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Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:11 pm

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DocLightning
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:42 pm

I hereby hijack this thread and turn it into the Michael Phelps Meme Thread!  

OK, I'll be serious and on-topic for a moment:

I'm also a competitive swimmer. In high school, I spent five hours a day in the water, just like Phelps. I still get out of bed every workday at 0500 and get in the water at 0600 for a minimum workout of 4500 yards/4000m. It requires the same sort of cardiovascular fitness that running does, but there's a second and equally important component of technique. If your propulsive efficiency isn't top-notch, you don't have the speed and you don't get the workout. Swimmers spend hours getting their hand placement just right, their body roll, the timing of their kick, etc. And then there's the joyous and fun experience called "shaving down."

So huge respect to Mr. Phelps for all the hard work. Take a break, dude. Take a MASSIVE bong rip. You earned both. And then get back in the water on a Masters team or you'll get fat. Trust me.
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fruitbat
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:18 pm

18 G
2 S
2 B

Well played old bean! We'll never see the likes of that again.

Enjoy the retirement - and if you want to get fat, JFDI!

(Just a thought - what do retired Olympic swimmers actually DO??)
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Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Phelps is a beast, a swimming machine, one of a kind, the Mohammed Ali of swimming.

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 2):
(Just a thought - what do retired Olympic swimmers actually DO??)

Punditry, coaching, media appearances.....stuff like that i suppose, although Phelps has his own swimming foundation.
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 2):
(Just a thought - what do retired Olympic swimmers actually DO??)
Quoting Arsenal@LHR (Reply 3):
Punditry, coaching, media appearances.....stuff like that i suppose, although Phelps has his own swimming foundation.

Coaching other olympic swimmers. Some of them start businesses marketing swim wear or consult for swim wear and swim accessory manufacturers (Speedo, Nike, The Finals, Barracuda, TYR).

I went to medical school with a former Olympic swimmer. Oddly, swimmers tend to be on the smarter end of the athlete curve, for reasons that have always eluded me. You wouldn't think the sport takes much brains (and I say that as a swimmer). But at most schools with a team, the swim team has the highest GPA.
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BMI727
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:17 am

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 2):
Well played old bean! We'll never see the likes of that again

Maybe. That said, I'm not going to put Michael Phelps on the same level as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, et. al.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Oddly, swimmers tend to be on the smarter end of the athlete curve, for reasons that have always eluded me. You wouldn't think the sport takes much brains (and I say that as a swimmer). But at most schools with a team, the swim team has the highest GPA.

Let me put on my Malcolm Gladwell hat for a minute.

First, swimming doesn't take much brains, but at the same time most sports don't. And like a great mechanic may suck at everything else, people who have great sports intelligence (described as having a high "X" IQ) are quite possibly useless at other things.

One thing about swimming is that it doesn't destroy your brain. It might be the ultimate non-contact sport. While college level football players have already spent years smashing their heads against people and those in other sports take plenty of shots as well, it isn't a danger for swimmers. Even beyond brain injuries swimming is better for you. Baseball, basketball, and many other sports present a constant pounding on joints and the potential for major injuries that take longer periods to rehab (ACL tears, etc.). No matter how well you take care of yourself, you eventually wear down which can manifest itself later in life. Swimming doesn't do that as much. After all, there is a reason why it is suggested for older people or those rehabbing injuries: it just doesn't tax the body as much. So, I'd argue that people who swim at a high level are likely to be better equipped to pursue other things afterwards than those playing other sports at a high level.

Here's what I think is the biggest factor: think about the demographic factors involved for those who have to opportunity to really pursue swimming. Areas that have swim clubs with quality coaching or schools with pools and swim teams are most likely suburban middle or upper class areas. Such places are also probably home to kids who are more likely to have two parents living with them, have those parents be people who are educated and value education, and don't have money problems. Those kids are more likely to excel academically and also more likely to have access to quality swimming programs. There are probably plenty of other athletes who could be great swimmers, but never had the chance or desire to pursue it. In fact, I would point out that this is exactly what happened to Tim Duncan. He was on track to become an Olympic swimmer until a hurricane destroyed the pool in St. Croix, at which point he took up basketball and became one of the greatest power forwards in the history of the game.

[Edited 2012-08-04 19:32:01]
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DocLightning
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:31 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
Here's what I think is the biggest factor: think about the demographic factors involved for those who have to opportunity to really pursue swimming. Areas that have swim clubs with quality coaching or schools with pools and swim teams are most likely suburban middle or upper class areas. Such places are also probably home to kids who are more likely to have two parents living with them, have those parents be people who are educated and value education, and don't have money problems. Those kids are more likely to excel academically and also more likely to have access to quality swimming programs. There are probably plenty of other athletes who could be great swimmers, but never had the chance or desire to pursue it.

A fair point, but why is it that at any given high school (kids all from the same community) the swim team often leads the GPA of the sports teams?

Dunno. Maybe it is because swimmers use their brains for other stuff.
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BMI727
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:52 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
A fair point, but why is it that at any given high school (kids all from the same community) the swim team often leads the GPA of the sports teams?

True, but at the same time even on that level I think that the barriers to entry for swimming are lower than other sports, even for middle schools. It's a lot easier for kids to play baseball or basketball with almost no effort on the part of parents, but swimming takes more work. To be good at swimming seems to take more commitment from both parents and athletes.
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QFA380
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:35 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
ultimate non-contact sport.


I'd say bike riding is up there too, assuming you're good enough to not fall off all that often.

These days you're just as likely to see a deal closed on a 100km after work bike ride as on the golfcourse. It's become the go to sport for many younger ( Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
demographic factors



This.

Swimming is a firmly white middle class sport that requires a high degree of dedication, self-discipline and ability to get along with yourself. This is not mentioning the extreme sacrifices of parents who are also getting up at 5am to take kids to the pool along with other sessions, poor people and richer people often can't afford/are unwilling to sacrifice that much time for something like that. Very similar to gymnastics although the people who swim are more mentally stable than those that do gymnastics.
The girl who got dux of my school was also the only person who was still swimming competitively after the age of 12 or so.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
A fair point, but why is it that at any given high school (kids all from the same community) the swim team often leads the GPA of the sports teams?


Nearly all of the factors that make good swimmers that BMI listed (other than large hands and feet) are fairly sparse in todays society.

Some napkin maths from the 2000 Census shows that only 10% of kids in the US come from a white, college educated, married family -which anecdotally will describe nearly all swimmers, along with a large portion of those people that succeed at school, then once you control for the qualitative factors like self-discipline you'll find that nearly all people who have the opportunity to swim well will do well at school.

EDIT: The formatting of this post is screwing around for some reason.

[Edited 2012-08-04 23:38:00]

[Edited 2012-08-04 23:39:51]
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:00 pm

Also my congrats to Mr Phelps. If it's true what Tyler Clary said, that Phelps is not really in shape, I wonder what would have happened if he had been in shape   - apart from one gold medal less for Chad le Clos. Just kidding of course.

However, what was the most stunning performance in the swimming competitions to me was the 800 m freestyle victory by Katie Ledecky - everyone talks about how it will be a hard race between Friis and Addlington and then this 15-year-old girl cheekily just shows them her feet. Pity it was no world record, but I bet she's happy anyway  .

For some more trivia, I couldn't help to notice that all swimming titles, except for Chinese guy in 1500 m freestyle and Chad le Clos, were won by athletes representing a country with the combination of red, white, and blue in the national flag  .
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:07 pm

Good on him, mighty impressive effort, but I still don't think it makes him the greatest Olympian of all time, it's all too easy to get multiple medals in swimming, for a runner like Bolt to emulate this he'd have to compete in just about all the running evens, which just isn't possible.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:22 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):

Good on him, mighty impressive effort, but I still don't think it makes him the greatest Olympian of all time, it's all too easy to get multiple medals in swimming, for a runner like Bolt to emulate this he'd have to compete in just about all the running evens, which just isn't possible.

While I am in no way taking anything away from Michael Phelps, I have always thought about the fact that in the swimming competition, there are just sooooooooo many different events ! I can remember the '72 Munich games when Mark Spitz took all seven events he was in; I think the country was a lot more "charged up" over his effort than even for what Phelps has accomplished. ( Plus Spitz was about 10 times as "photogenic" as Michael Phelps is )

As much as I have "rooted" for Phelps, ( and I do admire his ability immensely ), for me personally I think the "highlight" of these games have been Gabby Douglas ! That little girl's smile just melts my heart ! I can't wait to see her on all of the "Wheaties" boxes ! Way to go, Gabby !

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CamiloA380
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:42 pm

Congratulations to him! Certainly well deserved.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I'm also a competitive swimmer. In high school, I spent five hours a day in the water, just like Phelps. I still get out of bed every workday at 0500 and get in the water at 0600 for a minimum workout of 4500 yards/4000m

Interesting, I've been following swim a lot in this Olympic, and I have to say I'm quite tempted to give it a try. (Although I'm starting from scratch as I'm not great at swimming) 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:45 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
Dunno. Maybe it is because swimmers use their brains for other stuff.

Leaving demographics aside, because demographics is the main driver behind why swimmers are high GPA, I think the nerds tend to flock more toward the non-contact sports. At my high school, like yours, the swimmers and tennis players always were the high GPA athletes. But those two sports are both non-contact.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:09 pm

An outstanding athlete - congratulatinos!!
 
flight152
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:18 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
but I still don't think it makes him the greatest Olympian of all time, it's all too easy to get multiple medals in swimming

Give me a break. If it was so "easy", he wouldn't have been the first to have received 22 medals. I'm sure breaking 39 world records is pretty "easy" too, right?  

Congrats Michael.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 am

Quoting CamiloA380 (Reply 12):
nteresting, I've been following swim a lot in this Olympic, and I have to say I'm quite tempted to give it a try. (Although I'm starting from scratch as I'm not great at swimming) 

It's a lot harder for adults to get good at it. You really need to start as a kid to be really good, although I've seen some exceptions.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 13):
Leaving demographics aside, because demographics is the main driver behind why swimmers are high GPA, I think the nerds tend to flock more toward the non-contact sports. At my high school, like yours, the swimmers and tennis players always were the high GPA athletes. But those two sports are both non-contact.

Maybe. Swimmers are smart enough to not willingly engage in an activity that is pretty much guaranteed to cause injury?   
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us330
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:05 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
I went to medical school with a former Olympic swimmer

Wild guess: Jenny Thompson? Only olympic swimmer of recent vintage I can remember going to medical school.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 13):
I think the nerds tend to flock more toward the non-contact sports
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):
why is it that at any given high school (kids all from the same community) the swim team often leads the GPA of the sports teams?

Fly took the words out of my mouth. Granted, this is based purely on the experience in one school area, but the kids that flocked toward swimming weren't the typical jock/athletic types. We had three sport "seasons" and in high school, kids were pretty much specializing already, with a lot choosing to forego a winter sport (which swimming was) in favor of training/preparing for one of the big spring sports like baseball and lacrosse. I don't recall of any swimmer that was borderline competent in any other sport (w the exception of either water polo or cross country/long distance running).

None of this, however, should in any way shape or form diminish the accomplishments of Michael Phelps or any other olympic or high level swimmer. We will never see someone like Phelps again in our lifetimes.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:29 am

Quoting us330 (Reply 17):
Wild guess: Jenny Thompson? Only olympic swimmer of recent vintage I can remember going to medical school.

If I told you, I'd pretty much reveal my medical school and year of graduation on this board. No, it was not Jenny Thompson.

Anyway, back to the REAL topic:
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Kiwirob
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:14 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
I'd pretty much reveal my medical school and year of graduation on this board

So you're ashamed of your med school and don't want people to know how old you are  
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 19):
So you're ashamed of your med school and don't want people to know how old you are

Same reason people don't say which airline they work(ed) for.

I'm 35. How old are you, old man?     
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:38 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
Good on him, mighty impressive effort, but I still don't think it makes him the greatest Olympian of all time, it's all too easy to get multiple medals in swimming, for a runner like Bolt to emulate this he'd have to compete in just about all the running evens, which just isn't possible.

Bolt can run 100M, 200M, 400M, the relays of 100M and 400M, he can even learn hurdles and run 110M and 400M, it's just he chooses not to participate in those events.
That's why Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever, you or your kids will not see anything close to an Olympic athlete he is.

If you want to go the route where athletes don't get a chance to compete in multiple events, your argument could hold some water have you said Alexander Karelin, but Usain Bolt, although a great sprinter can compete in as many events as Phelps, but chooses not to

[Edited 2012-08-07 08:50:45]
B732/3/4/5/6/7/8/9, B742/4, B752/3,B762/3/4, B772/3, A306, A318/9/20/21, A332/3, A343/6, MD80/83/88, L1011, TU104/134, F
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting dallasnewark (Reply 21):
Bolt can run 100M, 200M, 400M, the relays of 100M and 400M, he can even learn hurdles and run 110M and 400M, it's just he chooses not to participate in those events.
That's why Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever, you or your kids will not see anything close to an Olympic athlete he is.

Part of what makes him so amazing is his breadth of skill. He can KILL the IM. The IM means that you get to be "so-so" at one stroke and you have to own all the rest. He can swim fly and free with equal ease, which is really unusual. Flyers are a rare breed and even olympic athletes like Michael Barrowman admit to having trouble with butterfly. His backstroke is not his strongest, but he's pretty darned fast. His breastroke is his weak spot (as it is for many butterflyers) but he's so strong in his free and fly that he can make up for it.

Not only that, but most swimmers are either sprinters or distance swimmers with some middle-distance swimmers inbetween. Phelps isn't distance, but he sure can bang out a 400m IM (which is a truly grueling race) and a 100m Free (which is the second-shortest race in swimming) with equally stunning results.

And I'm a breastroker (and a fast one, too), and I only wish my breastroke was even close to as fast as Phelps's.
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ALTF4
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:02 pm

Congrats to Phelps! He now has more medals than some respectable countries earn in one games...




Edit: wh

[Edited 2012-08-07 12:11:25]
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:35 pm

Quoting dallasnewark (Reply 21):
Bolt can run 100M, 200M, 400M, the relays of 100M and 400M, he can even learn hurdles and run 110M and 400M, it's just he chooses not to participate in those events.

It's completely different training for the 400m and hurdles than it is training for 100M & 200M, that's why you'll never see 100M runners running 400M or 400M meter runners running 100M, I can't think of any world class sprinters who run all the sprint events or even attempt the hurdles. Bolt used to run 400M but he didn't run the 100M then only the 200M, Michael Johnson hardly ever ran 100M and never in a world championship or Olympic competition, neither run hurdles.

IMO people will remember Bolt, Phelps will be forgotten not long after this games is over.

Swimming is like gymnastics it's easy for an athlete to win multiple medals in a single championship. It wouldn't surprise me if another swimmer matched this hall within my lifetime.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):

Same reason people don't say which airline they work(ed) for.

In your case Doc we already know what you look like, plus you're a 35 year old gay paediatrician working in San Francesco I'm sure if someone really wanted to work out who you were it would be fairly easy.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
Phelps will be forgotten not long after this games is over.

I doubt that one very much.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
it's easy for an athlete to win multiple medals in a single championship.

If what Phelps did was sooo easy, how come nobody has come close since the 1960s? If it was so easy, why use such a huge time range for his feat to be matched?

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
It wouldn't surprise me if another swimmer matched this hall within my lifetime.

It took 50 years for the record to be broken, so it's a distinct possibility. But it won't be easy.
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Rara
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
IMO people will remember Bolt, Phelps will be forgotten not long after this games is over.

Yeah, sounds unfair, doesn't it? But there's something to it. For all his amazing achievements, he somehow never had the air of a legend to him.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
In your case Doc we already know what you look like, plus you're a 35 year old gay paediatrician working in San Francesco I'm sure if someone really wanted to work out who you were it would be fairly easy.

A gay pediatrician in San Francisco who drives a Prius? Oh yeah, THAT narrows it down! I personally know of four other than myself, all in my age group.  
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
It's completely different training for the 400m and hurdles than it is training for 100M & 200M, that's why you'll never see 100M runners running 400M or 400M meter runners running 100M, I can't think of any world class sprinters who run all the sprint events or even attempt the hurdles. Bolt used to run 400M but he didn't run the 100M then only the 200M, Michael Johnson hardly ever ran 100M and never in a world championship or Olympic competition, neither run hurdles.

It's also completely different training for the 400 IM than it is training for the 400 Free than it is training for the 100 Fly than it is training for the 100 Free. Most swimmers have more than one event (well, except the "no-skill freestylers," as we like to call them), but few of us have the breadth of skill that Phelps has.

I assure you Phelps is one of the pantheon.
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Klaus
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:37 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
Phelps will be forgotten not long after this games is over.

Nope. "The most olympic medals ever" is a record that gets remembered even when it's eventually surpassed, which will probably take a long time.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
A gay pediatrician in San Francisco who drives a Prius? Oh yeah, THAT narrows it down!

I had to chuckle about that as well...!  

And you know you've really made it when xkcd has a comic about you:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/michael_phelps.png
http://xkcd.com/1092/
 
Confuscius
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:14 am

Nice trophy! congratulations indeed!

Ain't I a stinker?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:55 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
A gay pediatrician in San Francisco who drives a Prius? Oh yeah, THAT narrows it down! I personally know of four other than myself, all in my age group.

But we have seen your photo, haven't seen photos of the other 4. Plus you swim, do they?

Quoting Rara (Reply 26):
Yeah, sounds unfair, doesn't it? But there's something to it. For all his amazing achievements, he somehow never had the air of a legend to him.

Bolts legend will grow even further once he nails the 200m and the 4x100M, he's clearly the biggest star at the games.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
Nope. "The most olympic medals ever" is a record that gets remembered even when it's eventually surpassed, which will probably take a long time.

Without having to look it up did you know who held the record before him, I didn't until they said Phelps had beaton her record, I fairly certain the vast majority of people didn't have a clue.
 
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:04 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
Without having to look it up did you know who held the record before him, I didn't until they said Phelps had beaton her record, I fairly certain the vast majority of people didn't have a clue.

Larisa Latynina was still at the head of the medal statistics for all these decades.

Michael Phelps has a much higher profile today than she did back then, and he has doubled the number of gold medals over the maximum before him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multiple_Olympic_gold_medalists

The assumption that Phelps will be quickly forgotten is definitely false. Sure, some people with the proverbial attention span of a gnat will forget him just like they'll forget anything and anybody else, but that's hardly the benchmark here.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:04 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 31):
Michael Phelps has a much higher profile today than she did back then, and he has doubled the number of gold medals over the maximum before him.

His profile isn't anywhere near the level of Bolt IMO, you never hear about Phelps (apart from his pot smoking incident) but Bolt makes news where ever he goes.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Congrats To Michael Phelps

Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:24 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):

Good on him, mighty impressive effort, but I still don't think it makes him the greatest Olympian of all time, it's all too easy to get multiple medals in swimming, for a runner like Bolt to emulate this he'd have to compete in just about all the running evens, which just isn't possible.

I completely agree. In some sports disciplines, you have to win an entire tournament to win just a single medal.

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