ecklestiens and I have many more that are all on equal terms with Slater and in most cases, all were far more popular then Slater…AND MOST OF YOU never heard of.
I love Slater and I have followed him my entire life. But, I know for a fact that Soccer is 20X bigger and far more competitive and the athletes that circle the "Greats of Soccer," are monumental within each of their own countries. The problem with team sports is that most greats are only known by fans of that sport or simply meager-hometown-fans. No one ever considers a field goal kicker "great," but hell, when they miss they are tarred and feathered in public.
Anyway, I followed Kelly through France and he B L O W S M Y M I N D every single wave!!!