Most Versatile Athlete
Worldwide, the title World’s Greatest Athlete has long belonged to the male winner of the Decathlon* (Olympics or World Championships? … not clear). While decathlons have long been the world’s only widely accepted yardstick or “standardized test” for overall athletic prowess & versatility, this title does not consider:
- Anyone not at his approx 25-30 yr old athletic peak
- Athletes who instead run Marathons, play Basketball, Football (heading goals, sacking QBs, etc.), Softball, Swim Olympics distances or the English Channel, Weightlifters & Strong (wo)men, or those who Box, do One-Hand-Chinups or Row/Wrestle/Bike/Skate … you get the picture.
Decades ago Dale Harder started developing a way to grade nearly all athletic performances by anyone of any age/sex so they could be compared to each other. By collecting decades of data covering hundreds of athletic activities, and hundreds of thousands of performances covering all ages and both sexes, he made his life’s work analyzing and creating models and methodologies adjust in a methodology so that any Athletic Feat can be normalized and compared to other athletic feat of any other athlete (irrespective of age/sex) in any other athletic activity.
In addition to comparing individual athletic performances, by combining an athlete’s performances in different events (normalized for age/sex, the event and the performance), SSR is able to more broadly and completely determine and recognize the World’s Most Versatile Athletes as no other organization is able to.
To be considered, each athletic performances must be accomplished during that year at a public event sanctioned by an internationally recognized governing body for that sport whether High School, NCAA/college, Professional (NFL, NBA, FIFA, etc.) or Masters, with published results. SSR is also willing to accept & judge videoed (with continuously running time-stamp) performances with validated signed 3rd party witnesses, especially for events that have few sanctioned competitions easy to attend (e.g., one finger pushups).
In 2016, we recognize 2 athletes as 2015’s World’s Most Versatile Athlete:
- Male: Ben Smith USA (25, 5’11” 195lb) – 4235 points
- Female: Katrin Davidsdottir Iceland (22, 5’6.5” 152lb) – 3368 points
In addition to Crossfit athletes Ben & Katrin, we give 2015 Honorable Mention to top athletes in other areas:
- Track & Field, Men: Ashton Eaton USA (27, 6’1″, 185lb) – 2756 points
- Track & Field, Women: Brianna Theisen-Eaton CAN (26, 5’11”, 141lb) – 1201 points
- Feats of Strength: Joseph Ols USA (51, 6’4.75”, 199lb) – 3013 points
- NFL Football/Combine: Marcus Peters (cornerback, KC) (22, 6’0″, 198lb) – 2997 points
- College Football: Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford) (19, 6’0″, 200lb) – 1821 points
- Basketball: Chris Paul (G, LAC) (29, 6’0″, 175) – 2666 points
- Baseball: Paul Goldschmidt (FB, Az) (24, 6’3″ 225lb) – 2167 points
In 2015, we recognize 2 athletes as 2014’s World’s Most Versatile Athlete:
- Richard Froning (26, 5’9” 195lb) who achieved the highest point total without age-grading performances – 3479 points
- Joseph Ols (50, 6’5”, 195lb) who had the most points with age-grading – 3719 points
Richard is known for winning Crossfit’s competition 4 years in a row, and has been the subject of movies and documentaries.
Joseph is the repeat winner from 2013, and is a Feats of Strength competitor as well as Decathlete.
We congratulate them both, all outstanding highly versatile athletes who we considered, and all who do their best in many areas of sport!
* 3 Running events (100m, 400m, 1500m), 3 Throwing events (Shot Put, Discus, Javelin), 3 Jumping events (High Jump, Long Jump, Pole Vault), 1 Hurdle event (110m 42” High Hurdles) showing add’l flexibility & coordination. Point system from IAAF (and accepted by USATF and other national governing bodies) awarding points for each event, all 10 of which then combined to determine overall winner, records, etc.