Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Who is the greatest Olympian ever?

Steve Redgrave
Bradley Wiggins, he of the sideburns and breathtaking pedal power, is the man of the moment on the back of yesterday's Olympic glory which quickly followed his Tour de France success.
But, and I've agonised as long as it took him to win that Time-Trial, much as I like and admire the guy, in my view he's still not the best British Olympian of all time despite now having more Olympic medals (seven) than anyone else in the UK (Chris Hoy could tie him in the coming days) so how could I place Wiggo in the best Olympian of all time top five list?
To me the man who remains Britain's greatest because he won FIVE gold medals (Bradley has four) from 1984 to 2000 is that fella who sits beside the BBC's coolest presenter John Inverdale commentating on the rowing.
Sir Steve Redgrave, who also earned a bronze, stand up and take a bow. Agreed he was helped considerably by Matthew Pinsent and others, but Redgrave stuck around for 16 years in one of the toughest sports of all and won every time he entered the Games.
If Wiggins goes on to Rio 2016, he may overtake the 50-year-old Redgrave, but he hasn't done enough just yet.
Sir Steve is rightly revered in Olympic circles and is a true Lord of the Rings.

It’s an argument you may never win.

Statistically, of course, it’s Michael Phelps, courtesy of his 19 medals — so far. But can you judge the swimmer’s claims on gongs alone?

Others may have won far fewer, but can still have worthy claims on what must be the ultimate sporting title.

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