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Old 05-10-05, 05:58 PM   #1
jedione12
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Most important athlete of all-time?

There was an interesting read in playboy's june issue where they interviewed Lance Armstrong, mentioning him as possibly being the most important athlete of all-time. I guess I never really thought of him like that before, but after reading through, this guy overcame 12 tumors, goes on to win the Tour de France 6 times in a row, and helped raise close to $40 million for cancer by selling those simple yellow bracelets for $1 each...he has my vote.

Just wondering what everyone else's opinion is?

Chris P.
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Old 05-10-05, 06:19 PM   #2
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Jackie Robinson

He broke the race barrier in Major League Baselball. His foundation provides four-year college scholarships to hundreds of minority students... with a 97% graduation rate.
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Old 05-10-05, 06:23 PM   #3
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How about Jack Lalanne?

He probably got more people to get off the couch and participate in exercise that improved health than almost anyone else.
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Old 05-10-05, 06:32 PM   #4
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You would need to make a list. Jackie Robinson would go on it, Jim Thorpe, Lance, Phiddipides, there must be a couple I've forgotten.
I'm not going to even try to say one is best.
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Old 05-10-05, 06:44 PM   #5
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Jackie Robinson here, too. I would say Lance is up there though. Certainly one of the most inspirational.
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Old 05-10-05, 08:58 PM   #6
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Lance embodies an amazing mix of talents: personal achievement, team achievement, leadership, strategist -- even statesmanship, considering the venue. His accomplishment represents years of commitment, one day at a time, starting out from even lower than the bottom rung on the ladder; and, he broke through some traditional thinking with new training methods. The competition, and even the organizers of the event, probably have been more organized, dedicated and united in the goal of eliminating his chances than probably was ever faced in the past.

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Old 05-10-05, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ofofhy
Jackie Robinson here, too. I would say Lance is up there though. Certainly one of the most inspirational.
I'm definitely not taking anything away from Lance. He's my current favorite athlete, too. His cycling career may be drawing to a close, but he is far from finished with his life's work.

I offered Jackie Robinson as an example because his contributions off the playing field are every bit as important as what he did in the game. When he broke the barrier in baseball, he changed the minds of millions of baseball fans, thus helping to change the mindset of our nation.

On the other hand, there are many gifted athletes who may produce legendary statistics within their chosen sports, but they bring very little integrity to the game... or life in general.
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Old 05-10-05, 10:20 PM   #8
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Johnny Damon. Those two home runs, including a grand slam, to put the nail in the Yankees' coffin in game 7. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

Of course, I consider the Red Sox winning the World Series up there with my wedding day and the birth of my children as the greatest events of my life. I understand not everyone feels that way -- or even knows what I'm talking about!
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Old 05-10-05, 10:30 PM   #9
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Me! Well, to me, anyway.
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Old 05-10-05, 10:42 PM   #10
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I, too, have to say Jackie Robinson.

Very high on that list would be Jesse Owens, as well.
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Old 05-10-05, 10:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suntreader
Jackie Robinson

He broke the race barrier in Major League Baselball. His foundation provides four-year college scholarships to hundreds of minority students... with a 97% graduation rate.

Jackie Robinson gets my vote.
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Old 05-10-05, 11:03 PM   #12
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I've always admired Ted Williams also. One of the all-time greats but took time out to serve his country in two wars. True hero.
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Old 05-10-05, 11:04 PM   #13
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Brett Farve...
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Old 05-10-05, 11:12 PM   #14
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Jesse Owens - 1936 Berlin Olympics

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Old 05-11-05, 12:11 AM   #15
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Important to who?...If within their own sport. Gretsky - hockey, jordan - basketball, Ali - boxing

Beyond jackie and possibly lance most athlete listed haven't done anything important beyond their own sport imo. And if by important you possibly mean famous, 'ain't nothing more famous than ali'....Jackie for sure for obvious reason, but what about jack johnson, he dominated a sport owned, run, watched and played by white people, beyond the sport he was his own entity in helping music, dancing and interacial relationships become public.

Football is the sport of heroes (a little sarcasm there), every ten years some new quarterback has revolutionized something (little more sarcasm) within the sport and made an impact, until 10 more years from now. Beyond all that hype I really can't think of anyone in football who has done anything 'great' beyond the sport they play.

For me personally, athletic heroes come and go, very few do anything truly meaningful. Not to say their aren't a few that did, but from what I have seen 'those' are usually unsung and underappreciated.
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Old 05-11-05, 12:42 AM   #16
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Muhammad Ali... hands down.

He made an impact on everyone who lived during his generation and after... he touched everyone around the world more than any other athlete.

He was stripped of his championship in his prime, and for 3 years did not give up his fight to stand up for his beliefs... came back and won the heavyweight championship.
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Old 05-11-05, 12:53 AM   #17
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i think people will be talkign abut bret farve 20 years from now i know i will be...
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Old 05-11-05, 01:11 AM   #18
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Lance gets my vote, you have to remember that except for Cuba, no one else cares about baseball. But Lance, and proiminent bike racers in general, are well known worldwide. And Lance has overcome cancer, has overcome being born into the working class in the US, which is not all that easy to do, and is about to win his 7th Tour I hope! I hope!
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Old 05-11-05, 01:55 AM   #19
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Pele. Greatest footballer of all time.

Jim Thorpe, Lance, Jesse Owens, Ali etc - they're all good.

Who is Brett Farve?
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Old 05-11-05, 02:20 AM   #20
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Real football, not soccer. thats who brett farve is.
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Old 05-11-05, 04:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Real football, not soccer. thats who brett farve is.
Australian Rules Football? Rugby Union? Gridiron? Rugby League? Is it a sport where players kick the ball?

Soccer comes from 'Association Football'.
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Old 05-11-05, 06:06 AM   #22
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Babe Ruth...a larger than life figure who elevated professional sports, here in the States, to an entirely new level.



Honorable mention...

Jesse Owens...and also, the brave German track athlete (name?) who befriended and encouraged him.

Muhammad Ali

Also, on more of a personal level...the truly great Roberto Clemente
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Old 05-11-05, 06:59 AM   #23
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Pro athlete..Babe Ruth. The name and personality everyone knows.

Amature athlete...Jim Thorpe or Jessie Owens.

Steve
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Old 05-11-05, 08:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Important to who?...For me personally, athletic heroes come and go,
That's why I picked Jack Lalanne.

To me, the most important athlete would be the one who got me to be an athlete because being is more important than watching any day.

It could be Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali or Garry next door.
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Old 05-11-05, 08:38 AM   #25
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Tinker Juarez, Ned Overend, Carl Ripken - showing that you don't have to be in your 20's to still play.
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