Since we just finished celebrating the Fourth of July and that wonderful holiday weekend where we honor America, family and backyard grilling… here are MARC with a “C” James TOP FIVE ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETES OF ALL TIME:
1. Michael Phelps is “The Most Decorated Olympian of All Time”. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Most Olympic Gold Medals (18, double the second highest record holders), He won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals; which make him the Most Successful athlete for the third straight Olympics.
2. Carl Lewis: He won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold, and 10 World Championship Medals including eight gold. He competed in three different decades from 1979-1996. His career spanned from 1979 when he first achieved a world ranking to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and retired.
3. Jim Thorpe: Way before Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, he was the athlete who played pro baseball and football simultaneously. He was the Olympic track champion who lost his gold medals because he played minor league baseball. There is an award for the Best Defensive Back in College Football known as the Jim Thorpe Award.
4. Ted Williams: The “Greatest Hitter in Baseball History”, Williams posted a .406 batting average, making him the last player to bat over .400. Williams served Tour of Duties twice. In 1943 to serve three years in the US Navy & Marine Corps for World War II. Upon returning to MLB in 1946, Williams won his first AL MVP Award and played in his only World Series. The following season he won his second Triple Crown. Williams returned to active military duty for portions of the 1952 and 1953 seasons in the Korean War, in which he served as a Marine aviator. He was the AL batting champion for the fifth and sixth times In 1957 and 1958 at the ages of 39 and 40.
5. Pat Tillman: Inspired by the 9/11 Attacks during the prime of his NFL Career, Tillman and enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 2002. United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. He served our country in Iraq & Afghanistan. Tillman joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in Afghanistan. At first, the Army reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. Unfortunately, controversy ensued when a month when the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had died as a result of a “Friendly Fire” incident. Posthumously, to commemorate his service, He received posthumous Silver Star Purple Heart Medals.