ESPN the Magazine announced its top 20 most dominant athletes of 2018, and Washington Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin came in at number 17 with a “dominance rating” of 0.852.
Ovechkin’s performance during the season, the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win, and his best-selling jersey all factored into his score. He was the only hockey player named to the list.
ALEX OVECHKIN – DOMINANCE RATING: 0.852
Yes, he led the NHL in goals for the fifth time in six seasons. Yes, he was the Washington Capitals’ offensive engine in his 14th season in the league. Yes, he has the best-selling jersey on NHL.com. But 2018 was special for Ovechkin because 2018 was the year he finally won the Stanley Cup. Faced with doubts for years about playoff performance, Ovechkin finally clinched his first championship and eliminated longtime rival Sidney Crosby and the Penguins along the way. And the best part about dominating everyone in the NHL for a season? It’s getting to take the Stanley Cup on a nonstop, worldwide celebration for the ages. –Sachin Dave Chandan
The magazine claims to use a purely mathematical approach to come up with their “dominance ratings.” Here’s the methodology behind their “cold, hard math.”
We started by grading athletes by the strongest performance measures available in their sport over their most recently completed season (except F1 numbers, which are through Nov. 11, and NFL numbers, which are through Nov. 26), including timed scores, earnings and, wherever possible, advanced metrics.
Then, to put those achievements into historical perspective, we compared the top athletes in a sport to the best in their field each year since 1998 and adjusted the results to put those athletes onto one common baseline, yielding our ratings.
It’s unclear how the Stanley Cup factored in mathematically, or why Ovechkin’s rating was 0.852 instead of 0.888 or even 💯. Clearly, some of their calculations were flawed…
The rest of the list includes soccer players, tennis players, WNBA stars, and a horse. (What up, Justify.)
Here’s the full list.
ESPN The Magazine named its 20 most dominant athletes of 2018, with @Simone_Biles grabbing top honors followed by @EliudKipchoge, @dc_mma, @jutanugarn and @katieledecky in the top five. pic.twitter.com/Tc3oJpX449
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) December 11, 2018
Number 5 on the list is Washington DC native Katie Ledecky. Ledecky is a life-long Capitals’ fan, an RMNB t-shirt inspiration, a fan of Ovechkin’s fountain swimming technique, and oh yeah–a six-time Olympic medalist.
KATIE LEDECKY – DOMINANCE RATING: 1.750
Ledecky just keeps winning. Days after claiming two individual titles at the NCAA championships for Stanford in March, the six-time Olympic medalist turned pro. In May’s Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis, she broke her world record in the 1,500 free. Then she won the 800, 200 and 400 freestyle titles at nationals in July. And then she rounded out the year with golds in the 400 free, 800 free and 1,500 free at the Pan Pacific Championships in August. If we were the betting types, we’d say to go all-in (into the pool, that is) with Ledecky in the 2020 Olympics. –Charlotte Gibson
And while many of us may believe that Alex Ovechkin should be number one on all lists all the time, it’s hard to argue with Simone Biles’s absolute domination in the world of gymnastics.
SIMONE BILES – DOMINANCE RATING: 3.248
Biles unleashed a historic display of athleticism at the world championships, winning her record fourth all-around title by her largest margin yet, leading the U.S. team to gold, again by a record margin, and taking four other medals. That made her the first U.S. gymnast to medal at every event at a world championship — and doing all that with a kidney stone, after spending the night before qualifying in the hospital. Not that you needed more, but she also ran the table at this year’s U.S. Classic, after taking a two-year hiatus from her four-golds-and-a-bronze triumph in Rio. She is truly unstoppable. –Charlotte Gibson
Headline photo: ESPN the Magazine
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