Michael Phelps Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by Hostile, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I have to begin this by saying I think he is making a mistake not to train for Rio De Janiero Brazil in 2016. He is only 27 now and would only be 31. I am positive he could still add to his medal count and I wish he would. Truly the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time, and the greatest Olympian of all time.

    He made it to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia at the age of 15. He came in 5th place in the 200 meter butterfly. Fifteen! About a year later, while still 15, he broke the World Record in that event. Incredible.

    In 2004, at the age of 19, he made it to the Olympics in Athens Greece and began his medal count. Here are his medals from that Olympics.
    • 400 Meter Individual Medley, Gold (World Record)
    • 4 x 100 Meter Relay, Bronze (Lead swimmer was sick and turned in the worst time of the race)
    • 200 Meter Freestyle, Bronze
    • 200 Meter Butterfly, Gold (Olympic Record)
    • 4 x 200 Meter Freestyle Relay, Gold
    • 200 Meter Individual Medley, Gold (Olympic Record)
    • 100 Meter Butterfly, Gold
    • 4 x 100 Meter Medley Relay, Gold (He allowed the same sick swimmer above to swim his leg to get his Gold. He beat that same swimmer by 4/100ths of a second int he 100 Meter Butterfly)
    On to Beijing China in 2008 at the age of 23, where he turned in the greatest performance in Olympic history. Not only did he eclipse Mark Spitz's Olympic Record of 7 Gold Medals in a single Olympic Games, he did it by adding to his World Record totals. Here are his Medals from that Olympics.
    • 400 Meter Individual Medley, Gold (World Record)
    • 4 x 100 Meter Freestyle Relay, Gold (World Record)
    • 200 Meter Freestyle, Gold (World Record)
    • 200 Meter Butterfly, Gold (World Record)
    • 4 x 200 Meter Freestyle Relay, Gold (World Record)
    • 200 Meter Individual Medley, Gold (World Record)
    • 100 Meter Butterfly, Gold (Olympic Record)
    • 4 x 100 Meter Medley Relay, Gold, (World Record)
    8 Gold Medals, 7 World Records, and an Olympic Record in one Olympics. By far, the most incredible performance in Olympic History, in my opinion.

    Finally, London England, 2012, at the age of 27. Here is his medal count.
    • 4 x 100 Meter Freestyle Relay, Silver
    • 200 Meter Butterfly, Silver
    • 4 x 200 Meter Freestyle Relay, Gold
    • 200 Meter Individual Medley, Gold
    • 100 Meter Butterfly, Gold
    • 4 x 100 Meter Medley Relay, Gold
    Here is a list of this man's accomplishments.
    • 22 Olympic Medals (4 more than Russian Gymnast Larissa Latynina, who was on hand in London and wanted to present Phelps with #19 but was not allowed to.)
    • 18 Gold Medals (double the next highest winner)
    • 11 Individual Golds, 7 Relay Golds
    • 6 times World Male Swimmer of the Year
    • 39 World Records set (only talking about swimming times), 7 still stand. (29 in individual races, 10 in relays)
    • 71 Medals in Major Event Competitions. (57 Gold, 11 Silver, 3 Bronze)
    In Baseball when Babe Ruth came along and shattered records people described it as "Ruthian." It is a description that those obsessed with sports understand. It literally means lapping the field essentially. The record for home runs in a season had been 27 until 1919 when Ruth hit 29. In 1920 Ruth hit 54 round trippers, double the previous mark and the word Ruthian was born.

    What Michael Phelps has done in the swimming world is Ruthian. Perhaps someone will coin the word Phelpsian. Maybe someone already has. Regardless of whether that ever happens, we just witnessed the close of one of the greatest sports stories of all time if he truly is going to hang up his goggles.

    He is doing something that all athletes sort of aspire to and at the same time hope never arrives. He is going out on top. I wish he wouldn't because I am selfish. I'd like to see how far he can take the records.
  2. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Nice post Hos. Maybe he'll miss it and return for the next one.
  3. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    It is simply amazing what he has accomplished in Olympics and I don't think anyone will come close to his 22 overall medal count anytime soon.
  4. Cowboys&LakersFan

    Cowboys&LakersFan Benched

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  5. UKCowboysFan

    UKCowboysFan Member

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    I agree that he is the greatest swimmer of all time, and his medal count will stand for a very long time, if not ever.

    But I always struggle with the greatest Olympian of all time argument as it's so difficult to compare across different sports. Take Sir Steve Redgrave who won gold medals at an endurance event for five consecutive Olympic Games, also a remarkable achievement from a great Olympian.

    Swimming, like Gymnastics, has the advantage that the really great competitors have so many opportunities for medals, that they are always going to be able to rack up big numbers.

    As I posted in the Olympic thread, the thing that most impressed me about Phelps at this games was not him winning gold medals, (he has done that so often it almost becomes common place) but the fantastic way he reacted after losing the 200 butterfly by such a small margin. The way he guided the winner through the post race ceremonies whilst smiling & posing for pictures showed what a classy human being he is, and I will remember that as much (if not more) than his fantastic achievements in the pool.
  6. Gemini Dolly

    Gemini Dolly Well-Known Member

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    I will miss him, but support his decision to retire. He's going out on top and has nothing left to prove. He gave it all to the sport of swimming and for that I say THANK YOU, MICHAEL PHELPS.
  7. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton it was the grave marked unknown right beside

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    Very well said. Not only is it difficult to compare eras within the same sport but athletes that compete in different sports. Saying all that it's hard to argue against Phelps. He's an awesome athlete who is a very very classy guy. Sport and Swimming will miss him.
  8. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    I thought he was done.

    I was wrong. He went from Superstar to Olympic Legend.

  9. WV Cowboy

    WV Cowboy Waitin' on the 6th

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    I remember when he burst onto the scene, .. but still had not medaled yet.

    My brother and sister, (and sister-in-law) went to college with his Mom and Dad, ... fraternity brothers and soriety sisters I guess.

    We were pulling for him just because they knew his Mom and Dad.

    Gee, I hope he does good we would say.

    Now he is a Super Star! I love to see such excellence in sports !!!
  10. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    I definitely don't criticize him for "retiring". I hope he can go on to some sort of second "career" that brings him meaning and purpose. He certainly seems like an outgoing sort of guy who probably isn't going to just disappear. Who knows maybe he'll be working with the next batch of championship swimmers to come through.

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