Every professional athlete is a freak athlete to someone, somewhere. Each professional athlete not only made a living playing professionally in their sport, but are superior at what they do. Their talent is unmatched against the other top-tier athletes, when you put it in perspective. This isn’t exactly my expertise, as you guys have seen, fantasy sports is my niche. But, this topic was requested, and it sounded like a good idea, so here it is.
First off, I’d like to mention the truly “best athletes” are unknown to most. These are the people who compete in Iron Man Triathlons, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. Without a break. Those people who can do those marathons are incredible people. Their athleticism is truly unmatched.
Beside those athletes, this list is the first ten premier athletes on a list of twenty that I have compiled. Following their name is a quick description of why they belong on this list — what they have done to stand above the rest. I hope you enjoy.
1. Floyd Mayweather, undefeated boxer – His title says it all. 43-0. Undefeated. Undisputed. That record makes him the single most dominant athlete in the world of sports today. There may be great soccer plays, football players, basketball players, but Mayweather the best athlete in the world because he can’t depend on his teammates. He is the team. He brings his A-game every fight, and he’s fighting, most likely, twice in 2013. There is no one in his sport that could even come close to defeating him. That’s why he’s the best, and that’s why he’s going to retire undefeated one day.
2. LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat – I think this one is a given. The King just notched his fourth NBA MVP, and appears on his was to claim his second NBA title. He also won an Olympic Gold medal last year. He averaged 1.1 assists and 0.1 rebounds per game more in 2012-13 than he did in 2011-12. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re already playing like the best in the NBA and you are the Miami Heat (in a sense), it means a lot. James will hang around this top 10 for years to come.
3. Anderson Silva, UFC Middleweight Champion – Just like Mayweather, Silva is dominant at what he does. No one can match up with him in his weight class. Sure, Jon Jones dominated Chael Sonnen and now has a reason to think he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, but Silva has beaten Sonnen two times. On top of that, Silva’s career in the UFC is unmatched. In fact, he’s 16-0 since his first fight in the UFC in 2006.
4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings - Peterson is freak. Nine months removed from tearing his ACL on Christmas Eve of 2011, Peterson returned better than ever for teh 2012 NFL season, nearly breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing yardage record. And now in 2013, he’s aiming for 2,500 rushing yards on a 100 percent healthy knee. That’d be something. Regardless, he’s a freak of nature. 2012 was his year.
5. Usain Bolt, Jamaican Track and Field – Although he doesn’t always impress until he gets to the big show, the final race at the Olympics, Bolt is the greatest sprinter that we have ever seen. In six races, he’s won six gold medals at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012. He’s undefeated when the spotlight’s on him. On top of that, he holds the two fastest times ever recorded for the 100-meter dash (9.58 and 9.63 seconds), and holds the record for the fastest 100-meter dash at the Olympics. He also holds that same record for the fastest Olympic 200-meter dash at the Olympics (19.30 seconds), but his personal best is 19.19 seconds. He is one of the greatest athletes of all-time and will be known as the best sprinter known to man for a long, long time.
6. Jon Jones, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion – If his abusing of Chael Sonnen didn’t tell you enough, let his 12-1 record since joining the UFC (only loss by disqualification) do the talking. He has dominated his stacked weight class since coming to the UFC, and has let only three of his fights go to the judges. All of those fights were unanimously decided. Jones is up there with Silva, but what Silva has done for the sport is greater. Jones has a bright future and could one day be tops on this list.
7. Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona – What Messi did in 2012 could very well go unmatched, and he’s only 25-years-old. Simply take a look at the long list of honors and you’ll be shocked. He’s won World Player of the Year four times in a row, including 2012. This dude scored 91 goals in one year, and 73 goals in one season. Enough said. Messi is only this low because he is a soccer player. Based on pure performance, he’s in LeBron James’s neighborhood.
8. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder – With LeBron James, Durant won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. He was second in scoring in the 2012-13 season and is without a doubt the second-best player in the NBA. If Durant can lead the Russell Westbrook-less Thunder to the Finals again, it would only show his greatness. While he’s not on the same level as The King, and probably never will be, Durant is a great athlete.
9. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions – Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving-yardage record on a very, very bad Lions team in 2012. His 40-yard dash time out of college was in the 4.3 range, twice, and recorded a broad jump of 11’7”, one of the best ever recorded. He’s a freak athlete for his size, and on a better team he’d be regarded as a superior athlete in the NFL. After all, in most minds, he already is.
10. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Trout very possibly could be the most talked about player the MLB, and he’s only been in the league for a year. He’s already taken home American League Rookie of the Year and was the American League leader in stolen bases in 2012, and he was even considered to be a factor in the American League MVP race. Trout’s electrifying and simply fun to watch and he’s only getting started. That’s why he’s here.
Tomorrow’s blog post: Top 20 Athletes of 2013: Part 2