Originally posted by sh76
I'd put Phelps #1 easily for performance in a single event- the 2008 Olympics. But the others had to show much more consistency over a long period of time; and so their accomplishments are more impressive.
I will have to strongly disagree there. While the 2008 Olympics was the highlight of Phelps decade and most watched on TV by the general public, let's not forget he also won 6 Golds in 2004 (8 medals total) and has been dominating the International Swimming circuit since 2003 when he was 18 years old. Since 2003, he has set 37 world records.
"World Swimmer of the Year Award in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and American Swimmer of the Year Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He has won a total of fifty-four career medals thus far in major international competition, forty-five gold, seven silver, and two bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships."
Michael Phelps is by far the most dominant athlete in his sport this decade and that is saying a lot considering this is the decade that has seen the rise and fall/plateau of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. I do like the Lance Armstrong vote though, and I would likely put him second to Phelps. Had he not been inactive for the latter half of the decade, I might consider him first.
1. M. Phelps
2. L. Armstrong
3. R. Federer
4. T. Woods