It’s an expression as old as time, “Speed Kills.” Whether you’re a cheetah on the savannas of Africa or an athlete, speed is undoubtedly the most valuable asset a creature can have. For a cheetah, speed means life. For an athlete it means success.
There are many types of speeds that come into play. There is straight line, agility and quickness. Straight line speed is the easiest to measure, but doesn’t necessarily tell you much about an athlete. In sports like basketball and football, quickness and agility are much more important but more difficult to measure. But sometimes measurements aren’t necessary. Some guys are so fast that they catch your eye. Guys like this don’t come around often, but when they do they’re unforgettable. Here are the 5 fastest athletes in sports history.
- Deion Sanders
Primetime is the best cornerback in the history NFL. This flashy football icon ran a 4.57 40-yard dash backwards. If that isn’t impressive enough maybe his 4.27 40-yard dash will do the trick. Sanders not only tore it up on the football fields, he took his speed to the MLB where he stole 186 bases in just 556 games.
- Rickey Henderson
When you think about speed in baseball, Rickey is always the first guy that comes to mind. Henderson led the league in steals 11 times, including a season where he has a record 130 steals. In his career he totaled 1,406 stolen bases, nearly 500 more than the next closest.