\" \" Garrett Scantling competes in the men's decathlon 110 meters hurdles on day three of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. And thanks to Thorpe (with a hat tip to the Swedish king), every winner of the Olympic decathlon now earns the unofficial title: The World's Greatest Athlete. Bo Jackson might have been the world's greatest athlete. \"So, yeah, to say 'The World's Greatest Athlete,' that may be a little bit of a stretch; there's billions of people in the world. \" \" Jim Thorpe, the man who got all this greatest athlete in the world business started, attacks the broad jump at the 1912 Olympics.