In today’s society, the obsession with determining the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) appears to have reached unprecedented levels. While recognising remarkable sporting achievements is important, this fixation on labelling individuals as the ultimate epitome of greatness overlooks the extraordinary diversity and brilliance found across different sports and disciplines. By exploring various sports and shining a spotlight on our outstanding runners like Camille Herron, Kilian Jornet, and Courtney Dauwalter, we can begin to appreciate the limitless realm of sporting excellence.
Sport is a tapestry woven with diverse threads, each representing a unique discipline and showcasing different skills, strengths, and achievements. From team sports like basketball and soccer to individual pursuits like athletics and tennis, the greatness found within each sport should be celebrated on its own merits, free from the need for comparison. We have an obsession with labelling the GOAT, LeBron James, michael Jordan, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal, Novak Djokovic to Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater, Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo. All these athletes have at some time been labelled the GOAT.
Within the realm of ultra marathon running, individuals like Camille Herron, Kilian Jornet, and Courtney Dauwalter have emerged as formidable forces, pushing the boundaries of human endurance. Their remarkable achievements deserve recognition and admiration for the intense physical and mental challenges they conquer.
Camille Herron has dominated the ultra marathon scene with her incredible resilience and ability to break records, including the women’s world record in the 24-hour race. Jornet, on the other hand, has demonstrated astonishing versatility by conquering some of the most rugged and treacherous terrains in the world, setting numerous records in endurance mountaineering. Meanwhile, Courtney Dauwalter’s unmatched mental strength has propelled her to victories in multiple gruelling ultramarathons, earning her immense respect within the running community.
While assigning the GOAT title may be enticing, it is essential to recognise that comparisons across different sports are largely subjective and often unfair. The criteria for GOAT status heavily depend on specific performance metrics, erasing the unique nuances and challenges presented by each sport. Moreover, the constant subjection of athletes to this label can place tremendous pressure on them, detracting from the joy and purity of their craft.
Do we Need a GOAT Anyway?
Sporting greatness is a constantly evolving concept, and the pursuit of excellence should be celebrated rather than fixated on reaching the pinnacle. By focusing on anointing the GOAT, we risk overlooking the sheer beauty of athletes’ journeys, their struggles, and the inspiring stories that make them who they are.
The sports world thrives on diversity, and each discipline deserves appreciation and recognition for what it brings to the tapestry of sporting greatness. As a society, we should aim to celebrate exceptional achievements rather than obsess over assigning the GOAT label. Let us appreciate athletes like Camille Herron, Killian Jornet, and Courtney Dauwalter for the unique contributions they make to the world of ultra marathon running, and acknowledge the multifaceted brilliance found in every sport. Only then can we truly value the countless paths to greatness that exist in the world of sports.