OpinionProduct NewsWorld's Best Athlete?

FasterSkier FasterSkierApril 20, 2004

Today, as the FasterSkier.com staff was browsing the internet looking for the latest in cross-country ski news, we came across a poll on ESPN.com asking the question “Who Is The World's Greatest Athlete?” They gave a list of 64 athletes in an elimination bracket, and asked their readers to vote for the best athlete in each match-up. The eventual winner will be crowned 'World's Greatest Athlete.'

We browsed through the names – full of football players, basketball players, etc – and as we scanned, we were already composing a nasty email to ESPN in our collective mind:

“Your list of athletes is glaringly biased towards sports that are on American TV. How can your list not include any cross-country skiers? Skiers are known to be among the fittest endurance athletes in the world, and the sport also requires a combination of speed, strength, coordination, stamina and technique unrivaled by any sport….” Blah, blah, blah – our minds were racing.

But then as we neared the bottom of the list, we were pleasantly surprised, almost shocked, to actually see a skier listed. Per Elofsson was there, going up against tennis player Roger Federer in the first round.

We admit that it can be debated whether Elofsson is even the best skier in the world, never mind the best athlete. But we at FasterSkier would like to suggest that all skiers band together and do our best to get Per crowned 'Worlds Best Athlete.' If nothing else, maybe if Per becomes a 'Cinderella story' in the tournament we will raise awareness for our sport a little bit in the mainstream sports world. It's worth a try!

Vote Early and Vote Often and Tell Your Friends

Vote For Per Elofsson: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=degree/federer_elofsson

Poll homepage: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=degree/male/athlete/2004

The only unfortunate thing is that if he wins, Elofsson will have to go up against Lance Armstrong in the second round. A tough decision, but we suggest going with Per – image the stir that beating 'Big Tex' would create!

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