1)Usain Bolt: It may be too early to proclaim Usain Bolt as the greatest sprinter of all time but I can't imagine having any man above him. His rise to greatness was seen in 2008 when he not only capured the 100m world record and the 200m world record. The Usain Bolt relay in the 4 x100 was also a world record at the same games. He currently holds the world and Olympic records in these events. Watching him destroy the field on a track that could not hold him was electrfying. He was never too serious about sprinting as a younger man. If he stays healthy and continues to train with passion and joy there is no man that can deny his place as the greatest of all time. His speed and power has never been seen before but at the fresh age of 22 it will be seen again.
2) Jesse Owens: This is the man that all others on this list aspired to become. Jesse Owens was a legend before performance inhancing drugs became the enormous presence it is today. He dominated his competition with pure talent and the ability to run faster than any man on the planet, black or white. His only Olympics was in 1936 in Berlin were he won 3 gold medals on the track. The Jesse Owens Hitler moment transended the sports world in 1936. After the games Owens was offered to star in commercials and jumped at the chance. This would be a tragic move and would prove to be the end of his career as Americian officials would strip him of his amateur status. The world was a different place in the 30's and Owens never got the respect he was owed until later in his life. A promising life and career cut down by the times in which he ran this earth.
3) Carl Lewis: If I was disscussing the greatest Olympians of all time Carl Lewis would still be in the running. I will only speaking about sprinters and not long jumpers. However he is the greatest long jumper of all time. In Carl Lewis olympics career he has won 5 sprinting gold medals at three different Olympic games. He started his rise in the early 80's and would take over the sport for the next 12 plus years. Carl Lewis 100m dominance could be seen all over the world and his talent was shown on a track and in the field. But his ulitimate goal was to be greater than the next man on this list.
4) Donovan Bailey: At the number 4 spot is the greatest Canadian sprinter of all time. Donovan Bailey has become a legend in a sport that has many villans. In 1996 he broke the 100m sprinter world record in Atlanta. An Olympic record that would stand until a lightneing bolt would strike 12 years later. His career was short but he accomplished things Canadians would cherish for years to come. The most important is the respect that was lost when Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids. His victory over Michael Johnson in the world's fastest man competition in June of 1997 was a difining moment in his career. On this day Bailey was the fastest man in the world.
5) Michael Johnson: Although Michael Johnson pulled up at the 100m mark of his race to be named the world's fastest man, his accomplishments cannot be overlooked. He did not run the 100m like all others on this list but Michael Johnson 400m and 200m records are remarkable. Most people thought his world record time in the 200m would stand until the end of time. However the same lightning bolt that would end Bailey's hopes would also put an end to his position at the top. He was a world champion 8 times and has 4 Olympic gold medals. He is the only man in history to win both 200m and 400m at the same Olympics.
This top 5 list is compiled of the fastest men to ever walk the planet. They ran to the finish line with speed while running into the history books as the greatest.