Who would be Olympic ‘Champion of Champions’ ? (over all events)

Games Room or IMHO…? Olympics in the title, let’s go for here.

I realise that the Olympics is all about specialism and niche performance, and everyone trains exclusively for their specific event, but was curious about who would make the best overall athlete? Leaving aside team sports for a moment, if everyone competing in the Olympics had to compete in a every single individual event within the schedule, who do you think would be the overall champion? For scoring, I’d suggest, say there are 5000 competitors, that points are rewarded 1-5000 by ranking in each event undertaken and the total points added together and the lowest total is the overall winner. Or something! :slight_smile:

So, out of all current competitors, who do you think would have the best aggregate score over the entirety of all individual events?

For example, Usain Bolt is a fine athlete, but from his biography I know he can’t really swim and is scared of water, so would do poorly in the pool ( a huge event calendar), the sailing events and possibly the canoe slalom. Many other athletes are very specific to their chosen sport and would cross over poorly into other disciplines.

My guess (for the men’s) would be an already multi-disciplinary competitor, such as Alistair Brownlee. He’s got all the cycling, running and swimming well covered, to a level that wouldn’t drop too far below the specialists in each event. His weakest showing would probably be in weight-lifting, or maybe shooting (?), but I can’t see too many non-specialists being high up the list here anyhow. For women, I’d like to say Jessica Ennis, although perhaps one of her larger-build competitors in the pentathlon may beat her when you add in rowing or boxing and such.

Who would you suggest as the most rounded and capable performer across the full spectrum at the games, and why? Thanks.

Well, my two picks both got themselves a gold in fine style their respective events, so all good there.

Very interesting to note that Alistair Brownlee ran the 10k at the end of his Tri only 90 seconds slower than Mo Farah’s gold medal-winning time in the track 10k - incredible. Still think he’d be exceptional over most events.

Sports with ten or more medals (broken down in somewhat arbitrary fashion by me):

Athletics - running/walking/jumping 37
Athletics - throwing/combined 10
Swimming 34
Wrestling 18
Shooting 15
Weightlifting 15
Gymnastics 14
Judo 14
Rowing 14
Boxing 13
Canoe/kayak (sprint) 12
Fencing 10
Sailing 10
Track cycling 10

Unfortunately, these numbers include several team events. I’m not going to do the work to count individual events only, so I’ll take them as a rough indication. So, it seems to me that speed and endurance are a bit more important than strength. You need to be a good runner and swimmer. One of the beefier triathletes would probably be a good choice.

Decathletes are another obvious possibility.

Yes. The only thing there is that they don’t need much endurance. If I picked a decathlete, it would be one who is strong in the 1500m.

I think is is probably true. Decathletes, heptathletes, triathalon etc. a mixture of strength and endurance is needed, as is some hand-eye co-ordination. The modern pentathletes may be in with a shout.

I think you’d also be looking at someone not freakishly tall as that may hinder more than a help.

I called it the Centathlon in this thread. As to who would win, I’d first approach it by process of elimination.

The weightlifters and throwers are really going to struggle in the Equestrian, Sailing and endurance events. However, they could get good marks in the Diving, Gymnastics and Synchronised Swimming through intimidation and or comedy value. I suggest we give them a bye for Beach Volleyball.

There are far more endurance than sprint events, so Usain Bolt and co would have no chance.

The horsey people don’t have to be ultra fit (some of our medallists are over 50), so would not be in contention. Same goes for shooters, archers, badminton and table tennis players and sailors.

Canoeists rely on upper body strength, so are unlikely to do well in Swimming, Cycling and track events.

I think it would be between the Triathletes and Decathletes. The former would clean-up in the Swimming, but there are a also lot of Rowing, Weightlifting, Boxing, Wrestling and Martial Arts events, where the stronger Decathletes would dominate them.

I’m ignoring the possibility of injury or suicide. Really, it’s an event worthy of Caligula.

Actually, some of the swimmers might do well. Good endurance, they look pretty muscly without being too heavy, and they need good coordination to master those strokes. I bet Michael Phelps would be a decent all-round athlete.

I’d go with Chrissie Wellington - competes in Ironman within 6-7% of men: A physical phenomenon:


How Ironman isn’t an Olympic sport I have no idea. How Wellington isn’t President of Earth I’ll never understand.

Outside of her, it has to be Alistair Brownlee - 1:46mins at that level of performance, across disciplines … barely human.

I’d put my bets on one of the martial artists or gymnasts. It’s easier to take an athlete with technical skill and make them sprint reasonably than it is to take a sprinter and throw them into the Judo or fencing ring.

I’m confused. Do you mean you don’t understand why the Olympic triathlon isn’t Ironman distances, or that you’re unaware that the event has been in the Olympics for quite some time now?

I went to the Women’s Triathlon’s in Hyde Park on Saturday so I do know that event is in the Olympics. I even train at Tri distances.

I don’t understand why Ironman isn’t in the Olympics when silly stuff like beach booyah is, or even half Ironman for that matter.

Not a chance. Every person that wasn’t originally in Judo will get crushed by those who were. However, that’s one event, no big deal. The people that started in Judo are going to get crushed in ALL the other events.

“Ironman” is just a long triathlon. They have triathlon in the Olympics. What advantage is there to adding a longer triathlon, which they’d have to call something other than Ironman anyway? (It’s a trademarked name.)

Well, it’s a different event in the same sense that the marathon is a different event from the 10k. Different people will win it. What I don’t understand is why he thinks someone who competes in an ultra-endurance event would be remotely competitive across the board in Olympic events, most of which trend towards requirements for fast-twitch muscles and the ability to ignore lactic acid buildup rather than being about how much oxygen you can process.

I remember watching the some sports announcer reporting that the Falcons were going to draft the best available athlete in the mid 1980’s. He went on to say that mean the Falcons would be drafting Mitch Gaylord or Bart Connor.

I think it would be hard to analyse the chances of athletes in Wrestling and Boxing because of the weight differences.

Sure, but just how good will my archery be after the heavyweight judo champ breaks my arm? :wink:

You mean like why bother with the 200/400/800/1500/5000/10000m when there’s the 100m, ditto the swimming distances?

Maybe because it’s a different skill set.

Can you answer why you think ultra-endurance athletes are going to come out victorious in a competition dominated by anaerobic and technical events?

How many rounds of boxing would there be?