Survivor Athletes: Ranking The Best To Play The Game

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There are a surprising number of professional sportsmen and sportswomen to play this game. Here are our rankings of the best Survivor athletes.

Crystal Cox, Survivor Athletes


As of Game Changers, there have been 498 castaways to play the brutal game of Survivor. While the show started out with 16 average Americans a season, as time progressed, we’ve seen plenty of recognizable talent from the world of sports entertainment make their way onto the show and participate. Some Survivor athletes have even won. Ahead of NFL DT Brad Culpepper making his second attempt at winning in Survivor Game Changers, we have decided to rank all the Survivor athletes to have ever played ahead of the season’s debut on March 8 at 8 PM ET on CBS.

How we determined the Survivor athletes rankings is based on a couple of factors. To even qualify, someone must have performed athletically at a professional level, or at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Additionally, as the world of athletics grows, this list will including those who worked in athletic fields of varying levels that include eSports, poker, and others.

More importantly, the Survivor athlete rankings take into account each castaway’s skills within the game. This includes strategy, social play, survival, challenge performance, and general entertainment. How a player finishes in a season (or seasons) may partially be up to fate, so we don’t take that as the be-all, end-all factor. It does help!

It begins with, quite possibly, the dumbest player that will ever be a part of a Brains tribe.

24. Garrett Adelstein – Survivor Cagayan

Profession: Poker Player

Finish: 17/18

Claim To Fame: Voted as weakest link on his tribe, voted out with HII in pocket

Oh my god, I’ve never seen someone in such a great position early on in a game play so terribly in such a short amount of time. The strongest player on the Brains tribe, Garrett Adelstein was designated as the “weakest” by fellow castaway David Samson, a man who has ruined professional baseball for Montreal and Miami for untold decades (and, now, the Brains tribe).

In a twist, Garrett is sent to camp early and opts to get a clue to a hidden immunity idol and finds it before his team gets back to camp. He’s the quickest in any season to get such a huge advantage, meaning he must have gotten really far in the season, right?

That Luzon tribe is one of the worst in Survivor history for a reason; they were so inept in challenges and were so divided. J’Tia was probably going home. She destroyed their rice in retaliation. Even with that in mind, Garrett couldn’t keep his mouth shut and laid out an alliance on the table, contradicted himself, had enacted an open forum policy at camp, and fumbled over his words when defending his alliance.

Even worst is the fact that he didn’t pack his bags for tribal council, meaning he got voted out 3-2 with a hidden immunity idol in his possession. All this from a poker player whose reads are supposedly good enough to earn money in the 2016 World Series of Poker.

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