Although the title "World's Greatest Athlete " seems a natural fit for these two events, its traditional association with the decathlon/heptathlon officially began with Jim Thorpe . During the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, Thorpe won the gold medal in the Decathlon (among others). Thorpe notably also competed professionally in soccer , baseball , American Football , and basketball ; and competed collegiately in track and field , soccer , baseball , lacrosse , and did ballroom dancing . King Gustav V of Sweden , while awarding Thorpe the decathlon gold said: "You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world." That title has become associated with the decathlon event ever since.
Olympian Travis Ganong makes flying down a mountain look easy – perhaps in part because he’s so well-rested. Ganong aims for eight hours a night, and loves a midday nap. “Feeling rested and ready is so important, not just physically but mentally,” he tells Van Winkle’s . “As a ski racer, we face so many variables, be it wind, fog, snow conditions or deteriorating snow surface, and sleep is a variable that you can control as an athlete. His best tip for ensuring solid shut-eye? Logging offline at bedtime. “If I’m on my phone looking at a screen just before bed, I have trouble falling asleep, so I try to avoid that,” he says. “Also traveling with an eye mask can help and taking some melatonin before big days to help me find a peaceful sleep. Otherwise I find myself thinking too much about the next day and tossing and turning.”