Saquon Barkley, Simone Biles Take Top Slots in Sports Illustrated's Fittest 50 2019
Sports Illustrated's 2019 Fittest 50 list was released on Wednesday morning and was topped by two 21-year-old superhuman athletes. Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley took the title of SI's Fittest Male Athlete and the world's most decorated gymnast, Simone Biles, secured the No. 1 slot for the women.
Barkley started all 16 games for the Giants during his standout rookie season, rushing for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns as New York went 5–11 in 2018. His athleticism enabled him to function as a walking highlight reel all season long for the Giants, making headlines by hurdling grown men and more—feats that can only be accomplished by the sport's fittest.
From the list:
"If there was a rookie milestone to clear in 2018, you could count on Barkley to hurdle it. With a menacing mastery of breakout speed, punishing power and acrobatic moves—and those massively muscular quads—the 21-year-old workhorse shattered records, becoming only the third first-year back to eclipse 2,000 yards from scrimmage."
Biles returned to gymnastics after taking a year off after the 2016 Rio Olympics but she didn't miss a beat. From the list:
"She may only stand at 4’9” but the world’s most decorated gymnast towers over the competition. After time away in 2017, the 21-year-old Biles returned to rule the sport again in ’18 with an unmatched mix of muscle and mettle. At the world championships in Doha, Qatar, in November, she set the record for career world titles among men and women, with 14, including four more gold medals—all while suffering from a painful kidney stone."
Track and field star and Olympic gold medalist Caterine Ibargüen and CrossFit phenom Tia-Clair Toomey joined Biles on the women's list, while soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo—aptly nicknamed the "Greek Freak" due to his freakish athletic abilities—joined Barkley on the men's side. Who else made the cut? You can see the full 2019 Fittest 50 list here.