Is Kelly Slater the greatest athlete of all time?

June 21, 2012 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: the perfect surfer?

Is Kelly Slater the greatest athlete of all time? The question was raised by his main sponsor and the answer may lie ahead. The Floridian wonder boy from Cocoa Beach has collected a few numbers. Let's see.

"So far, Kelly Slater has won 11 world titles. That's more than any athlete in any major sport ever". True, although the concept of major sport is always biased. If surfing is a major sport, what's soccer? Fair enough.

Tiger Woods conquered 10 world titles. He is followed by Wayne Gretzky (9), Muhammad Ali (9), Steffi Graff (7), Barry Bonds (7), Michael Schumacher (7), Barry Bonds (7), Walter Ray Williams Jr (7), Richard Petty (7), and so on.

"Kelly holds three Guinness World Records and the record for being both the youngest and oldest surfer to win a title. A record that Kelly himself keeps breaking". True assumption. He is "The Machine".

"Kelly has won more titles than the next three best surfers combined". Indeed, this is truly remarkable and clearly shows the quality of his surfing skills. Mark Richards (4), Tom Curren (3), and Andy Irons (3) gather only 10 world titles.

Slater's tracking record also reveals that he's won events in 11 countries and six continents. "Kelly's just waiting on Antarctica to thaw out before completing his continental sweep". Well, get an ASP World Tour stage in there, please.

Finally, "Kelly Slater was the first person to score two Perfect 10s in a single heat". Now, what do you think? Is Kelly Slater the greatest athlete of all time?

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