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Posts Tagged ‘Greatest Sports person’

Defining the greatest sports person EVER is fraught with so many difficulties, connotations, levels of competence that it becomes impossible even irrelevant. Firstly there is no one who plays EVERY sport, therefore there is no way to adequately compare the physical and mental skill required to play all these sports. I personally, play both Lawn Bowls and Golf. These sports do not appear to be physically demanding – but you would be surprised how tired your arms legs and lower back feels after a three hour game of Lawn Bowls.

What these sports require to play at a competitive level is a degree of mental discipline. A quiet mind which leads to greater concentration, which in turn leads to a higher level of ability in these sports. Focus and discipline in practice, leading to greater focus and discipline in performance.

In my opinion, there has never been the degree, or amount, of competition in Golf as there is now. Interest in Golf, especially in Australia, has been high since the success of Greg Norman in the late 1980s and continues through the advent of pay TV and telecasts of tournaments from all over the world. The competition and interest in Golf can be seen through the fact that channel 10 telecast the US Open into and through morning peak viewing time.

So, Tiger Woods IS the greatest golfer who has (to this time) ever been, by virtue of the greater competition he has had to deal with compared to earlier champions; But Woods is playing in a time of greater technological difference in equipment than ever before. Equipment changes/improvements are not the sole preserve of golf, they are evident across a broad spectrum of sports. For example Bjorn Borg won 5 straight Wimbledon titles using wood framed racquets, today, players use recquets with different kinds of carbon graphte, boron what have you frames. How would Borg have done with such equipment?
In Golf, driver’s heads are larger, they are made of different metals, alloys, polymers. Shafts may be Graphite based, the list of changes to club and ball goes on. How would Sam Sneed, Water Hagen, Peter Thompson, Harry Vardon etc have been with the benefit of such equipment – we will never, nor can we ever know.

There are many other levels of discussion/debate; suffice to say that I believe that Tiger Woods is the greatest professional golfer ever, but is he the greatest sports person ever? Can there be a greatest sports person ever? I doubt it. I am simply content to sit back, watch and marvel at the exploits of sporting greats of whatever kind of sport, irrespective of sex, gender, or ability (notice how few women or ‘disabled’ sports people have been named in such discussions?) knowing that sports fans have never ever been better supplied with a choice of sport to watch, follow, and to enjoy as we are today.
Life is too short to ask why – just enjoy what you have.

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