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What makes a great sportsman?

12:10 UK time, Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Rafael Nadal joined the ranks of the all-time greats of tennis as he beat Novak Djokovic to win the US Open and complete his set of Grand Slam titles. Who do you think is a great sportsman or woman?

Nadal joins Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Fred Perry to become the seventh man in history to complete the set of majors - Wimbledon, the French, Australian and US Opens.

Other sporting greats could include Usain Bolt for his records set at the Beijing Olympics and current holder of the BBC's Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award, and World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali who was voted the BBC's Sports Personality of the Century in 1999. But who is your greatest sporting hero?

Tell us what qualities you think make a great sportsman. Is it just sporting achievements that make them great? Tell us whose achievements you admire and why.

This debate has closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think it would be difficult to beat the achievements of one the greatest Olympians in history - Sir Steve Redgrave. Diabetic, colitis sufferer who wone five Gold Medals at five consecutive Olympics. National Bobsleigh Champion in late 80s.
    His dedication and fighting spirit should be an example to us all.

  • Comment number 3.

    Tom Finney.

  • Comment number 4.

    Lance Armstrong who is a model of courage who has contributed a great deal to the fight on cancer.

    And despite the lies from the French Media never cheated.

  • Comment number 5.

    For me it has to be John Charles, welsh international footballer. A humble man of great stature who just loved the game. At Juventus he is still remembered as King John.

  • Comment number 6.

    Booby Moore

  • Comment number 7.

    Any person in the sport purely for the honour of representing their country rather than for finacial gain

  • Comment number 8.

    Rafael Nadal very good! become the all-time grand slam titles. also are sportsman and world no.1.

  • Comment number 9.

    A great sportsperson who does it for the love of the sport and not the monetary gain and and shows humility in both winning and losing. Sadly those days are long gone and sport is all the poorer for it. Nowadays they`re more interested in selling their private life to the tabloids, cheating on their partners and having an image of the " bad boy ".

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Apart from being the best - the very best - one who is gracious in winning & above all one who does NOT CHEAT.
    It' quite appaling how nearly all footballers these days pull shirts & fall on the floor in deep pain when touched. Good thing they don't play rugby or especially box.

  • Comment number 12.

    The media!

  • Comment number 13.

    Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

    Hardly any money, borrowed equipment and very little in the way of professional coaching yet his desire to represent the country at the Olympics ended up making him a sporting icon.

    It's just a shame the Olympics changed the rules to prevent people like him from competing against the professionals, the games have become less fun and much less interesting as a result.

  • Comment number 14.

    Damien wrote:
    To be honest no sports person is great, they are just big kids who never grew up doing what they liked to do at school.


    Are you bitter or just jealous ?

    Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna, Joey Dunlop and many other sportsmen are true legends and great individuals who have pushed the limits of human performance and brought joy and happiness to millions of people all over the world. They also used their positions to help other people, quite often people they'd never met, and as such are more than suitable to be labelled as great.

  • Comment number 15.

    What makes a great sportsman?
    A resolute will to win.
    Always giving 100% effort, even in minor competitions.
    Dedication to keep training when you are already the best.
    Inspiring the best from your team mates.
    Bravery to come back from serious injury.
    Being a great ambassador for your sport.
    The greatest living British sportsman has to be Tony McCoy. Champion National Hunt jockey for the past 15 years. McCoy has rode a record number of winners that is unlikely to ever be bettered. Unlike some of our other "prima donna" sportsmen, McCoy will participate in 1000+ competitions every year, and everytime he is on the racecourse, he is followed around the course by an ambulance.

  • Comment number 16.

    A great sportsman is someone who is head and shoulders above everyone else in their sport, and remains at this level for a significant period of time. It doesn't really matter about their personality or what they get up to in their private life. Tiger Woods will be remembered as one of the greatest golfers ever irrespective of the infidelities, indeed 20 years from now they will be forgotten, and what will remain in the record books is the number of major titles he won. Similarly George Best is still remember as one of the greatest footballers to ever live, despite the drinking and womanising that ended his career permaturely.

  • Comment number 17.

    What makes a great sportsman?
    "Great sportspeople" are not two words that I would generally run-together.
    "Great Sportpeople" usually have two extremely important advantages:
    1. talent and
    2. opportunity.
    So Rafael Nadal joined the ranks of the all-time greats of tennis by beating Novak Djokovic to win the US Open and complete his set of Grand Slam titles. So, did this save humanity, invent a cure for cancer, solve climate change?
    Or did it just put Nadal in possession fame and money: the stuff of Western heroes. Some cultures tend to hero worship the wrong people. e.g. The very best brain surgeon likely made far less than Tiger Woods (at his height). And while you're thinking about this, think about how much the domestic spouse gets for all HER domestic chores, including the rearing of children. I think you will agree that our society labels her neither heroic or worthy.
    Don't get me wrong, I like sports; I can appreciate and cheer for a great athelete, but let's try to keep things in perspective.
    I don't have a greatest sporting hero because sport (to me) is not the stuff of heroism?
    My definitions of hero:
    - exceptional staying power, courage & loving compassion e.g. One who knowingly and willingly lays down his life for another or for a just cause.
    Those of you who disagree with me can just go buy yourselves a "hero" sandwich.

  • Comment number 18.

    Come on, how can we forget twice winner of the olympic decathlon Daley Thompson?

    Unfortunately, what makes a great sportsman is a complete and utter dedication to the sport which nobody else is willing to compete with. This dedication is what makes the individiual concerned rather dull outside the sport.

    There is, happily, a small pantheon of interesting sporting greats; and Daley Thompsonm is one of those. I would put Babe Ruth & Ian Botham in there, too.

    So if you make your test of a great sportsman as being great outside the sporting arena as well, you start to run out of suggestions very quickly.

  • Comment number 19.

    What makes a great sportsman?

    Dedication to the sport, and NOT its monetry rewards, which basically, fundamentally and factually excludes premiership footballers.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Sachin Tendulkar.
    The greatest batsmen ever after Bradman,at his peak after 20 years in the game and above all,a perfect role model .
    He is treated like a God in India and yet conducts himself with unbelievable humility.
    All you need is to see the other side of the border from India and see what cricketers can succumb to.

  • Comment number 22.

    Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play major league baseball. He put up with all the abuse, he played his game, and he broke down the barriers that held black people out of the sport before then.

  • Comment number 23.

    "A great sportsperson who does it for the love of the sport and not the monetary gain and and shows humility in both winning and losing. Sadly those days are long gone and sport is all the poorer for it. Nowadays they`re more interested in selling their private life to the tabloids, cheating on their partners and having an image of the " bad boy ".

    Those days are NOT over ! Nadal is a fantastic example of someone who IS
    gracious in both victory and defeat. And he does not do the other stuff either. Let's applaud him for the top sportsman and man that he is.

  • Comment number 24.

    A few years ago my daughter was an excellant swimmer but had to retire as we could not afford the training costs etc ; you get nothing from this country in terms of financial help for most sports so all the great sportsmen and women come from other countries than ours !! thanks to the nanny state we have lost a whole raft of potential champions ; heaven help us in the Olympics

  • Comment number 25.

    Eric Liddell a modest champion and a caring human.

  • Comment number 26.

    To my mind, a great sportsman is a person that not only distinguishes due to success in sports, but also who glorified the country where he/she is from. It’s a person who never boasts of his achievements but strives for higher results. It’s a person that became a paragon for the younger generations and that is fully devoted to his/her vacation.
    Brothers Klitchko are the boxers and sportsmen that can serve a sample of success and longing for better results.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sporting greats. Find a football team that loses every game year in year out, ridiculed by fans and other teams but the players turn out come rain come hail come shine and leave the pitch thinking positively about the next game. These enthusiasts are true sportsmen and are leagues above those professional posers who turned out for England at the World Cup.

    Also, find me a cricketer who walks when he knows he has edged a ball caught in the slips, without being told by the umpire. That is an example of a true sportsman.

  • Comment number 28.

    " Single mindness to be the best in your event or sport, and years of hard work training by the very best experts, then more and much pratice, with some good forture? The right team or event, to show-case your talent and Then you can only { maybe } become one of The greats' if you can cope with the pressure of The fame in real life, But only a few people can!!! "That is a Great Sports' person today. they give back something back to they sport and fans.

  • Comment number 29.

    There is no such thing. All modern sports have become totally about the money, and not the sport.

  • Comment number 30.

    All the men's tennis top 8 are my heroes and some below that. Why? Because they toil away through marathon 5 set matches, for hours and hours (eg Federer/Djokovic 3h 44m in US semi). Meanwhile in the women's game, nearly all the matches are a cruise in 2 simple sets (Clijsters won the final 6-2, 6-1 in 59 minutes). For this they get the same pay as men!! I don't see Harriet Harman fighting an "equal pay for equal work" campaign. Funny that.
    Moving on........
    Federer great but Rod Laver still in a class of one with two single-year grand slams several years apart(1961ish, 1968ish) and unable to compete in the intervening years due to professionalism rules.
    Steven Redgrave (for sheer strength of will), Matthew Pinsent (ditto),and dont forget Sebastien Coe (4 Olympic medals, various wins and world records), Lester Piggott (40 years at the top, great will to win), Ian Botham (swashbuckling attitude), Jason Robinson (for the anticipation every time he touched the ball), Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Andy Irvine, (ditto), Bobby Moore (for success with dignity), and my dad (for going to watch a cricket match at his old club, being called on to bat at no. 11 to make up the team, and sharing a 10th wicket partnership of about 50 runs winning the game for them - at age 60+)

  • Comment number 31.

    Usual negative stuff already, what a surprise! Is there nothing people can't be critical of?

    A great sportsperson in my view is someone that is known beyond their sport and influences other aspects of life in a positive way. Examples would be Muhammed Ali, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Ian Botham, Tiger Woods, George Best and lots more as mentioned on here.

    Note that these people are not perfect, they also have a human side and those bringing out the usual negative stuff need to remember that nobody is perfect.

  • Comment number 32.

    • 24. At 2:17pm on 14 Sep 2010, Ken B wrote:
    A few years ago my daughter was an excellant swimmer but had to retire as we could not afford the training costs etc ; you get nothing from this country in terms of financial help for most sports so all the great sportsmen and women come from other countries than ours !! thanks to the nanny state we have lost a whole raft of potential champions ; heaven help us in the Olympics

    Once again another person expecting the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their interests, Sorry Ken you want it then you pay for it, as for the Olympics who care’s.

  • Comment number 33.

    24. At 2:17pm on 14 Sep 2010, Ken B wrote:
    A few years ago my daughter was an excellant swimmer but had to retire as we could not afford the training costs etc ; you get nothing from this country in terms of financial help for most sports so all the great sportsmen and women come from other countries than ours !! thanks to the nanny state we have lost a whole raft of potential champions ; heaven help us in the Olympics

    #########################################################

    Excuse me?

    Didn't we win 19 Gold Medals at the last Olympics despite no increase in government spending on training?

    We did better because the Soviet union no longer exists, and East Germany with their 'athletes' no longer automatically taking all the glory.

    I seem to remember a sign above an Australian swimming pool 'we are not here to create A champion, but to create the environment where champions are inevitable'.

    I would say simply that a great sportsman/woman is everyone who achieves their 'personal best'.




  • Comment number 34.

    Paul Gascoigne. Eric Bristow. George Best. Alex Higgins.

    The ultimate gang to have gone on a pub-crawl with.

  • Comment number 35.

    AbouEboue wrote:
    Sachin Tendulkar.
    The greatest batsmen ever after Bradman,at his peak after 20 years in the game and above all,a perfect role model .
    He is treated like a God in India and yet conducts himself with unbelievable humility.
    All you need is to see the other side of the border from India and see what cricketers can succumb to.


    oh please! Give your "Sachin is God" banter a break! Talking about across the border, you have IMRAN KHAN a cricketing legend by any standard or scale AND building a multi million dollar, state of the art, cancer hospital providing free treatment to 70% of the patients. Not only that he has collected about Rs 500 million for the flood victims HIMSELF. Top that with a university he is building in his hometown of Mianwali!

    Makes sachin's achievements and for that matter any sportsman's achievements look like peanuts.

    For me a sportsman has to be a great on and off the field.

  • Comment number 36.

    Tennis, soccer, softball, volley ball, and basketball are great sports for women to play. Their court savvy entertains crowds.

  • Comment number 37.

    @ 17. At 1:38pm on 14 Sep 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Blah blah blah blah

    You missed the point entirely - the question was "What makes a Great Sportsman?" not what makes a hero or someone else that you admire!!!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    A good sportsman is one that carries sportsmanship and presents a good example to children.

    So this will exclude the likes of Serena Williams, Wayne Rooney etc as they are bad examples for kids.

    A great sportsman though is one who makes the sport too easy and wins things all the time. But whilst winning things is important, sportsmanship and attitude carries even more importance.

  • Comment number 39.

    A long ring finger....apparently.

  • Comment number 40.

    Being Spanish seems to make a great sportsman: Fernando Alonso last weekend, Nadal yesterday, the Spanish Football team in the summer, Contador winning the Tour de France... With all that great food and wine to celebrate, who should be happier people than the Spanish right now? And it's probably good for the economy as well.

  • Comment number 41.

    And here we go, fighting over sports as well. What makes you people so miserable?

  • Comment number 42.

    Nadal is now rich, like all successful entertainers. The playing of games for cash is business. Sport on the other hand is played purely for pleasure. So like Tiger woods he is a good business man because he is good at his job. If he continues to be good at his job he will be well paid.It has been a very long time since I have heard of a sports man. About time we started to amend the blurring between business and sport and dropped the sport bit.

  • Comment number 43.

    Easy, he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He is particularly obsessive and compulsive when it comes to winning tennis tournaments.

    Well done Rafa and commiserations to Novak, who proved himself a worthy challenger.

    Great game (unlike the women's final)

  • Comment number 44.

    What makes a great sportsman?

    Don Bradman, Bobby Charlton, Stanley Mathews

  • Comment number 45.

    Peak fitness, impeccable technique in the sport; good judgement; tenacity, courage, a drive to excel, (and to win, however badly things are going), cool temperament, generosity of spirit, respect for the rules, for the officials, and competitors; honesty; the ability to take defeat graciously, and a willingness to do the utmost when competing for their country.
    Now, shall we start with the England squad for the 2010 World Cup......?

  • Comment number 46.

    WHAT MAKES A GREAT SPORTSMAN ??
    Athleticism has got to be there from the start and some natural talents as far as tennis is concerned. The rest, one must be able to learn and absorb from a good qualified professional coach, possibly a member of one's family. Here in Britain we have witnessed many keen youngsters take up tennis but sadly lack that vital something that put them in the class of Connors, McEnroe, Federer, Nadal etc etc. I always believe our tennis players lack athleticism to really get them to the top. Say, if Gary Lineker or Linford Christie had taken up tennis instead of their respective sport, they would, more than likely, have reached the top echelon of professional lawn tennis. Could Nadal have made a world class athlete or footballer? Don't bet against it !! So, if you notice a young John Barne, Steven Gerard or Amir Khan in your neighbour, try bribing them to join your tennis club, maybe, just maybe we'll all get to the top of the mountain together !!

  • Comment number 47.

    Rafael Nadal is great champion because he has humility, he is polite and respectful, a gentleman, unlike previous champions especially the common and ubiquitous self-important Americans who fake sincerity (with the exception of Pete Sampras) and Spaniards who were nasty and rude and big headed like the narcissistic personality disordered John McEnroe. If more Spaniards could be like him (and his uncle) Spain would be a cleaner place environmentally, economically and politically. Viva España!

  • Comment number 48.

    Someone who doesn't cheat, is a good loser, and who respects their opponent whether they win or not.

    There don't seem to be very many.

  • Comment number 49.

    GAA is a great sport altho it doesnt get no coverage abroad but its still a great sport just watch the final next week and its going to be brilliant there will be near 100000 people at it

  • Comment number 50.

    good sports man is good as long as media is in favour
    like the football manager capello
    the day when england team lost the match he was bad
    he was very good especially weeks before the match want he
    so its not realy him its media
    same with others, other wise there are runnies on the streets the media dosnt know about
    so its about media knowing its not about great
    except players like Pele,Meradona,Mohammad ali
    where media needs them they dont need media
    that is called great


  • Comment number 51.

    Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. played his entire professional career with a mostly mediocre Baltimore Orioles team when he could easily have had more success and money elsewhere. A model of professionalism and integrity, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 he had this to say on his Major League record of 2632 consecutive appearances: "I always looked at it as just showing up for work every day. As I look out on this audience, I see thousands of people who do the same, teachers, police officers, mothers, fathers, business people and many others. You all may not receive the accolades that I have throughout my career, so I'd like to take the time out to salute all of you for showing up, working hard and making the world a better place. Thank you all."

  • Comment number 52.

    Humility in the face of success.

  • Comment number 53.

    Football wise Stanley Matthews take some beating. Never sent off & as far as I know never booked. He was probably fouled more in the game than the rest of the team but never retaliated. He was paid about £15 a week.

  • Comment number 54.

    Lance Armstrong
    Bobby Moore

    And to those who say that sportsmen are overpaid and the money should be spent on brain surgeons etc I say this. We watch sport because it is a form of entertainment. Watching brain surgery isnt, hence why people pay to watch sport. Some of that money ends up with the sportsmen, and thats how the world works.
    Yes it would be better if the money went to more noble causes rather than line the pockets of a privileged few, but athletes have worked their whole lives to get where they are now.

  • Comment number 55.

    In football Sir Stanley Matthews take some beating. He was probably fouled more times in a game than all the others put together but never retaliated.He was never sent off or booked as far as I know. His top wage was probably £20 per week at best. He played into his fifties & never lost his magic ball control.

  • Comment number 56.

    What makes a great sportsman
    Anyone competing at a paraolympic event (although I know there has been cheating) as they have overcome adversity to compete in sport. Tanni Grey was inspirational as well as successful.

  • Comment number 57.

    At the moment, I'd be impressed with a sportsman who doesn't cheat on his wife.

  • Comment number 58.

    "What makes a great sportsman?"

    Unfortunately, not Ricky Hatton any more... real shame...

  • Comment number 59.

    #1 "To be honest no sports person is great, they are just big kids who never grew up doing what they liked to do at school"
    You do it then - show us how easy it is.



    "Lance Armstrong who is a model of courage who has contributed a great deal to the fight on cancer."
    Not to mention the fact that he's an extraordinary athlete.








  • Comment number 60.

    #52 "Humility in the face of success."
    Fortitude in the face of failure.

  • Comment number 61.

    Given that the person has the ability, then the difference between competitors and champions is a single minded determination to win.

    Possibly the best example of this is in Steve Redgrave, the greatest olympian of all time, who literally gave up everything in his pursuit of sporting excellence; no matter how fatuous and meaningless the end result turned out to be!

  • Comment number 62.

    Steve Davis, although not numerically the greatest player ever, he certainly stands alone in the modern game by changing the nature of the way it was played.

    But, today's memories are short and often even the very best are soon discarded and forgotten; for example, take Sir Steve Redgrave, the greatest ever olympian and as a result probably also the most boring individual of all time, who once his sporting career had ended, was subsequently replaced by a parrot when he tried to move into insurance advertising!

  • Comment number 63.

    A bit of grace and humility goes a long way, unfortunately this is sadly missing in many of todays sportsmen and women, I speak mainly of football but there are some dreadfully arrogant people in the athletics and a couple in the tennis world. perhaps the more money you earn the greater the feeling of entitlement? doesn't work.

  • Comment number 64.

    Hero`s ? no ..you can have great sportspeople who are a joy to watch , but they are not in any sense hero`s . totally wrong use of the word .
    all the sports people do the job they love, who would go through pain if not for the glory of being the best , we have had many talented and wonderful people to many to number .

  • Comment number 65.

    Taking performance enhancing drugs and getting away with it.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    With our minds never ever go to sleep even while one is under comma leave apart during sleeping, we require some entertainment within ourselves to cheer ourselves of, through catching of live titanic events in the discipline of sports to do so amasses being considering such events free from corruptions to provide an exact and an actual happening of events as it is occurring in front of us. Even through the length of such actions are always limited, it keep on playing within one’s mind to pass-off much more time fully engaged with it just on remembering the same. This is extent of repercussion that is produced on us by such arranged events to entertain us.

    When I was a School boy, in order to witness a district level Football match, I had climbed a high tree to get a clear view of the game without going to home following breaking-off from the school at the end of our classes. However while absorbing the excitement of the game being played, I unknowingly caught a high transmission wire passing by nearer to the tree which instead of catching me to burn out, thrown me out of the place to fall into the ground about 30 feet below from the position I was holding in the tree without getting hurt anyway. Unable to resist the temptation of enjoying myself full I reclaimed the position in the tree to complete the rest of the match ignoring warning calls from one and all which too became a part of the game for me. That is amount of enjoyment provided to one by such events.

    The two figures that fascinated me most are Don Bradman and Muhammad Ali and others whom I adore now are often connected to these two great figures in one way or the other to draw myself immense enjoyments from such conduct of events. However, at present, with the Power of the Money fast taking over our minds as sports personalities of value, all mass entertaining games are no longer remaining as sports events but fast transforming into Gambling Houses where the most innocent General Public is duly robbed of by vested interests of everything we behold together without our knowledge, crossing the entire limits of degeneration of us. As and when we able to resist such temptation to allow buying us with notice of none but us driven by lure of getting rich without earning it, we can possibly retrieve the situation to a great extent as well as to call one a great sportsman in a particular line.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 68.

    Damien wrote:
    "To be honest no sports person is great, they are just big kids who never grew up doing what they liked to do at school."

    Answers akin to this don't answer the question. The question is what makes a great sportsman, not whether sportsmen are great. What makes a good sportsman? Just like anything in life it requires talent and hardwork in different proportions according to the individual.

  • Comment number 69.

    Noone's mentioned Phil "the Power" Taylor yet. Not a sportsman in you steriotypical view of them and maybe not the greatest role model for kids, but for being top of his game and consistant in hie form you can't fault him, he has won over twice as many professional tournaments than anyone else

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    It's very difficult now to compare sports people from different eras simply because sport has changed so much. The influx of money & the increased media coverage and intensity has not only improved standards across the boards, but it has also very much developed a win at all costs attitude simply because sport now supports a huge industry that previously didn't exist. At the same time however the attitude of a lot of the British public has not changed in that they still want their sporting heroes to be based on the image they had all those years ago. They want their winners to be modest chaps who display a Corinthian spirit and triumph with minimum effort or fuss - all very Roy Of The Rovers and Alf Tupper. It goes back to the Gentlemen/Professionals attitude that used to be so prevalent, where anybody who trained hard or earned money from sport was seen as slightly seedy, whilst Gentlemen didn't do that kind of thing. A good example would be the record breaking tennis match at Wimbledon this year when John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut after an 11 hour match. The media were only interested in celebrating this stupendous match, Wimbledon wanted to give special mementos to the players, but you could see that all Mahut wanted to do was get off court because he didn't want to celebrate anything at all because he lost. Britain loves a plucky loser, but there is a large element who never quite forgive them if they actually go on to become the best (Paula Radcliffe being a prime example). This is the attitude that holds back so many British sportsmen and women.

    There are still sporting heroes however who reach the top of their sports without the media attention. Bob Nudd and Alan Scotthorne are the most successful of all time, having been world champions in their chosen sport 4 times and 5 times respectively, and they are as normal and down to earth as they ever were. And if you want you can compete against them every week simply by paying a match entry fee just as they do - how many sports can you say that about! Yet 99% of you reading this won't have a clue who they are, despite the fact they compete in one of the biggest participation sports in the world.

  • Comment number 73.

    Winning and losing with dignity

  • Comment number 74.

    65. At 07:44am on 15 Sep 2010, krokodil wrote:

    Taking performance enhancing drugs and getting away with it.

    ===================

    Ou Krok, you cynic. Sadly in some sports, such as cycling its apparently true

  • Comment number 75.

    @ #14 Except that motor racing is not a sport - it's an engineering comeptition...

  • Comment number 76.

    74. At 10:38am on 15 Sep 2010, Sat_tire wrote:
    65. At 07:44am on 15 Sep 2010, krokodil wrote:

    Taking performance enhancing drugs and getting away with it.

    ===================

    Ou Krok, you cynic. Sadly in some sports, such as cycling its apparently true
    =================================

    True indeed.......take the olympics.......In every event......there is always......that nagging doubt........Nandrolone and growth hormones.....good race though! LOL

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    A great sports person is one that truly transcends the records of his/her sports, has the right values and is a good role model that inspires others, a true ambassador that is admired by many throughout the world.

  • Comment number 79.

    What makes a good sportsman?
    A good loser!

  • Comment number 80.

    I believe a great sportsman is, quite simply, one who performs to the best of their ability on every occasion and who does so for the love of their sport. A great sportsman takes the knocks and comes back fighting. Achievements are important, but it is far better to be honest and committed than a cheating winner.

    For me David Beckham illustrates this perfectly. Many may mock him, but his commitment to England and to the game - not to mention his talent - is something that makes me proud to be English. I would also highlight Duncan Ferguson as someone who was incredibly loyal to his club. At the end of his contract he asked to be allowed to continue to play for Everton for free, and I will never forget the look on his face during the lap of honour at Goodison after his final game when his face dropped as it clearly hit home that it was over.

    As for other sports, for me, Jenson Button deserves a mention, not just for the achievement of becoming F1 World Champion, but also for his determination in the face of bad luck and his eternal cheerfulness.

  • Comment number 81.

    It is looking increasingly like the people at the top of their game can't take the pressure. But then who would want to be the centre of attention of hordes of wanabees who don't have a life.

  • Comment number 82.

    In the current era cyclist Chris Hoy is a genuine sportsman. His personal qualities include his ability to achieve and sustain the highest level of human fitness; his dedication to his sport; his modest and unassuming manner; his self-belief; his respect for his parents/family and for the professional assistance he receives; his respect for his opponents - win or lose; his ability to turn adversity into triumph (eg: following a near-career ending crash) and a respect for the nation that so wonderfully represents. He continues to strive to be the best that he can. Bravo.

    There are so many so-called 'sportsmen/women' that do not warrant this epithet.

  • Comment number 83.

    Stuart pearce ex captain of Nottingham forest and England. A limited player but gave everything when on the pitch. I suppose thats all you can ask for,honesty and determination.

  • Comment number 84.

    This is a person who is heads above their competitors...male or female...it happens for both sexes...
    A sportsman is simply not the kind of person who shove the wealth earned from their sport and shove it into the faces of others or their 'Loved Ones'...That person is merely a 'Toe-Rag'...

  • Comment number 85.

    Being good at sport.

  • Comment number 86.

    I believe a great sportsman is one who does something great or extraordinary. There are a great many Pros who undoubtedly participate at a level exponentially higher than most of Joe Public but who go through their entire career doing nothing special. However there is occasionally that "cometh the moment cometh the man" person who does something amazing.

    I also feel that a great sportsman in many ways has to be a rolemodel as a person. Some sports persons are grossly overpaid and glamourised for being nothing special, they go out drinking and partying and cheat the system s they feel like it. What sort of rolemodel is that?

    However many atheletes equally are focused and dedicated, they put the work into training themselves and developing others whilst maintaining a firm moral compass.

  • Comment number 87.

    What makes a great sportsman?

    Being very good at a sport, I'd say.




  • Comment number 88.

    For me a great athlete is one who gives more back to society than what they take.

  • Comment number 89.

    It has to be Sachin Tendulkar for me. He has shown all the qualities of a great sportsman for over a period of 20 years in International Cricket. He has silenced his critics with his performance. He has overcome injuries. He has adapted his game to all forms of cricket. He has worked for charity institutes.
    He deserves admiration just for his passion for the game.

 

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