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Old 08-14-2008, 06:10 PM   #271
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Or, with a bit more skill or desire, she might've run a little faster or been a little smarter as she crossed the finish line and tipped her head or breasts or fingertips across the line.
Which is pretty much how I'd characterize the race in question, which you can find on YouTube (although, head and limb position are irrelevant to the judging, and you can't really "tip" your own breast ). Engquist (who won the gold) had a terrible, sloppy start to make up for, and even her trademark breakaway sprint in the final stretch wasn't going to be quite enough to pull ahead of Bukovec (the silver), so in the end it was Engquist's slightly more aggressive lean that won it for her (the "lean" is the sprinting technique where, just as you hit your final stride before crossing the line, you throw your arms back and hike your rear leg up parallel to the ground, propelling the leading edge of your torso--from the base of the neck to the breasts--across the line, which done just right can shave maybe a hundredth of a second off your time). If you watch it on video, it's quite clear that the entire leading edge of Engquist's torso, not just her boobs, passed over the line first as a result of her more aggressive lean. Bukovec had better form during the race as a whole, no question, and she had a commanding lead for most of it too, but she simply didn't lean as hard as Engquist did as they pulled even just before the line. That's strategy, not luck.

And this is a swimming thread, not a running thread, so I'll shut up now.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:40 AM   #272
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another clinic by Phelps.

his compeition in the fly is going to be Cavic, not Crocker.

and we'd be insane to bet against him at this point.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:41 AM   #273
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This thread is more and more right every day....Federer loses, Woods is on the mend, Phelps keeps winning gold in world record times.......
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:51 AM   #274
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All due respect to him, Phelps might be the greatest swimmer of all time, yet greatest Olympian no.

Key thing is that he is a swimmer. Swimming throws up many events where there are few variations across each individual event. You are therefore given plenty (excessive?) scope to win multiple medals at Olympic Games, more so than cyclists, archers and even track and field athletes.

The distinction between a 200m Breaststroke and a 100m Breaststroke is not as significant as the distinction between an 800m and the 1500m running event.

Athletics is also a more universally particpated sport, much more so than swimming.

Also, take a marathon runner. The toughest event. But how many medals can they win in an Olympiad? 3 at the very most. A Marathon, and if they are absolute gods, maybe a 10,000m or a Steeplechase. Not quite the potential 8 events Phelps has the chance to medal in.

And how would Phelps go in an open water swim or the 1500m? Probably not too great, meanwhile Hackett just missed out on qualification for the open water swim and dominates the 1500m like no swimmer before him. Don't forget his unquestionable ability to perform at the 400m as well.

Phelps is a gun swimmer but at the end of the day

Carl Lewis >>>>>>> Mike Phelps
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #275
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All due respect to him, Phelps might be the greatest swimmer of all time, yet greatest Olympian no.

Key thing is that he is a swimmer. Swimming throws up many events where there are few variations across each individual event. You are therefore given plenty (excessive?) scope to win multiple medals at Olympic Games, more so than cyclists, archers and even track and field athletes.

The distinction between a 200m Breaststroke and a 100m Breaststroke is not as significant as the distinction between an 800m and the 1500m running event.

Athletics is also a more universally particpated sport, much more so than swimming.

Also, take a marathon runner. The toughest event. But how many medals can they win in an Olympiad? 3 at the very most. A Marathon, and if they are absolute gods, maybe a 10,000m or a Steeplechase. Not quite the potential 8 events Phelps has the chance to medal in.

And how would Phelps go in an open water swim or the 1500m? Probably not too great, meanwhile Hackett just missed out on qualification for the open water swim and dominates the 1500m like no swimmer before him. Don't forget his unquestionable ability to perform at the 400m as well.

Phelps is a gun swimmer but at the end of the day

Carl Lewis >>>>>>> Mike Phelps



yeah, i read that article too. Michael Phelps is not the greatest Olympic athlete in history - Los Angeles Times

the truth is that these are different sports, and the differences between 100 and 200 meters in the individual sports are significant, and it's rare for someone to be able to win in more than one stroke, which is what people in track don't get. it's extremely rare for there to be much crossover between the strokes. if you take a look at what Phelps has done in comparison to other swimmers, he's absolutely the best swimmer in history, with unmatched versatility and an ability to swim multiple distances and difficult events. this isn't easy, this isn't normal for a swimmer, this is unprecedented for the sport.

Phelps is also *destroying* his competition, winning his races by 1-2 seconds, which is a huge amount in swimming.

i would quite disagree with this statement:

Quote:
The distinction between a 200m Breaststroke and a 100m Breaststroke is not as significant as the distinction between an 800m and the 1500m running event.
because the distinction between the 100 free and the 200 free is *huge*, and people competitive in the 100 free will not be competitive in the 400 free.

but i do agree with this statement:

Quote:
Key thing is that he is a swimmer. Swimming throws up many events where there are few variations across each individual event. You are therefore given plenty (excessive?) scope to win multiple medals at Olympic Games, more so than cyclists, archers and even track and field athletes.
yes, there are lots of events in swimming (and gymnastics). it's one of the appealing thigns about the sport, that there are different strokes. it's quite possible for a sprinter who swims for a dominating country to win multiple medals with relays. but it's quite not possible for an individual to win more than 1-2 races. one thing that both Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps (and drugged Kristin Otto) have in common is that they are the only swimmers to win 4 individual events. that's it. Matt Biondi won 7 medals, but he only won 2 individual events. to have someone able to win medals in two strokes (fly and free) as well as the IMs has never happened before. no one has *ever* been this versatile, and this dominant.

Phelps has won 8 individual events over two Olympiads. and will in all likelihood win several more after London 2012.

these intersport comparisons are difficult, and ultimately athletes can only be compared to each other through their achievements within their respective sports.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #276
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these intersport comparisons are difficult, and ultimately athletes can only be compared to each other through their achievements within their respective sports.
I agree. I always think that "greatest athlete ever" types of pronouncements just sound really, really dumb.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:00 PM   #277
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hey, respect to all. especially to Carl Lewis.

Hackett looked great in his 1500 prelim, his fastest time in ages. that final is going to be a dogfight. it's amazing how fast it is.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:23 PM   #278
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The most mind-boggling stat in sports in my mind is that Wayne Gretzky had more career assists than the second highest all-time scorer including their goals. Gretsky had 1963 assists not including his 894 goals. The second highest scorer, Mark Messier has a total of 1887 points including his goals and assists.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #279
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The most mind-boggling stat in sports in my mind is that Wayne Gretzky had more career assists than the second highest all-time scorer including their goals. Gretsky had 1963 assists not including his 894 goals. The second highest scorer, Mark Messier has a total of 1887 points including his goals and assists.
Wow. I didn't know that. That's really something.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:37 PM   #280
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To me, the most astonishing thing in sports is that the Cubs have not won a World Series in 100 years. That's not easy to do.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:46 PM   #281
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so, for whatever it's worth, the guy who is shaping up to possibly beat Phelps tonight -- Milorad "Mike" Cavic -- was born in Anaheim, went to Berkely, and swims for Serbia.

he was kicked out of the European Championships earlier this year for wearing a t-shirt that said KOSOVO IS SERBIA.

make of that what you will.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:52 PM   #282
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I think he was even DQ'd for a short while because of that.

It's pretty despicable, but then again if you are such a nationalist that you will compete for a country in which you've effectively never lived, it isn't surprising that you'd wear a shirt like that.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #283
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Does Michael Phelps Care About Georgia?

United States swimming phenom Michael Phelps continued his Beijing gold rush tonight, earning the gold medal on the back of a world-record-setting outing in the final of the men's 200-meter individual medley. However, the ensuing medal ceremony was marred when Phelps failed to heed the directive of presidential contender John McCain, that "we are" now "all Georgians."

Phelps gave these instructions little heed at the ceremony, where he appeared to salute the United States' own flag, while "The Star Spangled Banner" played on the loudspeaker, instead of "Tavisupleba," the Georgian national anthem. This raised many questions. Why won't Michael Phelps use his powerful "dolphin kick" to circumvent the Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea?

Recognizing that Phelps had failed to learn The Lesson Of Munich, Hungarian silver medalist Laszlo Cseh left the ceremony and immediately annexed the Sudetenland.


will Phelps stand silent in the face of such aggressive utopian expansionism?
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:51 PM   #284
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so, for whatever it's worth, the guy who is shaping up to possibly beat Phelps tonight -- Milorad "Mike" Cavic -- was born in Anaheim, went to Berkely, and swims for Serbia.


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Old 08-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #285
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Athletes for hire has been going on for a while, along with coaching for hire. I got no problem with athletes training in other countries, nor coaches coaching teams or athletes for other countries. Before SLC hosted the Winter Olympics, many US athletes trained in Calgary. No biggie. Tons of European hockey players play junior hockey in Canada and then go on to represent their countries in international competition after honing their skills in the Canadian system. Good for them. I would presume that there are a bunch of swimmers at this Olympics who are training and competing in collegiate events in the US. There are a load of coaches coaching national teams who aren't from that country. It's ok to share knowledge. Look at the impact of the Russians and Chinese on women's gymnastics in the U.S. Canadians have been coaching female Chinese curlers for the past few years. They have only about 400 curlers, and their top team spent much of their time training in Canada. The womens team reached the finals of the World Championships last year with their Canadian coach after learning the game in Canada.

Lots of athletes go to nations which they have citizenship via a parent because they fail to qualify for the country of their birth. Some are doing it for the money. I would do that to for an opportunity compete in the Olympics, maybe not the money one. And if I got good enough to win, I would probably stay with the team which gave me the opportunity to get experience. Some athletes and coaches leave for greener pastures too. Canada lost Lennox Lewis and Greg Rusedski to Britain. Oh well. If you look at many of the table tennis teams at the Olympics, a lot of them have Chinese nationals who now compete for their adopted country. African distance runners are running for nations which aren't their original home countries. It's part of the modern sport system. But I guess you have the right not to like it especially if somebody might jeopardize your beloved Michael Phelps. nothing to worry about Irvine, Michael will be ok
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