The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

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The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 8:54 pm

After Bradley Wiggins's TDF win many have said he is the Greatest British Sportsman of all Time.

Now I would say it puts him in contention. But I am interested to find out who the 606v2 nation thinks is 'The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time'
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by GSC on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 9:04 pm

Brian Clough
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 9:19 pm

Wiggins achievement is fantastic, there's no getting away from that fact. However, to win such a historical event which requires such high physical demands so easily, makes me question whether or not this win can propel him into being the greatest British sportsman of all time. The GC this year was poor, there is no doubt about it. If there was a year to win this event....it was this year. This was because there was a distinct lack of competition and aided by the fact that there was over 100km of time-trial, which is suited to Wiggins strengths. To win Tour de France, the most gruelling and toughest event, basically without being tested and winning by a margin of over 6 minutes supports my view. Sport is all about competition, without it, there is no sport. Wiggins beat who was put in front of him, that is not his fault, however when you compare his achievement to other British successes and the fierce, fought rivalries they had to endure to beat their opposition is the reason why Wiggins cannot be classed as the greatest.

I know some people will disagree but that's my opinion. Wiggins has won and it's fantastic. I'm delighted for him and his family and of course Team Sky who have dominated the tour.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 9:52 pm

John I think you may also be forgetting all of Wiggins's track achievements as well. Olympic golds etc. This TDF win has just propelled him into the public eye, he was a great sportsman before.
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by lostinwales on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 11:00 pm

There are probably as many ways of working out who are the greatest of all time as there have been world class athletes. My money is still on Redgrave but Wiggins is very very good

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 11:09 pm

Redgrave, but Wiggins is up there, Bannister too
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 12:11 am

Steve Redgrave, Seb Coe, i'd like to say Nick Faldo but golf...

If singing was a sport we'd be well up! Erm
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 12:23 am

I love Seb Coe but I'm not sure I'd put him in the sane league as Redgrave, hard to call though what he has done for sport after retirement might qualify him too. I ran middle distance at school so on a personal level he was a bit of a sporting idol
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 12:50 am

These types of discussions (including GOAT discussions on the Tennis thread), makes me wonder that the Homo sapien mind is inherently reductive.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 12:51 am

That or whether?
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 12:59 am

Fair point.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 1:04 am

We probably are. We understand that this is so subjective that a "true" answer doesn't exist but it's fun to discuss these great athletes anyway Smile
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 1:13 am

I think this stretches beyond sport we have for example:
The Time Magazines "Man" of the year - which has been changed to The Time Magazines "Person" of the year.
Oscars - the "best" actor / actress of the year.
Nobel prizes - the most "deserving" person(s) in Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Peace ... (Obama winning the Nobel Peace prize for becoming the first black American president seemed a strange one).
Discussions on who was the greatest King or Queen or President.
Discussions on who were the most important people of the 19th century, twentieth century etc.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 1:16 am

But on the other end of the spectrum we have inherently non-reductive things like, I'd argue, sport and music and literature in the first place!
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Jul 2012, 1:32 am

I think we all have a tendency for reductivist thinking but we also have a tendency to want to be heard, to be unique, different etc - conflicting tendencies. Anyway I think I might have taken this thread off-topic Smile

In terms of greatest sportspeople - I would say it would be those sportspeople that would appear in a book detailing the history of their sport. If a book could be written about the history of "British sport" - then the sportspeople getting a mention in that would be the people that should be mentioned on this thread.

In the cycling section of this hypothetical book on the history of British Sport - Bradley Wiggins would certainly get a big mention. Anyway there is still one more stage to be completed in this years TdF. Hopefully Team Sky can deliver the Manx missile to the front when they get to the Champs-Elysee.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by dummy_half on Mon 23 Jul 2012, 1:27 pm

To be honest, it's pretty well impossible to define a greatest British sportsman, in part because of the diversity of sports and in part because it is very difficult to undertake a comparison between someone dominating a sport that only Britain and a couple of other countries take seriously (say Joe Davies or Stephen Hendry in snooker or Phil Taylor in darts) compared with someone does well at a truly international sport (Coe or Daley Thompson in athletics, Faldo in golf, Moore and Charlton in football). Wiggins, Hoy and Redgrave fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum.

One thing I think it is reasonable to say is that Wiggins is having one of, if not THE, best year of any British sportsman I can remember - winning Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandie, Dauphine and now the Tour itself. So far, basically every serious stage race that suited him other than Volta do Algarve (where he came 3rd). Even if he fails at the Olympics, it's been an astonishing season for him.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Azabache on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 2:16 pm

I'm not sure that I follow the assertions made a while back that this wasn't a great Tour because the gaps were so large. In any year the winner can only win it; it's not his fault if the runners up can't catch him!

I personally think that the main factor here was the superb, well-reconnoitred team support. Shades of the old US Postal/Discovery.

Only on one occasion did I see Wiggins (mildly?) stressed.

Maybe, like Evans, he won't win it again.

But he's won it.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by dummy_half on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:46 pm

Azabache wrote:I'm not sure that I follow the assertions made a while back that this wasn't a great Tour because the gaps were so large. In any year the winner can only win it; it's not his fault if the runners up can't catch him!
....
Maybe, like Evans, he won't win it again.

But he's won it.

Agree with your first statement. It wasn't a great Tour in terms of GC, but that was because:
1 - Wiggins was too strong overall and
2 - The only guy who appeared to have similar capabilities in the mountains was his team mate

As for your other comment, perhaps Wiggins won't win it again (although given how well he's done this year, there's a decent chance he will even on a more mountainous route), but no-one* can take away the record of being the first British winner of the event

*Well, other than WADA if they detect something.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:48 pm

If the route is very mountainous, will Sky stick with Wiggins or will they and Wiggins decide Froome is the most likely winner and support him?
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 3:53 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:If the route is very mountainous, will Sky stick with Wiggins or will they and Wiggins decide Froome is the most likely winner and support him?

They aren't no mugs. If the route is more likely to produce Froome as the winner, Sky and Wiggins will know and back him. Wiggins is an honest bloke, he knows when the time for Froome will be
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by dummy_half on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 4:02 pm

CJ

I suspect they know enough of cycling history to say that they 'will let the road decide' - La Vie Clair said that first regarding Hinault and Lemond, with Telekom adopting a similar attitude in 97, when Ullrich turned out to be way stronger than Riis.

Tactics shouldn't be too rigid - you only need to look at last year, and Wiggins crashing out of the Tour. Also, they did make a tactical mistake in the Vuelta that perhaps cost Froome the victory (by having him do domestique duties for Wiggins on a bad day, rather than sticking with Cobo). They should have learnt from that, and from the successes of this year, and so I would anticipate them getting someone into contention in even a very mountainous race.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Azabache on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 4:20 pm

Re "WADA", I'm praying we don't get unwelcome news in the coming weeks.

I'm still recovering from the Contador decision-but let's not start a thread!


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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 4:21 pm

I doubt they will
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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by dummy_half on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 4:44 pm

Azabache wrote:Re "WADA", I'm praying we don't get unwelcome news in the coming weeks.

I'm still recovering from the Contador decision-but let's not start a thread!


Aza
I wasn't meaning to imply anything, it's just that a couple of times in recent years (Landis and Contador), the guys who stood on the top step of the TdF podium are not the guys now recorded in the record books as the Tour champions of that year.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Guest on Thu 26 Jul 2012, 7:30 pm

Azabache wrote:Re "WADA", I'm praying we don't get unwelcome news in the coming weeks.

I'm still recovering from the Contador decision-but let's not start a thread!

Yep, I heard that during the rest day Wiggins had secretly delivered to him from across the channel a pork sausage.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 27 Jul 2012, 6:57 pm

Sky will regardless of the route go out with the intention of Wiggins being the leader but I think Froome will be given more licence to attack if he's able to.

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by gboycottnut on Sat 04 Aug 2012, 11:14 am

Phil Taylor ?

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Re: The Greatest British Sportsman of all Time

Post by SecretFly on Wed 29 Aug 2012, 3:05 pm

David Bowie.





Oh sport? Em................. no, not Wigginses I'm afraid.

That was kinda funny as it developed actually - during the Olympics. The BBC were tripping over themselves trying to work out who on any particular day was the present Greatest British Sportsman of All Time.

It all began nicely with auld Steve Redgrave in an unassailable lead - more gold than an Egyptian mummy and more likely to be able to melt it all down and actually spend it too. Then Wigginses arrives from the Shire with his furry sideburns, his Hobbit lingo and hairy feet...and he instantly surpasses..................em, who? - we've forgotten the other guy already. Sir Sebastian Redlineker or something..anyway...................... who?

Wiggines? Who is he? He's already been surpassed by the other rider who was always the Greatest Ever British Sportsman - Sir Chris Hoy.

And Mo Farah is better than all those anyway as he had a bigger crowd and he was part of the Super Saturday Legend............ Alls fair in love and instant revisionism. Wink

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