Sports physiologists don't have a system to rank all athletes. University of Texas exercise physiologist Ed Coyle said doctoral students have tried in the past "only to have their professors shut them down after months of continuous work." The Journal sought to identify the world's greatest athlete with an approach that, while not completely scientific, took a number of measures into account. A panel of five sports scientists and exercise physiologists was given a list drawn up by the Journal of 79 male athletes. Candidates had to be active in their sport and among the all-time best. (Women will be featured separately in a future article.)
The Wall Street Journal
The World's Greatest Athlete?