Kelly Slater (OT)


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Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
And for anyone who thinks formula one drivers are not a real athletes...well, your(sic) high.

You shouldn't talk bad about people who are "high". If race car driving is a sport, then people who sit on the couch smoking weed are surely athletes as well! They have to occasionally get up and walk to the kitchen, which is more than can be said about driving a car.

Seriously, though. considering things like golf and race car driving to be "sports" is probably one of the reasons 80% of our citizens are overweight. When the doctor tells people to get more exercise, they think "OK, I'll just drive the backroads to work from now on"

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
Kelly Slater couldn't carry Jim Thorpe's jockstrap.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
North Fork, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:30pm PT
Like I said, your high.


Trad climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 12:32pm PT
You might be able to put him in the running for most accomplished athlete within his given sport, but "best athlete ever"? Not even close.

Sep 22, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
Sport's entertainment, right? That means the best should be the most fun/most interesting to watch.

Slater's great but to me...


And a few others maybe...Pure entertainment.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
Domination in a sport would be the entry point of discussion:

Edwin Moses, 400 meter high hurdles:
he won 122 races in a row between 1977 and 1987 plus two gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, and the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was undefeated for exactly nine years nine months and nine days, from August 26, 1977 until June 4, 1987. He also held the world record for sixteen years from when he first broke it at the Olympics on July 25, 1976

Vasiliy Alekseyev Weightlifting:
He set 80 world records and 81 Soviet records in weightlifting.
8 world championships, 2 Olympic gold medals, In January of 1970 Alekseyev set his first world record,[1] beginning a series of 80 world records set between 1970 and 1977. He was unbeaten and held the World Championship and European Championship titles for those eight years. He was the first man to total over 600 kg in the triple event.

Aleksandr Karelin. Greco-Roman Wrestling:
he went undefeated in international competition (spanning from 1987 to 2000) until a rule change resulted in an upset loss to American Rulon Gardner in the gold-medal match at the Sydney Olympics. He was revered for his extraordinary strength and unprecedented success in international competition. He is universally considered to be the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time.
His conditioning and quickness combined with his dominance of the sport, led to him being known as "The Experiment" by much of the rest of the world. When asked why he thought he was called that, Karelin noted that others don't understand because "I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs."

He won twelve European Championships, nine World Championships, and three Olympic gold medals during his reign. Karelin's dominance is unparalleled: he won every match he entered for thirteen years and went ten years without giving up a single point.

he refinined a vicious wrestling maneuver that would make Karelin indomitable—the reverse body lift. The move was unprecedented for a heavyweight, because it requires the wrestler to lift his 280-pound opponent—a feat that was unthinkable until Karelin came along. "To execute it, Karelin locks his arms around the waist of an opponent," John Greenwald explained in Time magazine, "then lifts the wrestler like a sack of potatoes and, arching his back, heaves the hapless fellow, feet first, over his head." Following the severe impact, Karelin would descend upon his opponent. Top heavyweights so feared the move that they would roll over and allow themselves to be pinned rather than being subjected to it.

"You consider this ancient sport and this monumental man who's had a perfect career," said NBC commentator Jeff Blatnick, himself an Olympic gold medalist who lost to Karelin in 1987, "and the only thing you come up with is that he is what Hercules was to the ancient Greeks."

Just to name three

Gym climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:18pm PT
"considering things like golf and race car driving to be "sports" is probably one of the reasons 80% of our citizens are overweight."

Golf gets a lot of flack. Perhaps it's not really a "sport," but it is one hard-ass game. Look at the guys on tour--they are all cut. They work out hard, because it takes strength to drive a ball 300+ yards. It's a game of mental and physical control, and folks win million$ because many folks do know how tough the game is.

Racing: mental, nerves, and touch. I can't imagine controlling an F1 at those speeds. To think that it's not a sport is nonsense.

Now baseball...OK, I've seen some pretty athletic plays. But by and large, most players stand around for hours.

However, to blame any activity on why folks are fat is kinda off. It's that people sit and watch rather than play. Go out and shoot 18 holes of golf, and tell me you didn't get a workout.

Best athlete? A blend of mental & physical in my estimation.

Hondo on Moonlight, one of the most amazing athletic achievements ever, IMO.

Gym climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:21pm PT
Aleksandr Karelin:

He's the guy who got beat by the fat American hick from Wyoming?

Greatest athlete of all time? About as likely as the guy who wins the hotdog eating contests.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:23pm PT
Here, here, Kelly. And the problem now for Alex is the next logical steps from there!! eeyee! That ole endless loop of harder and harder climbing....
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:43pm PT
yes and here is why:
the question really should be:
best extreme/fringe/competitive- sport athlete..

so look at how many titles in a row he has won.. compare to other world cup sports.
then look at how long he has dominated both comps and pushing the limits of surfing..
look @ how much money he has earned in his chosen sport.
and then finally- if you have spent ANY decent amount of time surfing (i started before i started climbing) you will agree that the sport is: very difficult to master, and at that level also involves risking death by drowning or other as part of daily routine. I would compare extreme on sight solo climbing as being on par..

So Mr. Donini- i think you need to look deeper into the question before you scoff..

The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:47pm PT
3 main types of sports:

Man vs Man
Man vs Nature
Man vs Himself

Kurt - do some serious swell hype praying - might get some good gulfside action while you're here.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 22, 2010 - 01:58pm PT
Accomplishments in the chosen sport are one measurement. But it doesn't allow for some really talented athletes like Deion Sanders, who was both a starting World Series center fielder and starting Superbowl cornerback in 92/93.

Jordan tried baseball and sucked. The only person even close to Sander's multi sport ability was another former Atlanta player, Brian Jordan. And though Jordan started in both NFL and MLB, Deion was totally dominant in both. Won a Superbowl, should have won a world series.

Easily the best pure athlete of the 1990s.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 22, 2010 - 02:04pm PT

Yep, watched the match. They'd changed the rules, from not having to compete a bunch of times just before the gold medal match, to having to, if that was the draw.

So a fresh Gardner went up against the Russian, who had had to compete in 3 matches just prior to this match. In the match prior, his opponent scored the first point anyone had scored in 10 years.

They changed the rule back, after this competition. The Russian never complained about the situation at all.

Mountain climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
Combination of pure mental and physical ability? Alex Honnold

Ball sports are for... well, you know...

BTW way, anyone see Bristol Palin on dancing with the stars? Caught the clip on The Daily Show, and the nice thing is, if her family ever runs out of money she can easily moonlight at a club with a brass pole...


Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 22, 2010 - 02:19pm PT
Kelly Slater spotted yesterday at his favorite break:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#170805

Trad climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 02:23pm PT
For some reason I get the feeling a few of you guys have never been out in big surf, let alone ruled the badass world of competitive surfing.

Gym climber
Roca Rojo
Sep 22, 2010 - 02:48pm PT
To whomever mentioned Alex Karelin above. Props for noticing. Toss Dan Gable in there too?

To the guy that likened him to a hotdog eater that lost to some guy from Wyoming...

That was his only loss in probably 15 years of international competition.

At the world level it is super common for matches to be won 1-0, or 2-1.

He lost his one match on an obscure rule about "regripping" in OT, in teh gold medal game.

Worldclass opponents would routinely injury forfeit to avoid injury. Yes, injury.

What about the Russian pole vaulter that owned the pole.


Social climber
Joshua Tree
Sep 22, 2010 - 03:14pm PT
Those Ironman folks are pretty impressive. Marc whatshisnuts was pretty dominant back in the day.

Trad climber
San Diego, Ca
Sep 22, 2010 - 03:34pm PT
I would have to say that Kelly Slater is NOT the best athlete ever. He does win a competions if that means anything. I view this as a subjective matter and I happen to like Tom Curren, Derek Hynd, Neal Purchase Jr. and the like.

I HATE Competition surfing. It is killing the soul of surfing. There is Soul surfing and competition Surfing. Just like there are Boulder competions and Alpine or other rock climbers. To say some Comp hero is the best climber ever would be like saying Kelly Slater is the best athlete ever.

It is sad to see what competition surfing has done to the surfing lifestyle. I still see plenty of soul in the water down here in San Diego and I am sure it is else where also.


Big Wall climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 05:23pm PT
i can get in the line up but what about you?

slater sucks because laird Hamilton will always rule the surfer world.

most favorible for me is that Mike Parsons surfer dude!!!

also, those dudes who made up the billibong odyssey video are pretty bad ass!

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