Categorized | Multi-sport, Sports

Allen moves on in ‘Greatest Athlete of All Time’ competition

Kevin Mackinnon | Ironman

In a unique competition to decide who is the greatest athlete of all time, Mark Allen won 52 percent of the votes in the Endurance category. That means he moves on in the competition, a collaboration between ESPN Programs “SportsCenter” and “Sport Science.”

Allen’s victory came this week when voters were asked to either pick one of the five athletes nominated or add their own athlete to the list.

Mark Allen

The athletes nominated in the endurance category included:

* Mark Allen — Six-time winner of the Ironman World Championship, and he won 20 straight triathlons from 1988-90.

* Bjorn Daehlie — Winner of eight Olympic gold medals in cross-country skiing, with an exceptional VO2max, one of the highest ever recorded.

* Patrick Makau — World record holder for the marathon at 2:03:38.

* Diana Nyad — Recorded the fastest time ever swimming around Manhattan Island, and once swam 102.5 miles.

* Pam Reed — First woman to be overall winner in the Badwater Ultramarathon.

The first phase of the competition asks voters to pick one athlete from 16 different sports categories: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, boxing, combat, soccer, track and field, Olympics, endurance, auto racing, action sports and then two special categories: game changers and multi-sport athletes.

Once the winners of each category are named, the competition moves to the bracket phase, which will determine the Greatest Athlete of All Time using a “unique metric that factors in attributes such as strength, power, speed, quickness, reaction time, endurance, durability, also factoring in an athlete’s resume, clutch performances and the overall difficulty of their sport. Each athlete will be scored in each category, using a unique ranking metric that allows them to compare an athlete’s ability to his peers and also to athletes from other eras.”

In the bracket phase of the competition, Allen will square off against boxing legend Mohammed Ali on Feb. 19.

Allen, a member of the Ironman Hall of Fame, won his first Ironman world title in an epic race with another Ironman legend (and another six-time world champion) Dave Scott.

Allen would go on to win another five titles over the following six years, ending his career with a dramatic come-from behind win over Thomas Hellriegel in 1995.

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