With the Summer Olympics in Rio quickly approaching, athletes will have a chance to win for their country and also become superstars in the process. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best Olympians ever in the history of the Summer Games
1. Mark Spitz
Before a guy named Michael Phelps came along, swimmer Mark Spitz was the king of the pool. He held the record for most golds in a single Olympic games with 7, a record that has since been broken by Phelps. At the 1972 games, the games in which he had 7 gold medals, he also set a WR in each of the events. He is truly one of the best endurance
2. Jesse Owens
What Jesse Owens did was absolutely incredible. He participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics which was a ton of pressure on him. This is because the event took place in Berlin, Germany and Adolf Hitler saw these Olympic games as a chance to show his Aryan race as the “master race”. Well, Owens had other ideas. He went out there and won 4 Gold medals and is one of the most famous athletes in American history
3. Carl Lewis
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Carl Lewis was largely seen as the best Olympic athlete of all time. From the 1984 games to the 1996 games, Lewis dominated in a number of different events such as the 100 meters, Long Jump, 200 meters and more. He also had a period of 65 straight victories in the long jump, which is one of the most impressive streaks in sports. In total, Lewis had 10 Olympic medals, 9 of which were gold.
4. Usain Bolt
While some people don’t think he deserves to be this high as he has only competed at two Olympic games, in my opinion, Bolt is easily among the best Olympians ever. Not only is he demolishing records left and right and making it look effortless, but he has also gotten the gold in every single Olympic event he has competed in. That’s right, Bolt has competed in 6 events and has won the gold in all six. If he puts on a similar showing in Rio 2016, he will be hard to deny as one of the clear best of all time, and the consensus choice as the best track and field athlete ever.
5. Michael Phelps
But as of right now, the distinction of the greatest Olympian ever goes to Michael Phelps. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, and also holds the record for the most golds with 18 (double the person with the second most). He holds numerous world records in swimming and is without a doubt the best swimmer in history. He recently qualified for the 2016 games in Rio, despite being retired since 2014 and only recently making a comeback. With this qualification for Rio, he is also the first swimmer to ever make it to five Olympic games, and he is still barely older than 30.