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Athletic Geniuses

  1. Jun 25, 2011 #1
    I recently had a conversation that, for some reason, turned to a question of the people in modern history who were all-around amazing people. People who were not only very intelligent but very athletic as well, etc.

    I only came up with a couple of great athletes who are fairly smart (Myron Rolle and, to a lesser extent, David Robinson). The other person came up with Neils Bohr, saying that he was on the Danish Olympic football team (he wasn't, his brother Harald was, but Neils was still pretty good). But all of these people were/are very good at one thing and merely competent at others. Does anyone know of any people who were truly amazing in both mind and body?

    EDIT: Let's use rootX's definition: "all around genius: excellence in science, art, literature, people skills and sports."

    I think Richard Feynman and John von Neumann come into play as great scientific minds and social butterflies both. But no athleticism (unless bongos counts as athleticism).
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
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  3. Jun 25, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    The title of your thread is misleading as physical abilities have nothing to do with intelligence. To me, an all around genius would excel in science, art and literature.
     
  4. Jun 25, 2011 #3
    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    I usually think of genius as simply meaning "talent". Perhaps the concept of an "athletic genius" is a newer invention? At any rate, if a mod wants to change the title (as far as I know, I can't) for clarity, go ahead.
     
  5. Jun 25, 2011 #4
    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    all around genius: excellence in science, art, literature, people skills and sports.
     
  6. Jun 25, 2011 #5

    Evo

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    Genius is not normally used to denote physical skills.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genius

    I've changed the title to match your question.

    I think you'd find it hard to come up with examples of a person that was considered a genius in science, art, literature, people skills, and athletics. Can you name one person that was considered the best (genius level, whatever that is) at all of these?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  7. Jun 25, 2011 #6
    Hubble was a boxer, so I have read. Was Geoffrey Burbidge a wrestler?
     
  8. Jun 25, 2011 #7
    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    My first year math prof :approve:

    He was the only one person I know whom I consider "all around genius".
     
  9. Jun 25, 2011 #8

    Evo

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    How can you be a physical genius?
     
  10. Jun 25, 2011 #9
    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    Note that I put that in quotes because I wasn't sure about the definition. I believe OP is referring to people are very good in academics as well in athletics. From OP:
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  11. Jun 25, 2011 #10

    micromass

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    I think it's already difficult for people to really excell in two of these...
     
  12. Jun 25, 2011 #11

    chiro

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    Alan Turing did a lot of running, and from what I recall about a biography written about him, he got pretty good at it.
     
  13. Jun 25, 2011 #12
    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    some type of art maybe ? dance?
     
  14. Jun 25, 2011 #13

    Evo

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    Yeah, that would go with the artisitic genius. You score one.
     
  15. Jun 26, 2011 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: All-Around Geniuses

    But even when applied to dance the term "genius" does not refer to the physical act but to the creativity of the performance. The physical act (whilst it can be extremely talented) is the medium through which the art is expressed.

    This is the same as how a painter or sculpture can be an artistic genius for what they have created and (separately) incredibly talented in how they created it.
     
  16. Jun 26, 2011 #15

    MATLABdude

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    You may know him as Ivan Drago and the roid-monster from the Expendables, but Dolph Lundgren has an MS in Chemical Engineering, and was going to go to MIT on a Fulbright scholarship (PhD?) before the acting / menacing scowling bug bit him:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolph_Lundgren

    True story--Chess Boxing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_boxing

    Speaking of chess boxing, Wladimir Klitschko (guy who was dating Hayden Panettiere) and his twin brother Vitali Klitschko both have Ph.D.s in sports science, and are "avid" chess players:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wladimir_Klitschko
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitali_Klitschko

    Maybe there's something to Nietzsche's ubermensch: there was a girl a year or two back of my grade in high school who captained (and excelled at) various sports teams, was in the running for highest GPA, and was extremely attractive. I was more of a one-trick (academic) pony, although in my defense, I was on the swim team. I wasn't any good, but I was still there!
     
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