Best Outdoor and Endurance Athletes in the World
Wondering who the most bad ass mountain men, women, surfers and athletes are from around the globe? Theactivetimes.com has released the Active Times 50 (The AT50) – a list of the best outdoor and endurance athletes in the world.
The Active Times has taken on one of the largest feats in the industry: ranking athletes across multiple sporting events to determine who among them is the best of the best. Athletes were ranked by our editors and experts within their specialties: climbers by climbers, surfers by surfers, etc.
Together they are a dream team of the best natural athletes in the world.
A little more on the ranking…
The Active Times 50 (The AT50) is our inaugural ranking of the best outdoor and endurance athletes in the world. They are the leaders in the general fields (and subcategories within) that we cover: Running, Triathlon, Skiing, Snowboarding, Water Sports, Biking, Climbing, and Adventure. Even though their skills and fields of action are as different and diverse as the natural world itself, we wanted to recognize them as a group. They are like-minded, individualistic, achievement-oriented athletes dedicated to sports that take years to master — and often require great natural challenges to overcome: big mountains, steep slopes, huge waves, wild water.
The athletes were selected and numerically ranked by criteria that included: competition success (if applicable); career body of work; athleticism; skill/difficulty; degree of risk; world records; popularity in social and other networks. While the sports themselves often differ dramatically, we determined that multiple criteria tended to balance out the measuring. For instance, while high-altitude mountaineers have few formal competitions, their degree of risk is far greater than those some competitive individual sports. In our rankings, both those factors — competition and risk– are included. Athletes were ranked by our editors and experts within their specialties: climbers by climbers, surfers by surfers, etc.
Of course, any list of this nature means that we are comparing apples and oranges…and peaches, plums, and pears. But that’s the beauty of it. Kelly Slater, Lindsey Vonn, and Shaun White are all…incredible. Each athlete represents the pinnacle of a sport, and longstanding success in it. Who’s best? The AT50 is our answer.
The Active Times Top 10
1. Kelly Slater
2. Shaun White
3. Lindsey Vonn
4. Ueli Steck
5. Usain Bolt
6. Dean Potter
7. David Lama
8. Michael Phelps
9. Gretchen Bleiler
10. Jeremy Jones
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