Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby CoachKoby » Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:12 pm

This is a twist on that other thread of Greatest Athletes of the Century. But what are your thoughts on the track athletes (of any country) who have had the greatest impact on the sport of T & F. Not just the performances but all aspects of the sport.
CoachKoby
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby 197hjsteve » Wed Jun 25, 2003 6:38 am

Jesse Owens, Charlie Paddock, for starters
197hjsteve
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:45 am

Three words:

Jackie Joyner Kersee
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 1:55 pm

AS unpopular as he is with some people, Carl Lewis was a tremendous force in the professionalization of the sport. His nemesis, Ben Johnson, had more effect on track in the last 15 years than anyone.
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby 197hjsteve » Wed Jun 25, 2003 2:08 pm

for revolutionary changes to their respectivre events:

Parry O'Brien
Dick Fosbury
197hjsteve
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 3:50 pm

how bout Seb Coe?
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby swamprunner » Wed Jun 25, 2003 5:20 pm

Zatopek, Ryun, Rono, to name a few. These guys truly took the standards of their day to new levels.

Rono's performances in 1978 have to stand out as one of the most incredible displays of running prowess ever. Too bad he could never make more of his talent.
swamprunner
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:32 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby oldvaulter » Wed Jun 25, 2003 6:33 pm

>AS unpopular as he is with some people, Carl
>Lewis was a tremendous force in the
>professionalization of the sport.

I may be in a minority -- which surprises me -- in feeling this way, but I always felt that far from being obnoxious and arrogant, Carl was almost always gracious and generous. In his interviews he unfailingly gave credit and acknowledgment to his competitors and coaches. I thought he was a class act all the way. Confident, sure, most great athletes are. But not arrogant in the way he is often accused of being. Nothing like today's low-class trash talkers. The more I heard people refer to Carl as arrogant, the more closely I watched him in his interviews. I could never see anything to justify the accusations. Before the infamous drug bust, I remember Carl saying of Ben Johnson, "he's a 9.8 sprinter, I'm a 9.9 sprinter."
oldvaulter
 
Posts: 970
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am
Location: rural Northern California

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:38 pm

For sheer galactic impact:

Paddock
Owens
Bannister
Brumel
Hayes
Matson
Ryun
Lewis
Bubka
Radcliffe
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:39 pm

. . . and MJ
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:12 pm

don't forget Zatopek, Nurmi, Oerter & JJK
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby oldvaulter » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:43 pm

>the track athletes (of any country) who have had the greatest impact on the sport of T & F. Not just the performances but all aspects of the sport.

Of those who have transcended the sport itself and become icons in the greater public arena, I'd have to go with Bannister. You don't have to be involved in track and field in any way to know what the "four-minute mile" signifies.

But all the names mentioned so far in this thread, taken together, certainly do constitute the biggest names in the sport over the last century. But measuring the "impact" of an athlete is not easy. Impact on who? In what way? The impact of event-changers like Parry O'Brien and Dick Fosbury, mentioned above, is quite obvious because after them their events LOOKED different. You could easily see their influence. For some of the others, it's less obvious. JJK for example stands as the paragon of T&F athletes, in my view, but who looks like her? (Much as they'd love to.) It's hard to measure her "impact on the sport" because no one has been able to come close to following in her footsteps.

But I'll go ahead and add one more name to the illustrious list thus far compiled: FloJo. The very fact every one of you knows exactly who I mean though I have used a one word nickname, tells all.
oldvaulter
 
Posts: 970
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am
Location: rural Northern California

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Per Andersen » Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:32 pm

> For revolutionary changes to their respective events.
George Horine. Without him no Western Roll. Without Western Roll no Straddle.
Per Andersen
 
Posts: 3736
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby racewalker » Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:07 am

Daniel Bautista in the walks, esp. the 1976 Oly 20k.
racewalker
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:00 am

>>AS unpopular as he is with some people,
>Carl
>Lewis was a tremendous force in
>the
>professionalization of the sport.

I may
>be in a minority -- which surprises me -- in
>feeling this way, but I always felt that far from
>being obnoxious and arrogant, Carl was almost
>always gracious and generous.

I always liked him. He was in the last half of his sprinting career when I first got involved in track, so he was a natural "hero". He often said things that rubbed people the wrong way, but those people needed it anyway. Most of the time, he turned out to be right. Like criticizing the sport's management in the USA -- boy, he was right on! And when he turned down the IAAF's invitation for the Athlete of the Century award to make a stand on drugs, most people didn't understand that he gave up some pats on the back in order to try to influence the new heads of the IAAF and IOC. Could you have imagined Cassell ever doing that?
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:10 am

>Daniel Bautista in the walks, esp. the 1976 Oly
>20k.>>

What did he do, invent a new way to cheat?
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 26, 2003 1:23 pm

Lasse Viren was unbeatable at 5k and 10k at two different Olympics. Thats about as good as anyone has ever done or could hope for.

There simply was no way to beat the guy at the OGs in those events. You couldn't set fast enough a pace to break him and couldn't out sprint him.

Although it would have been great seeing Pre try and break him in 1976.

Say what you want about possible blood doping but Lasse brought peaking to an absolute art form.
Guest
 

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby racewalker » Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:51 am

>>Daniel Bautista in the walks, esp. the 1976
>Oly
>20k.>>

What did he do, invent a new way
>to cheat?

Yawn. Oh, excuse me. Did you say something?
racewalker
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:31 am

Re: Greatest Track Athletes of Any Century

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 30, 2003 3:47 pm

Jackie Joyner-Kersee for several reasons...

7,291 pts, the top six performances of all time in the heptathlon (all over 7,000 - a barrier that only one other person has managed to break), 284 points ahead of her nearest rival on the all-time lists (Larisa Nikitina-Turchinskaya), second and third on the all-time lists for the Long Jump with her two 7.49m jumps (just 3cm behind the world record), beating Heike Drechsler's best legal jump.

Her personal bests are:

100mh - 12.61s
HJ - 1.93m
SP - 16.84m
200m - 22.30s
LJ - 7.49m
JT - 50.11m
800m - 2:08.51

Potential total score - 7654 (!!!!!!!!)

Such was her dominance, that in the 1988 Olympic trials in Indianapolis, she could have not run the 800m and would still have won! Of course, she did run and broke the world record (7215) before going on to break it again at the 88 Olympic Games.

As for longevity - she has plenty! After narrowly missing out on the 1984 Olympic Gold by 5 points, she continued to improve until she broke the WR for the first time in 1986 (7148). Her scores continued to world class standard, right through to 1993, where she scored 6837 (then aged 31) in Stuttgart. Her last heptathlon attempt was at the 1996 Olympic Games and although she withdrew with an injury, she would have had a very good chance at a medal.

Surely JJK has to be a VERY strong contender for greatest athlete of all time....?
Guest
 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests