Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Who's The Greatest.

Mohammed Ali was a lovely boxer, blessed with exceptional skill, speed and resilience. I was a big, big fan. I remember, as a young lad, rising in the middle of the night to listen to his totally unexpected demolition of Sonny Liston on the radio in the middle of the night, when he first became a world star. He was probably the best boxer of my lifetime. But I've never thought that Ali (or Clay as he was when he beat Liston) was the greatest sportsman ever. But this raises the question about who the greatest is. Personally, I think Usain Bolt has a very good claim.

When I search back through my sporting memories, I cannot recall any other occasion when I have been as amazed by sporting performance. Today, the Telegraph seems to be suggesting that Kenensia Bekele is Bolt's equivalent. I've heard others suggest that Tiger Woods and Roger Federer may be. All these are wonderful sportsmen. But for me, the greatest is Usain Bolt.


Anonymous said...

what about bob beaman glyn

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

It depends on how much they dominate their sport, who the opposition is, and the manner they do it. I would suggest Phil Taylor (darts) and Joe Davis (snooker) as rivals to Bolt and Ali. Then you have cross-discipline stars such as John Surtees (only world champ on four and two wheels).

penlan said...

Although it is a team game,no-one has ever dominated a sport like Dr WG Grace.Among his myriad records,he scored a hundred first class centuries before anyone else scored fifty.The turnstyles read-"admission sixpence-if Dr Grace plays,a shilling".

Such was his impact on public life,he has a chapter in Lytton's Eminent Victorians-immediately following Gladstone.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - A good entry. His performance would have left spectators rubbing their eyes in disbelief as well.

Roman - Phil Taylor a greater sportsman than Usain Bolt! Even The Power would chuckle at that one!

Penlan - How do you reckon he would have coped with Curtley Ambrose on a dodgy pitch as dusk fell? But another good entry.

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

Well, in terms of 'athletes' - yes, Bolt is king. Its the age old argument of what is a sport. Is chess a sport? Is synchronised swimming a sport? Is snooker a sport? I personally think that anything where physical skills, power or dexterity are required - AND the scoring is by impartial points, not artistic impression - its a sport. So for me, darts, golf and motor racing are sports, but chess and ballroom dancing are not. There is the anomoly of boxing, which is very physical but points are awarded on a judges opinion, but I'll plump for sport on that.