“Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer to ever live!”
No argument here.
“Michael Phelps it the greatest OLYMPIAN ever!”
Well… depends on how you define “Olympian.” Is he someone who embodies the so-called “Olympic Ideals” and exudes unimpeachable character? No. Not hardly. I’d be willing to write off the FIRST DUI and the weed smoking picture… but the SECOND DUI pushes him over into a different category.
But he’s sorted out his life a bit, and people seem to like him. Bully for him. He doesn’t particularly move or excite me as an athlete the way that Usain Bolt does. But to each his own.
Phelps has certainly put the individual Gold Medal/Total Medals record so high on a peg now, that it’s hard to believe anyone else will eclipse them in my lifetime. But we’ll see. World records seem to just keep on falling every time I watch Olympic swimming – which, is almost precisely every 4 years. On the button.
I have found the media cheerleading for Phelps a bit off-putting. I am not sure that if he were German, there would be an equal amount of hype. He’s ours, so we are him….. I suppose. Or that’s the thinking. As if we on the couch, are entitled to any of the glory he’s forged for himself through relentless training and God-given talents.
I’ve read seemingly endless attempts on Twitter to somehow further “wow” us about how dominant/awesome/one-in-a-million Phelps is. Things like how many entire nations don’t have as many medals as he does. Or how his golds alone would be taller than him if stacked edge-on-edge.
What I am actually curious about is this: WHAT MAKES HIM SO DAMN GOOD!!
I searched and found this article, but it left me quite unsatisfied. Every premise of his anatomical advantages was left with a “yeah, maybe… but probably not.”
So leave it to a listener who knows swimming well… to give me a well-constructed – and most importantly, a flawlessly edited and ready for re-publication! – explanation.