If you're a sports fan, you have undoubtedly been involved in the debate over who the best athletes of all time are. It's probably the hardest yet most interesting conversation, and many people assemble their own rankings. Here I have put together an exciting list of who I consider to be the top five best American athletes of all time.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps’ rapid swimming achievements culminated in his qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics and becoming the youngest male to make a U.S. Olympic swim team in sixty years. While he could not win a medal, he did make the finals and finished fifth in the 200-meter butterfly.

Michael is one of the best American athletes of all time. At the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, he set records in the 200-meter individual medley and made the headlines. He was the first American swimmer to win three different races at a national championship.

Usain Bolt

Performing for Jamaica in his first Caribbean regional event, Usain Bolt clocked a personal best of 48.28 in the 400 meters in the 2001 CARIFTA Games. In 2001, he made his first appearance on the world stage at the IAAF World Youth Championships. Usain won world championships at the youth, junior and senior levels, along with Valerie Adams, Jana Pittman, Kirani James, Dani Samuels and David Storl. His record-setting runs caused commentators not only to admire his achievements but also to speculate about his future.

Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle is one of the best wrestlers of all time. He started amateur wrestling at the age of seven and won varsity letters in football and wrestling. Kurt went undefeated on the freshman wrestling team at Canon-McMillan High and qualified for the state wrestling tournament his sophomore year. Back in 2016, Kurt was announced as an inductee into the International Sports Hall of Fame for his wrestling accomplishments.

He won both the International Championship and the European Championship in February 2000.

Dennis Rodman

The list of best American athletes cannot be completed without mentioning Dennis Keith Rodman. He has played basketball for the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Lakers. Dennis used to play at the small forward position before becoming a power forward.

In the 1996 NBA season, he won the rebounding title in a row with 16.7 boards per game.

Jeremy Roenick

Jeremy Roenick is yet another one of the best American athletes of all time. He made his NHL debut in October 1988 against the New York Rangers. In twenty games at the NHL level, Jeremy scored eighteen points. In July 2001, Roenick signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers and won both the Bobby Clarke Trophy and Yanick Dupre Memorial team awards.