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Who are the World's Fittest Athletes?

Who is the fittest athlete of all time? For some, the fittest is the athlete with the highest aerobic (endurance) capacity. However, fitness should not be defined by just one ability, there is a range of components and abilities that make up fitness, and most sports require the athletes to be proficient at many of these.decathlete

Being fit for a sport requires that the athlete reach or exceed the level of competence in just the fitness capacities of that sport, which makes it hard to compare athletes from different sports. See information about testing for the fittest athlete and some more candidates for the title.

The fittest guy will not necessarily be the world's greatest athlete, a title that requires not only superior fitness but exceptional sporting skill and possibly other attributes. See the discussion on the world's greatest athlete. You may also be interested in reading about the Fittest Sports, which looks at which sports are considered to have the fittest athletes.

Every now and then someone tests, compares and analyzes athletes, and comes up with a list of the fittest and label someone as the 'fittest athlete in the world', or something similar. We have found several of these lists of the world's fittest athletes, and not surprisingly they do not agree. Some lists are limited to a certain sport, region, or time period. Comparing athletes across sports and over time to find the fittest athlete ever is very difficult, and possibly impossible. Still, many have tried.

With fitness being a difficult thing to define, these lists are always controversial. Here are some lists of the fittest individual athletes.

'Fittest Athletes' Lists

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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