Re: Most important athlete of all-time?
Originally Posted by House
Fair enough about Pele, but it is not as publicised as Lance because of the fact Lance is a star in this modern age. Merely from a public standpoint I would put people like Zidane and Beckham ahead of Pele simply because of the accessability of them around the world vs. when Pele was at his peak.
You anecdote proves nothing, that happens with anything that becomes fashionable. I'll bet I could find someone in every country in the world who hasn't heard of each of the people named on this thread so far. Is Lance THE most important athlete of all-time? By my definition he is without a doubt one of the top few because of what he has done with his success. Very few people in this world haven't been personally touched by cancer and one day if it is eradicated a big thanks will go to his fundraising. I don't consider being well known as being important.
It proves that your contention about LA's fame being widespread, is wrong.
In commercial terms, very few know that the wristband is his innovation on this side of the world.
People think it's a fashion accessory and nothing more.
The fact of the matter is that LA is not well known outside of the USA.
I don't say that to try to score a point over you - it is the simple fact of the matter.
In terms of sport, cycling and cyclists are not well known.
In this country, even after producing great cyclists like Roche and Kelly, most people if asked to name the most famous cyclist could probably only think of Merckx.
Hinault, Indurain, LeMond, Armstrong name's mean nothing to the great unwashed.
Throw in the fact that cycling's notoreity is miniscule compared to soccer, tennis, F1, rugby, LA has even less chance to be recognised by the wider public on a worldwide stage.
None of this takes away from the fact that LA is widely known in the USA.
Nor does it mitigate the fact that he has raised a lot of money, which is very commendable.
It does show that, within the context of this discussion, LA (and Eddy Merckx
to a lesser extent) perform in a minority sport and thus will enjoy less recognition afforded to those in more high profile sports.