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The method I use to identify the 10 all time best athletes is a very simple.
From the Top 10 lists in the yearly statistics (Men 1891-2004, Women 1921-2004), the athlete in the first position receives 10 points, the athlete in the second position receives 9 points and so on down to the tenth position.
Athlete with the most points is the best.
The same method is applied to Olympic Games, World Championships, and European Championships.
The athlete in the first place receives 10 points, the athlete in the second place
receives 9 points and so on down to the tenth place.
 
 
Top 10 Olympic Games
Points
Hong Liu  CHN  32   
Olga Kaniskina  RUS  19   
Kjersti Plätzer  NOR  18   
María Vasco  ESP  18   
Shijie Qieyang  CHN  18   
Elisa Rigaudo  ITA  17   
Liping Wang  CHN  13   
Elena Lashmanova  RUS  10   
Antonella Palmisano  ITA  10   
Athanasia Tsoumeleka  GRE  10   
Top 10 World Championships
Points
Hong Liu  CHN  51   
Olga Kaniskina  RUS  30   
Susana Feitor  POR  26   
Anisya Kirdyapkina  RUS  24   
María Vasco  ESP  21   
Olimpiada Ivanova  RUS  20   
Elisa Rigaudo  ITA  17   
Shijie Qieyang  CHN  17   
Valentina Tsybulskaya  BLR  17   
10  Erica Alfridi  ITA  12   
Top 10 European Championships
Points
Olga Kaniskina  RUS  19   
Anežka Drahotová  CZE  17   
Vera Sokolova  RUS  15   
Olimpiada Ivanova  RUS  10   
Ryta Turava  BLR  10   
Mária Pérez  ESP  10   
Elmira Alembekova  RUS  10   
Anisya Kirdyapkina  RUS   
Lyudmyla Olyanovska  UKR   
Yelena Nikolayeva  RUS