Sports | September 22, 2017 5:00 am

Who Are the World’s Fittest Athletes?

Sports Illustrated ranks 50 athletes by their physical conditioning.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the UEFA Champions League 2017-18 match between Real Madrid and APOEL FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 13 September 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
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Physical fitness is measured differently from sport to sport. How do you compare athletes? Can you compare fitness levels of a gymnast to a rower, or a boxer to a basketball player? Well Sports Illustrated decided to level the playing field by talking to trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and performance experts to come up with the top 50 fittest men and women across sports right now.

Athletes were considered based on performances over the past year (12 months) but also on demands and risks of the respective sports, longevity and training exercises. Physical benchmarks were taken into consideration too, such as speed, strength, endurance, agility, flexibility and power.

So who is number one for men? Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s famed footballer. His training “embodies every aspect of physical and mental conditioning,” Sports Illustrated writes.

Final touches ?

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Other men on the list include Los Angeles Rams player Connor Barwin, three-time Olympian weightlifter Kendrick Farris and tennis star Rafael Nadal.

As for women, number one is 20-year-old Simone Biles, who won five gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics, including leading the team in the all-around competition. Her training regime is demanding, and it makes her an “unreal, unmatched and all-around athlete,” writes Sports Illustrated. 

National Bikini Day ✨

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Other women on the list include rower Helen Glover, surfer Sally Fitzgibbons and Paralympic track and field competitor Tatyana McFadden.

You can check out the whole list at Sports Illustrated