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"Mount Rushmore" of Sport

Leonormous Boozer

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Came across this tweet going fairly viral. Thought it'd be a bit of fun and that we'd get some very varied and interesting answers here. I'm not necessarily going for the greatest sportspeople of all time, legacy and iconic status are definitely big factors.

Phelps and Bolt are locked in for me, best two olympians and fastest man ever.

My other two are Ali and Woods as two men who eclipsed their sport to the point they are/were a bigger draw than the sport itself. You have Ali and Woods fans who aren't boxing and golf fans, this is rare.

Hard to leave Messi and Ronaldo off because I think they're the greatest sportsmen of all time but they lack the aura of the other 4, possibly due to neither of them being particularly likeable people outside their sport.

Serena Williams is tennis' best nominee. Federer, Nadal and Djockovic probably all take away from each other's chance.

Jordan is probably in the 5th spot, doesn't quite have the worldwide draw of Woods or Ali imo.

A rugby one:

Carter, McCaw, Lomu, Wilkinson

The two GOATs, the biggest icon the sport has ever had and the executor of the sport's most memorable moment until Johnny Sexton does something better in 12 months and 8 days.
 


Came across this tweet going fairly viral. Thought it'd be a bit of fun and that we'd get some very varied and interesting answers here. I'm not necessarily going for the greatest sportspeople of all time, legacy and iconic status are definitely big factors.

Phelps and Bolt are locked in for me, best two olympians and fastest man ever.

My other two are Ali and Woods as two men who eclipsed their sport to the point they are/were a bigger draw than the sport itself. You have Ali and Woods fans who aren't boxing and golf fans, this is rare.

Hard to leave Messi and Ronaldo off because I think they're the greatest sportsmen of all time but they lack the aura of the other 4, possibly due to neither of them being particularly likeable people outside their sport.

Serena Williams is tennis' best nominee. Federer, Nadal and Djockovic probably all take away from each other's chance.

Jordan is probably in the 5th spot, doesn't quite have the worldwide draw of Woods or Ali imo.

A rugby one:

Carter, McCaw, Lomu, Wilkinson

The two GOATs, the biggest icon the sport has ever had and the executor of the sport's most memorable moment until Johnny Sexton does something better in 12 months and 8 days.

How is Messi not likeable outside the sport? He is humble and has a private and modest living outside the sport compared to his wealth. He does not go around driving Supercars showing off his wealth etc
 
What's the criteria? especially if not being mixed up with the GOAT threads?
Greatness? game-changing? likeable? popularity?

In rugby, combining all the above, it'd be between Lomu, McCaw and Wilkinson

In my lifetime, I think the most "likeable" sportsman who was also a great would have to be Federer

Most popular is probably someone like Beckham, Bolt or Jordan

The greatest is Don Bradman, but I have no idea how likeable, or popular he was; and beyond that, we've got the various GOAT threads to cut/paste from
 
Other than 4 slightly different angles of Alun Wyn Jones' beautiful face if you've having a rugby person on there then there is NO debate, it's Lomu.

Would be pretty hard to justify a rugby pick in there though.

I'd probably just have Ali up there by himself.
 
What's the criteria? especially if not being mixed up with the GOAT threads?
Greatness? game-changing? likeable? popularity?

In rugby, combining all the above, it'd be between Lomu, McCaw and Wilkinson

In my lifetime, I think the most "likeable" sportsman who was also a great would have to be Federer

Most popular is probably someone like Beckham, Bolt or Jordan

The greatest is Don Bradman, but I have no idea how likeable, or popular he was; and beyond that, we've got the various GOAT threads to cut/paste from
I don't really have strict criteria. Not really the GOAT, as I said Messi and Ronaldo would have to be up there for me in that case. Iconic, groundbreaking and massively changing their sport or what it means to be an athlete is what I've gone with.

How is Messi not likeable outside the sport? He is humble and has a private and modest living outside the sport compared to his wealth. He does not go around driving Supercars showing off his wealth etc

He's just fairly run of the mill imo. I really don't find him that interesting at all.
 
If a football player had to be on there then it'd have to be Maradonna. Anyone who does a bump of coke after scoring a penalty is automatically Mount Rushmore GOAT material.
 
hmmmmm. I really don't want to be American centric but it is hard not to be.

Woods, Jordan, Ali, and Pele

Jordan is probably cause of his timing more than anything. He came to the height of his fame at the same time globalization really hit. NBA players joined the olympics and Jordans get sold all over the world. Pele could probably be interchangeable with Maradona. Ali hands down although in 20 years the youths might not know what boxing is. Woods might be the weakest and the amount of the world that cares about golf is relatively small.

Bolt's influence outside of sport is relatively small. In six years I might consider Ohtani but he's still in the middle of his career.

Mount Rushmore was supposed to be the "birth, growth, development, and preservation" of the US. So it would be an interesting thought development to do that for rugby.

Birth: Rhys James as generic posh school boy
Growth: William Percy Carpmael
Development: Phil Bennett
Preservation: Johnny Wilkinson

You can debate Wilkinson or Lomu pretty hard I think.
 
hmmmmm. I really don't want to be American centric but it is hard not to be.

Woods, Jordan, Ali, and Pele

Jordan is probably cause of his timing more than anything. He came to the height of his fame at the same time globalization really hit. NBA players joined the olympics and Jordans get sold all over the world. Pele could probably be interchangeable with Maradona. Ali hands down although in 20 years the youths might not know what boxing is. Woods might be the weakest and the amount of the world that cares about golf is relatively small.

Bolt's influence outside of sport is relatively small. In six years I might consider Ohtani but he's still in the middle of his career.

Mount Rushmore was supposed to be the "birth, growth, development, and preservation" of the US. So it would be an interesting thought development to do that for rugby.

Birth: Rhys James as generic posh school boy
Growth: William Percy Carpmael
Development: Phil Bennett
Preservation: Johnny Wilkinson

You can debate Wilkinson or Lomu pretty hard I think.
Americans = Fine
American Sports = Not fine.

I can just about allow Jordan though. And, tbf, basketball is definitely popular world wide unlike the other American sports and Jordan was, id imagine, pretty key in that global appeal. Still just bouncy netball though init.
 
I can't allow any swimmers though. There can't be more than 43 people worldwide that actually watch swimming.
 
I can't allow any swimmers though. There can't be more than 43 people worldwide that actually watch swimming.
My reasoning for Phelps is more as the Olympic GOAT (debatable ofc) rather than him as a swimmer. The vast majority of sports' pinnacles is the Olympics and he's the most successful olympian of all time.
 
My reasoning for Phelps is more as the Olympic GOAT (debatable ofc) rather than him as a swimmer. The vast majority of sports' pinnacles is the Olympics and he's the most successful olympian of all time.
Yeah, I'm being harsh as the dude is obviously an Olympic great but I'm just not an Olympic guy.
 
Phelps achievements say more about the bizarre selection of Olympic events than anything. I don't rate Phelps particularly highly at all. If they had backward running, running with a wide gate, skipping, etc as olympic events, and all at different distances not requiring much different athletic ability, then bolt could have twenty golds. Plus I agree that swimming isn't a big sport.
 
Jesse Owens is one athlete who should also
Make the list of GOATs and how he stood up to Hitler's Germany.
 

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